Palestine / Israel

Palestine – West Bank

Al Kamandjâti (Ramallah & Jenin)

Created in 2002, the organisation Al Kamandjâti supports the education and schooling of Palestinian children – mainly those living in refugee camps and villages in Palestine and Lebanon – by facilitating their access to musical education. More than 600 children are learning music there.

Music Fund has been Al Kamandjâti’s partner since 2005 and has donated more than 500 instruments to date. Music Fund has also trained a wind instrument repairer and a piano tuner and helped the school to equip an instrument repair workshop.

Our action in 2021-2023

  • Enriching of the instrumental park of Al Kamandjâti, through a new donation of musical instruments
  • Organising a refresher courses for local repairers

Palestine – Gaza

The first shipment of musical instruments to Gaza dates back to January 2006 and was extensively documented by a report by RTBF and the film The Exchange. Our project has evolved a lot since then and today Music Fund collaborates not only with UNRWA schools, but also with two music schools: the Gaza Music School and the Al Sununu Music School.

United Nations Primary Schools in Gaza (UNRWA)

UNRWA is the UN division dealing with Palestinian refugees. At its request, Music Fund has been developing a training programme for primary school teachers in Gaza for several years, focusing on the use of music as a teaching tool in daily lessons.

In the refugee camps, children are rarely in contact with music. This is why Music Fund has made musical instruments available to trainee teachers from the start of the project in 2013. Music Fund has been active in different areas of the Gaza Strip, with four groups of about 15 teachers. In total, more than 60 teachers participated in the programme (8 months of local training over 3 years).

In 2017, Music Fund invited one teacher, Anwar Yahia, for a two-month internship in Belgium, France and Germany. In 2018, the same teacher and one of his colleagues, Mona Lubbad, were invited for a 1.5 month in-depth training in Europe.

Since 2019, the programme has been taken over by UNRWA. The two teachers trained through Music Fund can now teach their colleagues how to use music as a teaching tool in primary school.

Our action in 2021-2023

  • Supporting the project through donations of small instruments such as ukuleles and xylophones.

Edward Said Music Conservatory (West Bank & Gaza)

The Edward Said Music Conservatory (Birzeit University) was one of Music Fund’s first partners in Palestine. As early as January 2006, large donations of musical instruments were sent to its schools in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah. In 2012, the Conservatory took the former Gaza Music School, founded in 2008 by the A.M. Qattan Foundation, under its wings. The teaching programme of this Gaza branch includes both Middle Eastern and Western instruments. Currently, about 180 regular students are enrolled in the school and 430 students in the outreach programme run by the school, including choirs associated with UNRWA schools and a group teaching programme in Rafah, Khan Younis and Gaza.

In addition to donating 130 musical instruments to the school in Gaza, Music Fund has also organised training sessions on repair techniques for stringed and plucked instruments from 2011, with trainers from Belgium, France and the West Bank and has equipped an instrument repair workshop there.

In 2015, thanks to the support of pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, a loyal ambassador of the organisation, Music Fund had the only grand piano in Gaza, which was originally in a ruined theatre, completely restored. In 2018, Music Fund organised the transport of this piano to the Edward Said Conservatory in Gaza and had it tuned by an expert. This piano is now played regularly by the young musicians of the school. The BBC has made two reports about this instrument, one devoted to its restoration (Saving Gaza’s Grand Piano) and the other to a concert that the students gave on it at the end of 2018.

Our action in 2021-2023

  • Continuation of the partnership through donations of instruments and training in repair given by the violin makers of Ramallah.


Polyphony (Nazareth)

Polyphony is an initiative based and developed from the Arab city of Nazareth, Israel. Based on the observation that the Jewish and Arab populations living in the country communicate and interact very little, the initiators of the project decided to bring together children and teenagers from these two communities around music, through the creation of orchestras, chamber music ensembles and music education programmes. Polyphony has already reached around 25,000 children in Israel and is one of the most active music programmes in the country. Since 2006, Music Fund has regularly supported Polyphony through donations of musical instruments.

Our action in 2021-2023

  • Continued collaboration through new donations of instruments

Shehada Shalalda
Violin maker

Trained at Newark Lincoln College (United Kingdom) thanks to Al Kamandjati, Shehada Shalalda deepened his knowledge during several years alongside the violin makers passing through Ramallah and commissioned by Music Fund. He is now active in the Al Kamandjâti repair workshop, where he has become the appointed repairer, while developing a vast external clientele. In addition, Shehada designs and makes his own instruments (violins, violas and cellos), which are highly appreciated by musicians and which he starts to sell in different parts of the world. In 2019, the violin maker was able to represent his work at the Shanghai International Musical Instrument Fair, Music China. Music Fund also invited him to give two initiation classes in string instrument repair techniques at music schools in Gaza (Edward Said Music Conservatory and Al Sununu Music School).