This is another in a series of reviews of new books on Middle Eastern affairs. We asked Dr. Gail Weigl, an APN volunteer and a professor of art history, to review Sandy Tolan's new book about young Palestinian using the power of music to transform their lives under occupation.
APN's Ori Nir interviews Sandy Tolan.
Sandy Tolan, Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land (New York, 2015). 438 pages. $28.00.
Sandy Tolan’s Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land reads like fiction, but is a meticulously documented work of non-fiction, as the author makes clear in his introduction to the extensive source notes. While the book remains focused throughout on the main protagonist, Ramzi Aburedwan, his musical training and successful effort to bring the healing power of music to the Palestinian communities of the Israeli Occupied Territories, equal – if not more attention – is devoted to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from the founding of Israel to the present. The stage for Ramzi’s story is never-ending physical and emotional violence perpetrated against the Palestinian people by the Israeli government and IDF. That history is interconnected with the more or less extensive stories of many Palestinians, Europeans and Americans devoted to music as the means to assuage Palestinian suffering and restore Palestinian honor and identity.