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Beirut ~ New York City Beirut ~ New York City

Beirut ~ New York City

During the concert performance of the New York Philharmonic on May 23rd in the Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, there were three children that were reacting very openly to the situation in the Middle East.

Teenagers Madeline Schmidt and Anais Reno reacted on a Musical Postcard from Syrian refugee Ayham Zanka (12 years old).
Madeline who has been a Very Young Composer of the New York Philharmonic since 2009, made a piece called The Struggle to put the emotions in music and to tell their story.
Anais used the translation of what Ayham speaks about in his Musical Postcard and went on stage to sing her part in the piece that she titled For Ayham.
In 2014, Young composer Chi Chi Ezekwenna wrote a piece for the whole Philharmonic. Now, she reacted on a rap by two 13 year old girls Rana Fatouh and Souha Wanous, who are in Shatila Refugee Camp. A famous poppy element can be recognized in her piece. Listen for yourself.


“I wanted to recreate the feelings associated with their struggle.”


“I admired Ayham that he was so sorrowful for the people he wrote about. My piece is a response to that.”

Once a Boy
  • speaker
  • Ayham Zanka

  • The Struggle
  • composition
  • Madeline Schmidt

  • vocalist
  • Madeline Schmidt

  • For Ayham
  • composition
  • Anais Reno

  • vocalist
  • Anais Reno

  • Shame
  • speakers
  • Rana Fatouh, Souha Wanous

  • There Shall be No Shame in the World
  • composition
  • Chi Chi Ezekwenna

  • credits
  • conductor
  • Courtney Lewis

  • violin
  • Anna Rabinova*, Kuan-Cheng Lu*

  • viola
  • Peter Kenote*

  • cello
  • Ru-Pei Yeh*

  • bass
  • Stoshi Okamoto*

  • flute
  • Anna Urrey^

  • clarinet
  • Liam Burke **

  • horn
  • Howard Wall*

  • percussion
  • Brandon Ilaw**

  • host
  • Jon Deak

  • Thanks to:
    Najda Now international

    *Denotes New York Philharmonic Member ** Guest Artist ^ New York Philharmonic Teaching Artist