- Title: Checkpoint to Tchaikovsky: on tour with Palestine Youth Orchestra
- Date: 27th August 2019
- Summary: JERUSALEM (RECENT) (REUTERS) ORCHESTRA MEMBERS GATHERED 20 DAYS BEFORE CONCERT FINALE WITH LUGGAGE AND EQUIPMENT MUSICIANS GETTING ON BUS / HEADING TO AIRPORT (SOUNDBITE) (English) 27-YEAR-OLD MANAGER OF PALESTINE YOUTH ORCHESTRA FROM JERUSALEM, ZEINA KHOURY, SAYING: "The last 24 hours, it has been quite difficult logistically because we have to get people from all around Palestine. People have to pass checkpoints, have to go through different borders to get there. So, hopefully we will all get there in one piece." LUGGAGE ON BUS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MEMBER OF PALESTINE YOUTH ORCHESTRA FROM JERUSALEM, JUDE QALAWI, SAYING: "They're always the best trips in my life. We get very close to one other, and we share unforgettable experiences, so I am very excited." BUS TAKING ORCHESTRA MEMBERS TO AIRPORT JERICHO, WEST BANK (RECENT) (REUTERS) SIGN READING (Arabic/English/Hebrew): "King Hussein Bridge Border Crossing - Allenby Bridge)" UNKNOWN LOCATION, JORDAN (RECENT) (VIDEO OBTAINED BY REUTERS) IBRAHIM MASRI ON BUS LOOKING OUT OF WINDOW
- Embargoed: 10th September 2019 12:29
- Keywords: Palestinian music Palestinian musicians Palestinian orchestra Palestinian youth orchestra Palestinian youth
- Location: AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS / BETHLEHEM, NABLUS, RAMALLAH AND JERICHO, WEST BANK / MUGHAR, ISRAEL / JERUSALEM / UNKNOWN LOCATION, JORDAN / OSLO, NORWAY
- City: AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS / BETHLEHEM, NABLUS, RAMALLAH AND JERICHO, WEST BANK / MUGHAR, ISRAEL / JERUSALEM / UNKNOWN LOCATION, JORDAN / OSLO, NORWAY
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA00AATZV715
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Most international musicians would baulk at the notion of a two-day journey to final rehearsals past military checkpoints on alert for weapons smugglers but for 19-year-old viola player Ibrahim Masri it's an occupational hazard.
He's part of the Palestine Youth Orchestra (PYO), which has been touring Europe for three weeks and whose 76 members - crossing borders and religious divides - include Muslims, Druze and Christians.
They say they cannot gather the full orchestra at home because Israeli restrictions make it too hard to bring together members from Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem and refugees abroad.
Israel says its West Bank security measures are to protect its citizens against attacks from suicide bombers and gunmen, which peaked in the Palestinian uprisings of the late 1980s and early 2000s.
Israel has also imposed a blockade on Gaza, whose Islamist militant rulers Hamas refuse to recognise Israel and have fought three wars with it in the past decade.
Ibrahim had to travel two days from Nablus in the West Bank through neighbouring Jordan to reach Oslo, where the tour convened.
With a programme combining traditional classical and Arabic music, the orchestra played dates in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.
The orchestra earned standing ovations at the finale in Amsterdam's palatial Concertgebouw, the home venue of PYO conductor Vincent de Kort.
Aged 14 to 27, the musicians on this tour came from Jerusalem, the Israeli-occupied West Bank, and inside Israel itself. There were also Palestinian musicians from Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and some non-Palestinians. However, unlike on previous tours, nobody from Gaza made this trip, orchestra manager Zeina Khoury said.
(Production: Stephen Farrell, Mohammad Abu Ganeyeh, Ismael Khader, Ashraf Abu Shawish, Dedi Hayun, Adel Abu Nemeh, Sinan Abu Mayzer, Lara Afghani, Rahaf Ruby, Roleen Tafakji, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh)
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