JIP6 – beautiful, zibâ, jameel, wunderschön!
Conductor Imre is on Lesbos, Greece, to get an personal impression of the hard and dangerous journey thousands of people make from the Middle East and Africa to Europe:
“On the campsite ‘Better Days for Moria’, fully run by volunteers from all over the world, we sat around the campfire at midnight, listening to each others songs. A German volunteer had brought his guitar and played some of his songs, in German and English. After every song, a young man from Afghanistan would clap his hands and call out, with a big smile on his face: ‘Beautiful, زیبا, جميل! ‘, beautiful in English, Farsi and Arabic. The German man taught him the German word too: ‘Wunderschön!’. And so the Afghani man and the other Afghans and Iranians around the campfire learned their first German word.
After five songs the German volunteer was kindly asked to keep his guitar quiet for a little while, as another man, also from Afghanistan, wanted to sing a few songs, which couldn’t possibly be combined with guitar. And so he sang a couple of songs in the Farsi language, often accompanied with hand clapping. Sometimes the others joined in.
I tried to imagine what it would be like to live the life of this man. Probably run from the Taliban, probably making a dangerous journey into Turkey, risking his life to cross the sea to Lesbos and now being stuck in our camp. As the border to Austria is closed, and now also the border to Macedonia, Greece is doing everything it can to give thousands and thousands of people some sort of shelter for the night. The ferries from Lesbos to the mainland have stopped, so in the coming days more and more humans will have nowhere to go but simple camps on our island.
But at that moment we were together around the campfire, staring into the flames and listening to the melodies and rhythms; a language we can all understand. And as the last melody drifted away, we softly said: beautiful, zibâ, jameel, wunderschön.”