GAZA (Reuters) – Before hostilities flared again with Israel in May, Palestinian violinist Khader El-Bayed used to be inundated with students, offering a rare opportunity to learn a musical instrument to a dozen or more per day.
But now, with the economic downturn that accompanied the fighting, fewer than half that number attend the studio he has set up in his Gaza Strip home.
The impoverished enclave of two million people has only one musical academy, making Bayed’s instruction all the more precious – something his nephew Hussam Bayed, who is learning the drums, knows how to appreciate.
“When you play you feel happiness and joy and you empty the bad energy inside you,” the 19-year-old said.
(Writing by Nidal Almughrabi; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and John Stonestreet)