Very inspiring article in today's Sunday Times about Zuhal Sultan, the young Iraqi girl who started the National Youth Orchestra of Baghdad.
“When the war broke out, most of the music teachers in Iraq disappeared. They either left the country or stopped teaching. Many young musicians in Iraq are self-taught. It is the only way,” she says.
Finally, she sought funding for her venture. “I was staying up late at night sending 40 emails a day to anyone I could think of,” she says. “One day I found that the deputy prime minister [of Iraq] was on Twitter, so I sent him a message, with an article about me and the orchestra, and asked him if he would be interested in supporting us. Two days later I met him and he gave me $50,000. It was the quickest $50,000 I ever got,” she says. “After that, I was ecstatic because I just knew it was going to work out.”
With some irony, since she's now based in Scotland, this article is classified under "Scottish Lifestyle Stories". I'd have put it under: "Music", "Inspirations", "Cultural Recovery", "Incredible Tales of What Can Be Achieved Given Enough Personal Oomph" or something of that ilk. More power to Zuhal's elbow, vision and enterprise!
Jessica Duchen is a music journalist and the author of four novels, two biographies and several stage works. She writes regularly for The Independent and BBC Music Magazine. Her latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is published by Hodder.
- Brexit Revolt – The first insider account of the EU referendum
- We need your help and support
- Standpoint Presenting Two Debates At HowTheLightGetsIn 2016
- The Compleat Corbyn — a round-up of Standpoint's Corbyn coverage this month
- We Told You So
- Sir Raymond Carr in Standpoint
- Conduct Unbecoming: The Classical Commentaries of Norman Lebrecht in Standpoint
- Chronicling The Crash: A Standpoint Ebook
- Is Islam a Peaceful Religion? Daniel Johnson at the Oxford Union
- Standpoint's Autumn Salons
- Win Tickets to the Inaugural Standpoint Salon
- Is Hunter's History Bunk?
- Lawson Collects on Climate Change Bet
- The Cabinet meeting that kept Salman Rushdie alive
- Friends of Russia or Friends of Putin?
- Russia's Win-Win Election
- The Kremlin Plays Old Tricks With Pussy Riot
- A Pyrrhic Victory for Georgian Democracy
- Abandoned in Moscow
- Standpoint's New Facebook Page
- No need to pander to the Bear, Mr Obama
- Standpoint Recommends: The Tacitus Lecture 2012
- Goodbye, Vienna
- Friends Indeed — Daniel Johnson on Gertrude Himmelfarb
- New Culture Forum Lecture: Jeremy Hunt
- Kangaroo Courts Arrive Down Under