Jun 03 2015

Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land

Feature Stories,Featured Book | Published 3 Jun 2015, 10:15 am | Comments Off on Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land -

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GUEST: Sandy Tolan, radio documentary producer who has created dozens of pieces for NPR and PRI, co-founder of Homelands Productions, author of The Lemon Tree, and Hank and Me. He is currently an associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

*This interview was originally aired on May 13, 2015.

After facing mounting pressure from fans on social media, R&B star Lauryn Hill announced on May 5 that she was cancelling her upcoming concert in Israel. On her website, she stated that she wanted to be a “presence supporting justice and peace” but because she was unable to organize a similar concert in the occupied Palestinian territories, she canceled her Israeli appearance.

While she didn’t explicitly state support for the burgeoning Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, Hill is one of a growing number of artists respecting a cultural boycott of Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.

But the increasing absence of art and music in Israel as a political act stands in stark contrast to the blossoming of music in the occupied territories, particularly among young Palestinians. The story of how that is happening is told in a new book by Sandy Tolan, ‘Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land’, where he introduces readers to Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan, a Palestinian composer and educator whose journey took him from Palestinian refugee camps to an international education in music after he discovered the viola as a young man. Years later he founded several music schools in the West Bank and Palestinian refugee camps.

To learn more about this story, visit www.ramallahcafe.com.

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