Palestinian Children sing in France

€11,651 of €20,000 goal

Raised by 94 people in 1 month
Amwaj Choir website
Amwaj Choir Facebook page


An international tour of a children’s choir is an exciting opportunity, but also a challenge at both an organizational level and in terms of funding. 

Your support is called for, as a contribution towards travel expenses from Palestine to France of Amwaj's 57 children and 8 volunteers.

(the Arabic term for Waves) is an intensive choir-based educational program for children, established in 2015 in Hebron and Bethlehem (Palestine), in cooperation with the Association d’Échanges Culturels Hebron-France and the Ghirass cultural center in Bethlehem. For its regular activities the program is supported by the Fondation Les Instruments de la Paix – Genève, the John-Paul II Foundation and the Institut Français de Jérusalem – Consulat Général de France à Jérusalem.

The objective of Amwaj  is to offer quality music instruction to a vast number of children.
The children attend Amwaj after school, free of charge, and benefit from a musical and artistic programme strongly linked to their country. They are offered, weekly, eight hours of varied activities such as choral singing, voice training, foreign languages, music theory and history, conducting, introduction to piano and percussions, theatre and more.
There are no selection criteria, except committing to attending all classes and activities.
Amwaj counts today 60 children (35 girls and 25 boys), aged 7 to 17, from Hebron and from towns, villages and refugee camps of the Bethlehem governorate.

Thanks to Amwaj’s inclusive social vision (gender equality, non-affiliation to any specific social, religious or political context), the children have access to a broad range of performance venues, artistic partnerships and music repertoire. The choir regularly performs a mixture of Arabic traditional, Western classical, contemporary and World music, in varied venues (concert halls, theatres, cultural centres, schools, churches, open spaces, etc.), with Palestinian music institutions and as well as with international artists and ensembles.

Since its beginning, the Amwaj choir has developed many institutional and personal partnerships in France. In 2017-2018, those partnerships were reinforced and led to a real intercultural exchange between children’s choirs.

Tour in France, June-July 2018: Following the success of those many exchanges, the 60 children of the Amwaj choir will travel to France for a two-week residency and concert tour:

18-24 June 2018: Residency at the Philharmonie de Paris
21 June 2018, 5:30pm: Concert at the Institut du Monde Arabe with the DEMOS children’s orchestra –Philharmonie de Paris (cond. Mathieu Romano)
23 June 2018: Concert at the church Notre-Dame des Vertus at Aubervilliers, with the Children’s choir of the Orchestre de Paris (cond. Lionel Sow)
24 June 2018, 4:30pm: Concert at the Philharmonie de Paris with the DEMOS children’s orchestra – Philharmonie de Paris (cond. Nicolas Simon)

25 June 2018, 7pm: Concert in Lille, Le Grand Sud, with the child singers of Finoreille (cond. Brigitte Rose)

26 June-2 July 2018: Residency in Lyon with Les Petits Chanteurs de Lyon
30 June 2018, 4pm: Concert at the Cathedral of Vaise with Les Petits chanteurs de Lyon (cond. Nicole Corti and Thibaut Louppe), premiere of the piece Tibaaq by composer Naji Hakim
1 July 2018: Concert with Les Petits chanteurs de Lyon, Le Puy-en-Velay (venue TBC)

Who is doing this campaign
My name is Mathilde Vittu, I am music analysis professor at the Conservatoire de Paris - CNSMDP (France). I established the Amwaj Choir  in 2015 with my husband, Michele Cantoni, an Italian musician who lives in Bethlehem since 2004. Michele is the general director and I am the musical director of the Amwaj Choir, dividing my life between Paris and Bethlehem/Hebron.

How we will spend the funds
100% of the funds will be spent to contribute towards travel expenses of the 64 Palestinian children and volunteers. From Bethlehem/Hebron they have to reach Amman (Jordan) and then fly from there to Paris. Fly tickets have been booked: the price is 710 Euros for each passenger (a total of 45,440 Euros). The transfert to Amman is still under negociation. 

Withdrawal plan
The funds from the campaign will transit through my personal French bank account, which is used to block the flight tickets. We will withdraw the funds when we have to complete the payment, ahead of the issuing of the tickets by the airline.

Perks to the donors
All perks to the donors will be awarded after the end of the tour (July-August 2018).

Thank you very much for your support!
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Firas, 11 years old, Hebron
"I like singing because I tell all people what I think and feel. And I like to travel to France because I tell the world that we are Palestinian children."
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Faites de la Musique (Let's make music...)

21 June, 5:30pm: The Amwaj choir will perform its first concert in France with Démos (cond. Mathieu Romano) at the "Institut du Monde Arabe"... In one month exactly, don't miss it: Free entrance without reservation, show up earlier!
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Accommodations in Paris

In Paris, half of the Amwaj Choir will stay in Bagneux' dormitories provided by the municipality and half of the choir will stay in Aubervilliers, between apartments belonging to the local parish and a hostel.
Thanks to all those who helped the choir to find these options!
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M-1: Residence at the Paris Philharmonie
In one month exactly will be the first rehearsal joining Demos orchestra and Amwaj choir at the Paris Philharmonie.
Conductors: Nicolas Simon and Mathieu Romano
The Paris Philharmonie
Rehearsal of the Demos orchestra
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Raised by 94 people in 1 month
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