The town of Kobani in northern Syria, once left devastated by the ISIS attack in 2014, celebrated the opening of the Fijeen Institute for Music.
Slowly but steadily, the city of Kobani is emerging from the near-total destruction wrought by ISIS in 2014, not only physically but culturally. The citizens of the northern Syrian city have celebrated the opening of the Fijeen Institute for the teaching of music. Funded and built through the efforts of individuals, the institute will teach music to children six years old and older. Its goal is to spread the love for music among a new generation of Syrian children.
The curriculum of the institute is based on the French curriculum and built on theoretical and practical knowledge, with an emphasis on teaching notes. There will also be lessons for Kurdish music, its history and stages of development, topics that were not studied when the Syrian Government controlled these areas on account of the Ba’ath ideology. Additionally, it hosts a number of musical instruments such as violins, bouzoukis and guitars. The administrators of Fijeen here say that a piano will soon become available as well, bolstering the institute’s capacity.
The history of Kobani makes the establishment of the institute a deeply symbolic event. Back in 2014 and 2015, the town was attacked heavily by ISIS and almost completely destroyed before the militants were repelled. The town’s defeat of the militant army has since been seen as a turning point in northern Syria. Similarly, music was often seen as anathema to the austere ideology of ISIS. Under the group’s rule, musicians were attacked and musical instruments were destroyed. The establishment of the Fijeen Institute thus represents an effort to show that its ideology is not welcome here.
While the establishment of the institute is significant, one should not forget that many other areas across the Autonomous Administration are in need of more critical reconstruction. Nevertheless, the establishment of the institute, in addition to news of people returning to Raqqa, suggests that the future that once seemed so bleak is now getting brighter.