When the world is plagued by the dark shadows of hate and chaos love comes to the rescue. When humanity faces war, death and despair, art and music, as always, re-establish faith in love and humanity.
The present war in Syria has triggered off a massive refugee crisis which is being described as the biggest ever since the Second World War. But apart from this, stories of people who appear as glimmers of hope among the darkness have also been common to both that devastating world war and the present crisis in Syria, like this one reported by BBC .
The story of pianist Ayham al-Ahmad from Syria’s Yarmouk camp which was destroyed in the conflict between Islamic State and Syrian forces, is reminiscent of Jewish Pianist Wladslaw Szpilman who survived the holocaust and German invasion of Poland. The piano man of Syria, Ayham, sings stories of those who survived the war and those who perished.
While Szpilman’s story has been made into a film, Ayham has reached out to people through videos of him playing the piano surrounded by the haunting ruins of a once flourishing Yarmouk. Seeing Al-Ahmad play the piano in the devastated streets seems like a representation of a scene from the movie The Pianist , based on Szpilman’s survival.
But no,w Al-Ahmad is one of the millions making their way into European countries like Greece, via Turkey, and braving the often ruthless sea on their way. The Islamic State blockade which stopped essential supplies from entering the camp and the danger of being killed for playing music, forced the pianist to make his way towards Europe.
On his birthday, Ayham put the piano on a wagon and made his way forward, only to see his instrument being burned by Islamic State fighters at a checkpoint. He walked for hours through snakes to reach Turkey and faced rough weather at sea so that he could reach his destination quickly and later bring his family along.
His piano might have been destroyed by the IS, but they were unable in destroying his music and his resolve. After days of being stranded and getting smuggled, Ayham finally reached Greece where he now awaits passage to Germany and a reunion with his wife and children.
As millions are struggling to cross over into a better world from a once beautiful but war-ravaged Syria, and hundreds are tragically drowning in the violent sea, there are few like Ayham al-Ahmad who are spreading hope in the face of death with music and art.
Music is a healer for the wounds of the soul and this time it has emerged to heal countless wounds inflicted upon humanity.