A choir made up of Syrian children will stay in Canada rather than risk getting caught up in the Trump administration’s travel ban on mostly Muslim countries.
The Nai Children’s Choir, a group of about 40 Syrian kids aged 5 to 13, was asked to perform at a choral festival in Washington, D.C., but turned down the invitation out of concern for the children’s ability to travel to the U.S. and back.
Instead, the choir and its guest conductor Hussein Janmohamed, a PhD student in music education at the University of Toronto, will perform on Canada Day at the Aga Khan Museum.
Many of the choir’s members are refugees and some immigrated to Canada just two months ago. The program for their Sunday concert, titled “This World is Possible,” includes the national anthem, folkloric Arabic pieces and a traditional South African song as a tribute to Nelson Mandela.
Janmohamed has been involved with the choir for over a year, as a guest conductor and artistic adviser. He was commissioned to write a piece, called “Rise Children, Rise to Peace,” which will premiére this weekend.
“We want to sing a song that says, ‘Thank you, Canada,’” he says. “We’re so happy to be here and make this our home.”
Source: U of T News / June 26, 2018