Syria: Parents beaten because of their son’s music



Parents beaten because of their son’s music

Malek Jandali, a pianist who performed at a rally in
Washington in support of the Syrian opposition, blamed
his work for what he said was an attack by Syrian
government security forces on his parents on 28 July 2011.

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Malek Jandali, who is a US citizen, told CNN that his performance in Washington had provoked the attack on his parents who live in Homs in Syria. Two men beat Jandali’s 66-year-old mother in the head, mouth and eyes while another man held Jandali’s 73-year-old father who was handcuffed and had his mouth and nose covered with duct tape.

During the mother’s beating, the men were telling her that “we’re going to teach you how to raise your son”.

CNN could not independently verify the account provided by the musician, who said he learned of the incident in a phone call with his parents.

Song that asks for freedom and dignity
Malek Jandali said he hoped his music would bridge the gap between nations by promoting harmony, peace and understanding. His most recent work, which has captured international attention, is ‘Watani Ana’, which means, ‘I am my homeland’.

“It’s just basically a song that asks for freedom and dignity for any nation anywhere any time,” the 38-year-old German-born Syrian pianist told CNN. “It can apply to Cuba, Syria, Egypt, Palestine. I did that on purpose because I wanted my musical message to be universal in all mankind.”

Malek Jandali

Photo: Paul Pendergraft

Continues to perform
Malek Jandali will ignore threats and go forward with his planned concert on 6 August 2011 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

In June 2011, Malek Jandali experienced being disinvited from performing at an anti-discrimination convention because of the same song, ‘Watani Ana’. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee had asked Malek Jandali not to perform his song, and when he refused to drop it, he was disinvited.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, soon found themselves in a media storm of criticism, and after days of bad press and just hours before the convention started, the committee reversed itself and decided to permit a recording of the song to be played.

UPDATE – 25 September 2011:
‘Musician: Syrian security raids family home’

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CNN International – 30 July 2011:

‘Syrian musician blames security forces for his parents’ beating’

Facebook note – 29 July 2011:

‘Shabiha and security forces stormed the house of the world-class musician Malik Jandali in Homs and threatened his family’

Malek Jandali’s official home page:

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