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Germany-supported virtual concerts offer message of connectivity to Kingdom under lockdown

By JT - May 20,2020 - Last updated at May 20,2020

A Jordanian jazz quartet performs remotely as part of the 'Fatteh Concerts' series (Photo courtesy of SPACE Facebook page)

AMMAN — Musicians in Jordan have been engaging in new ways of performing under curfew. With “Fatteh Concerts”, a series of online performances, young artists in the Kingdom are aiming to “bring back cultural joy” in times of global crisis.

The Fatteh Concerts are being promoted by SPACE, “Social Participation and Community Engagement by Youth”, a project on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, according to a GIZ statement.

“This situation is challenging for young people, as they are now not only restricted in their movement, but their opportunities for social engagement are also more challenging now,” Kayed Sagalla, GIZ project manager of the SPACE project, said in the statement.

Supported by SPACE, artists record themselves performing their part of songs with whatever resources they have at hand. The video artist Majd Matalka combines the single contributions into new creations. As the curfew is also challenging musicians financially, they receive a fixed honorarium for their contribution to provide some relief.

More than 12 music groups in the Kingdom, including the Jordan Youth Orchestra, Random House, Atef Malhas and others, are contributing to the Fatteh Concerts. The videos are being shared on different social media channels, according to the statement.

“In these challenging times, we musicians have a mission to our community, a mission to spread joy and happiness through our music. This initiative helps us greatly in order to achieve that, as now we will be playing something especially for them in a very different format and hopefully it will make the current time easier on everyone,” said Ihssan Al Maani from the Jordan Youth Orchestra in the statement.

The artists and the SPACE project are looking to further concerts even after the crisis to promote a “clear message” for youth: “Stay connected — Take up the SPACE we need”.

The activities of SPACE can be followed via its social media channels at and through the YouTube channel “SPACE by Youth”.

SPACE in Jordan and Lebanon is part of the education portfolio by GIZ, which is supporting Jordanian partners to attain their goals of sustainable development and providing all students a fair, equal and quality education. The projects are commissioned by the BMZ, according to the statement.

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