“Music Without Borders”
“Music Without Borders” is the story of 3 women, (Palestinian, Jewish and Christian), united by Music, set against the backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Rasha Hamid (8) a severely autistic, blind Palestinian girl, lives in “Beith Jamima” – a special needs facility in the Arab village Beith Gjalah. She spent the first 6 years of her life locked in a room in her parent’s house. Rasha can’t walk or talk, – she screams, crawls and scratches, locked within her inner world. When Helena Wollbehr (50), the Dutch missionary who founded the facility, realizes that this young girl with no means of effective communication has a special and profound connection to music, she connects with Devorah Schramm (40), an American born Orthodox Jewish pianist, and convinces her to work with Rasha. Neither Rasha’s Palestinian family, nor Devorah’s husband and four daughters, are happy about the cross-cultural relationship. Devorah sees something in Rasha and insists on continuing the mentorship.
Rasha’s hands are clinched into fists, she bangs on the piano with one finger, enjoying the lessons yet remaining within the confinement of her inner world. Devorah starts to develop a special way of communicating with Rasha through music. She devises a way to have a musical dialog with the girl. Still, she can’t convey to her the importance of playing the piano with 10 fingers (versus 1). It takes Devorah 3 years to reach something within Rasha, but when she does, Rasha’s fists unclinch and an idiot savant of an extraordinary musical gift emerges.
The two began working together in the late 80’s, later performing in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Amsterdam. They managed to continue playing music, in spite of 2 Intifadas, the Golf War, numerous bombings, and endless military clashes. They overcame the death of Helena, Rasha’s Dutch “adoptive mother” from cancer, battled budget cuts threatening to end the piano lessons, and all that time, kept playing. Today, 25 years after their first lesson, they are still at it.
Beautiful Music – Rasha Hamidpassword: guest
Beautiful Music – Devorah Schrampassword: guest
Beautiful Music – Helena Volbehrpassword: guest
Beautiful Music – Beith Jamimapassword: guest
Beautiful Music – Warpassword: guest
Beautiful Music – Musicpassword: guest
Beautiful Music – Segment 7password: guest
Read The ballad of Rasha and Devorah as it was told in “The Independent”