File - Ayham al-Ahmed, a resident of Damascus' Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp, plays the piano in the middle of the street on June 26, 2014.AFP PHOTO/RAMI AL-SAYED
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In the Yarmouk camp in southern Damascus, the notes escape a piano set in a scene of destruction and the children in Ayham al-Ahmad's little group sing of hunger and suffering.The music in the camp, under siege for a year and wracked by violence, seems at odds with the brutality that is all around. Caught in fighting between rebels and the regime, just 18,000 residents remain, suffering under a government siege that has caused the deaths of some 200 people in a year, including 128 of hunger.An admirer of Bach, as well as the greats of Arabic music, Ahmad is proud of his son, who composes music for songs written by poets in the camp and refugees abroad.In the deserted streets of the camp, opinion about Ahmad's project is sometimes divided.Of late, Ahmad has composed songs about the situation in Gaza, but Yarmouk remains at the heart of his music, which often mixes classical music and jazz.
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