AMMAN, 21 August 2016– Accompanied by a grand piano, newly appointed UNICEF Regional Ambassador for the Middle East and North Africa, Zade Dirani, made his first field visit today to Za’atari refugee camp and nearby town of Mafraq to bring music and a message of hope to children and youth, including those who have fled war and violence in Syria.
“Music has the amazing ability to transcend borders and bring us together around the beauty of the human spirit,” said Dirani, a world famous Jordanian pianist who was appointed last week UNICEF Regional Ambassador. “I wanted to bring my music to children and youth – today and in the months to come – as a way to engage them and become a form of therapy for those who have witnessed things that no child should ever experience.”
In Za’atari, Dirani visited a UNICEF supported “Makani” centre, which provides learning opportunities, life skills and psychological support to children and youth. Some 300 children and adolescents came to speak with Dirani and watch him play.
“Having Zade with us today is such an uplifting experience for the children, young people and their families,” said Robert Jenkins, UNICEF Representative to Jordan, who was with Dirani. “It sends a powerful message through music that we must do more collectively to address the needs of especially the most vulnerable children in Jordan.”
Dirani then visited another Makani centre in Mafraq town to play the piano and meet with marginalized children and youth from different backgrounds who are without formal education and come to the centre to learn and play.
Aside from his music, Zade, who is the founder of the “Zade Foundation for International Peace and Understanding,” is known for his work to help young musicians promote peace and cultural understanding.
Over the past years, he has worked with aspiring and world renowned musicians to spread the message of respect and tolerance.
Note to Editors:
Makani – Arabic for My Space – is an innovative approach developed by UNICEF and funded through the EU’s Madad Trust Fund to address the needs of Syrian refugee children and youth as well as vulnerable host communities.
With more than 200 centres throughout Jordan, it’s a one-stop location that provides learning opportunities, psychosocial support and better integration for children and youth. It’s in line with the “No Lost Generation” initiative to address the needs of millions of children impacted by the crises in Syria and Iraq.
About UNICEF MENA UNICEF is working closely with partners to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to millions of children and women throughout the region, including some of the most difficult to reach areas such as Aleppo, Syria. Support include providing clean water, medicine, clothing, nutritional support, access to education, child-safe areas and psychosocial counselling. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit www.unicef.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
For further information please contact:
Miraj Pradhan, UNICEF Jordan, firstname.lastname@example.org, +962-79-0-21-4191
Malene Kamp Jensen, UNICEF MENA Regional Office, +962-791-096- 500 email@example.com