JORDAN / BLIND REFUGEE MUSICIAN

01-Dec-2017 00:03:30
Syrian refugee Ehsan Al Khalili is blind, but losing his sight has only given him a new perspective on life. His musical abilities have helped bring joy to many children in Jordan's Azraq refugee camp. UNHCR
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STORY: JORDAN / BLIND REFUGEE MUSICIAN
TRT: 03:30
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / NATS

DATELINE: 28 NOVEMBER 2017, AZRAQ CAMP, JORDAN
SHOTLIST
28 NOVEMBER 2017, AZRAQ CAMP, JORDAN

1. Various shots, Ehsan Al Khalili singing in his shelter
2. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Ehsan Al Khalili, 45-year-old Syrian refugee:
“My passion for music began when I lost my sight. I lost my sight in the fifth grade as a result of a bicycle accident.”
3. Various shots, Ehsan walking in camp with son
4. Various shots, Ehsan playing music and singing with children in class
5. Med shot, child laughing
6. Wide shot, Ehsan playing music and singing with children in class
7. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Ehsan Al Khalili, 45-year-old Syrian refugee:
“When I teach, it makes me feel like all the years that I lost are nothing compared to the day I am giving a lesson to the children. I feel a kind of happiness that cannot be described.”
8. Med shot, children clapping and singing
9. Close up, Ehsan singing
10. Close up, child singing and clapping
11. Various shots, Ehsan teaching children to play drums
12. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Esraa Zallouf, 11-year-old Syrian refugee:
“I feel for him. I feel for him; I mean how he can picture things, and I wonder how he can sense and find his food.”
13. UPSOUND (Arabic) Ehsan Al Khalili, 45-year-old Syrian refugee:
“The cucumbers were here, who moved them? Have some; from my hand, please. It tastes better now.”
14. Med shot, Ehsan’s wife
15. Various shots, Ehsan eating with family
16. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Ehsan Al Khalili, 45-year-old Syrian refugee:
“When my wife started supporting me, she brought back my sight. She became my eyes with which I see. I became complete.”
17. Various shots, Ehsan playing music and singing with children in class
STORYLINE
Syrian refugee Ehsan Al Khalili is blind, but losing his sight has only given him a new perspective on life.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Ehsan Al Khalili, 45-year-old Syrian refugee:
“My passion for music began when I lost my sight. I lost my sight in the fifth grade as a result of a bicycle accident.”

With his father’s help, Ehsan trained himself to play the drums just from hearing rhythms recorded on cassettes. Within a few years, he was able to form his own band and hold regular gigs. But when the war hit his hometown in Damascus in 2012, Ehsan left to find shelter in Jordan with his wife and five children.

Determined to keep moving forward, Ehsan started running music classes for refugee children, including those with disabilities, at the CARE community centre, funded by UN refugee agency (UNHCR), in the Azraq refugee camp. Ehsan said he felt the need to do something to help children cope with the hardship they had endured and bring them joy through music.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Ehsan Al Khalili, 45-year-old Syrian refugee:
“When I teach, it makes me feel like all the years that I lost are nothing compared to the day I am giving a lesson to the children. I feel a kind of happiness that cannot be described.”


The children here say they enjoy taking lessons with Ehsan. Eleven-year-old Esraa said she would like to learn how to play other instruments as well if she got the chance. She said Ehsan is a very good instructor and has developed a bond with him.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Esraa Zallouf, 11-year-old Syrian refugee:
“I feel for him. I feel for him; I mean how he can picture things, and I wonder how he can sense and find his food.”
mood and

UPSOUND (Arabic) Ehsan Al Khalili, 45-year-old Syrian refugee:
“The cucumbers were here, who moved them? Have some; from my hand, please. It tastes better now.”

Ehsan said his wife has played a major role in his coping with his disability.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Ehsan Al Khalili, 45-year-old Syrian refugee:
“When my wife started supporting me, she brought back my sight. She became my eyes with which I see. I became complete.”

Ehsan said there is no room for despair in his life. Recognizing the setbacks he has faced, Ehsan said his disability could never define him. On the International Day of Persons Living with Disabilities, He hopes his story can act as an example to help people with disabilities make a positive impact in the lives of their families and communities.
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