At Yarmouk, there was Aeham Ahmad’s piano; in Mosul, there’s Ameen Mukdad’s violin. The silence that fell over the Palestinian refugee camp in Syria when it was occupied by ISIS was the same echoed throughout the Iraqi city.
In mid-April, the young Iraqi violinist played in public. He hadn’t done so since June 2014, when the Islamic State took Mosul in 48 hours. He tells the Telegraph: “I will never forget June 10, 2014. It is the day music died.”
After three years, in April, he once again touched the strings of his violin in a symbolic place, the tomb of prophet Jonah, Younis in the Koran, the sacred site for both Muslims and Christians. There were about 20 people listening to him, on the hill of al-Tawbah (“repentance”) among the ruins of the Jonah mosque and church, partially destroyed by ISIS in 2014.
And the music is back in Mosul — at least in those sections that are liberated already. Since Oct. 17, government troops have launched a major operation to wrest the city from the Islamist yoke.