Refugee-camp pianist wins humanitarian prize

Posted on: December 21, 2015

“A Palestinian refugee, who gained international notoriety after a video of him playing a piano amid the destruction in a Damascus refugee camp went viral, has been given a prestigious human rights award in Germany,” reads an unsigned Al Jazeera article on Saturday (12/19). “Ayham Ahmad, a 27-year-old from the Yarmouk refugee camp, was granted the International Beethoven Prize for Human Rights, Peace, Inclusion and the Fight Against Poverty on Friday night at a ceremony in Bonn…. Videos of Ahmad began to spread throughout social media in 2014…. The videos depicted him surrounded by collapsed homes and rubble-filled streets as he played on an old, decrepit piano. In some clips, residents of the embattled camp joined him and sang along. In September, Ahmad fled Yarmouk… He eventually made it to Germany. Just months earlier, in April, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) armed group invaded Yarmouk…. Although they withdrew within a few days, fighters set Ahmad’s piano ablaze in the streets before departing.… In late September, Ahmad said, … ‘I am hoping I can get somewhere better where one day I can play music again.’ ”

Posted December 21, 2015