The Healing Power of Music

Mar 10, 2021
If Syria had its own national edition of The Voice or Syria’s Got Talent, Hamza would stand a great chance to win. The 13-year-old singer has already performed in front of audiences - not just in one, but three languages. He discovered his passion at age 10 when his father downloaded a song for him called ‘Give us our childhood back’, and Hamza learned it in Arabic, French, and English. Now he sings for himself but also for others to encourage them and make them forget their difficulties for a while.
Singing is a way for him to cope with reality. “It is art”, he says. “We as children can express ourselves through it – express what’s inside. And there are a lot of bad memories bottled up in this boy at the threshold of young adulthood: He has lived in Jordan at the Azraq camp for displaced persons for 9 years now, ever since his family of four had to escape from Damascus in 2012. He even still remembers the bombs raids of his earliest childhood.


In the three years that Hamza has been honing his singing skills, he has made tremendous progress and was even ranked first in his grade in school last year. When his teacher noticed his talent he arranged for him to perform for other children and persons with disabilities in events organized by World Vision and other aid agencies inside the camp.
In the beginning, I got a little tense and shy in front of an audience, keeping my head down”, he remembers. But discovering that he could touch his audience by conveying his own happy or sad emotions through his songs helped boost his confidence. He loves to sing in English, which he speaks well, and finds that this helps him polish his accent. After his concerts, he explains the meaning of his songs to his listeners and teaches them some words of the language. Sharing his skills with other kids makes him feel useful, something that matters a great deal to him.
World Vision also nurtured his artistic talent when he was still enrolled in the kindergarten and music classes - part of the Early Childhood Development programme. He also learned to play the piano. He loved going there and now wants to give back by teaching other children to enjoy music the same way he does, from singing to playing instruments.
It was Hamza’s father who first awakened his passion for music, but he cannot currently watch his talented son’s progress. In order to support his family, he currently works in Malaysia as a doctor. That, too, inspires Hamza. Much as he loves to sing, he is determined to walk in his father’s footsteps and become a doctor, too. He is a good study and regrets that due to COVID-19, there is currently no school, only remote classes. He is eager to advance. “I want to achieve my dream and become a doctor. I want to treat people – I love this profession.”
Hamza’s father clearly plays an important role in his young life. “I wish we could visit my father because we miss him,” the teenager says. That is why his first action as president of the world for a day would be to reopen airports so that he could go see his dad. And he would of course create a COVID-19 vaccine. On a more global level, “I would want Syria to go back to how it used to be before the war. My message to Syrians is: don’t lose hope. Syria will return to the way it was – and even better.”
          Millions of children like Hamza are fighting for their futures after escaping danger. Learn more about their stories and how you can help through Raw Hope.



Hamza’s signature song ‘Give Us Our Childhood Back’, which he performs in Arabic, English, and French, expresses his entire childhood dream of better times to come, and he wishes to share it with everyone... in the camp and in the world:

I am a child with something to say. Please listen to me.

I am a child who wants to play. Why don't you let me?

My doors are waiting. My friends are praying. Small hearts are begging.

Give us a chance.

Please, please. Give us our childhood back.

We have come to wish you a Happy Eid. On this day we ask you.

Why don't we have any celebration or decorations?

Oh, world, my land has burned down.

My land, my freedom have been stolen.

Our skies are dreaming, they are asking the days.

Where is the sweet sun? Where are the pigeon lofts?

Oh, world, my land has burned down.

My land, my freedom have been stolen.

My land is small, like me. Bring us back the peace.

And give us our childhood back.

Give us our childhood back.

Give us peace.

When tomorrow comes, I'll be on my own.

Feeling frightened of things that I don't know.

When tomorrow comes. Tomorrow comes.

And though the road is long, I look into the sky.

And in the dark I found, lost hope that I won't fly

And I sing along, I sing along, then I sing along…