Sing Me A Story… for Gaza

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A child’s drawing can say a lot, reflecting both their inner and outer lives. Over the years we have been fortunate to work with children throughout Palestine in our early childhood development programs. In late 2018, the Sing Me A Story Foundation approached Anera for a collaboration to tell the stories imagined by a few of the children in Gaza that we and our local partner schools work with.

The Sing Me A Story Foundation aims to “bring the voices of children in need to the world through music.” The program amplifies the imaginations of vulnerable children by telling their stories through song. Their stories are posted online and then rendered in song by musicians around the world.

Through the partnership, children in Gaza classrooms were encouraged to “write and illustrate stories about ANYTHING they want.”

Songwriters participating in Sing Me A Story have already turned two of the stories we have collected into songs. Eight-year-old Bassma created The Turtle and the Lost Shield. Click the link and turn your volume up! Her story, with accompanying illustrations, reads:

Once upon a time, there was a turtle that was eating lettuce leaves thrown in the farm.

Suddenly, the turtle heard a weird scream from an angry farmer. He said, “So you are the one who ruined my field! Now I know who ruined my field!”

The turtle replied, “Forgive me. I didn’t know that this is yours.”

“You are a thief,” the farmer shouted.

“You are stingy,” the turtle grumbled.

The farmer got really mad at her and took off her shell. The turtle cried and cried.

A raven and a hedgehog heard her cries and asked her what happened.

The raven said, “Don’t cry. Don’t be sad. I’ll go get you your shield.”

And the hedgehog added “I’ll give you one of my spines so you can thread and fix your shield.”

The turtle and everyone lived happily ever after!

Bassma’s illustration of the turtle eating lettuce

We look forward to more songs to come! In the meantime, readers, listeners, and musicians can see all of the stories imagined by children in Gaza, including the Snowman and the Rabbit by Abullah (age 7), The Raven and the Jar by Aseel (age 8), and Omar’s Birthday by Mayar, Rija’, Joudy, Abdulrahman, Sara, Khalid, and Mohammad (age 5).

On each song page, listeners are invited to donate to receive a digital copy of the song.

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