Meeting Palestine and Israel
Alba Cabral
Musician, educator and workshop leader
17th August 2017
Meeting Palestine and Israel

I am very grateful to have been awarded the Career Development Bursary by Help Musicians UK, which gave me the opportunity to make a dream come true: visit Palestine and make music with the people living there.

The experiences were full of exchange, interest, curious eyes, smiles, expressive body language, attentive ears, engagement and gratitude.

My first musical session was in a Primary School in Shefa-Amr with very enthusiast kids, who by the end of the session came to say "I love you!" very spontaneously. 

I led another workshop in a music school in Majed el Krum with a mixed age group, that was very positive and engaging. For this session, I prepared a storytelling relating to Brazil's musical variety and influences of African, Indigenous and Portuguese cultures. Although the stories needed to be translated from my English to Arabic, with the support of Nizar Qabbany, the musician and music therapist that guided me through my time in Palestine, they made questions, sang the songs, listened carefully to the instruments I brought with me, and played some Samba breaks. 

In both experiences, the kids wanted to share a traditional song, so they sang and played for me and that revealed a very authentic way of retribution.

The only women weekend residency in a permaculture farm in Tamra, a project run by Palestinian ecologist Malaika Canan, was a deep and incredible sharing of music, culture, stories, songs. The women felt very comfortable and free to express, play, sing and dance as if no-one was watching them. I introduced them to Body-Percussion, Brazilian rhythms and songs and we talked about heritage, politics, racism, the common oppression from the political system that both countries Brazil and Palestine suffer. 

It was a very meaningful and touching experience, to meet so many people that respected my work and that were deeply interested into sharing, reflect, learn and appreciate.


View from Shefa-Amr Arab, Village in North of Israel


All female weekend residency - Nabat Eco Farm in Tamra