“Tanaghom: Harmony” Choir: Syrian youth become messengers of peace united by the universal language of Music
September 20, 2022
“Now I can say that I have friends from all over Syria. Whether I travel east to Deir ez-Zur or Damascus or west to Tartous. I have friends everywhere” said Merai from Hassakeh
More than a decade of conflict has profoundly affected the relationships between everyday Syrians. With 6.9 million people internally displaced, and entire communities uprooted into already-struggling host communities, the country´s social fabric has been severely undermined. Many communities have banded together in response to pressures and insecurity. Young people (aged 10-24) comprise 26 per cent of the total population and are often affected by these community fractures.
It all started in 2019 in a room on the second floor of a church in the small town of Sahnaya in Rural Damascus. “Tanaghom: Harmony” Choir, supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), brought together 80 youths from different walks of life, united by their love of music, to sing for hope, unity, and peace.
A year later, in 2021, close to 230 young men and women representing Syria’s mosaic of regions, religions, and ethnicities, left aside their differences to write and compose songs that expressed their longing for love and peace, for communication and closeness in a safe space for dialogue, discussion and exchange of ideas.
“Before Tanaghom, I was in a state of hopelessness and despair. Now I can say I have some hope for the future” said Adeeb from Damascus
On the International Day of Peace, we celebrate the members of Tanaghom, who, by embracing their common humanity, and harnessing the strength of their diversity, blossomed as messengers of peace and agents of positive change within their communities and among their peers.
In times of global uncertainty, and with 6.8 million Syrian refugees hosted in 128 countries, the alumni from last year’s Tanaghom Choir will come together, this time with their fellow Syrians from around the world, in a virtual space, to support each other, until the day when they can meet face to face again and sing their hearts out!
UNDP strives to build bridges among communities of diverging political, religious, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds, by recognizing our shared humanity and promoting positive attitudes and behaviours.