He returned from the war to find most everything gone except for this one musical instrument.
There's a hopeful sound coming from the rubble of Gaza.
When Medhat Al-Emawi returned from the war in Syria, his Gaza home had been destroyed.
As he picked through the ruins to see what could be saved, he found something surprising. A video from AJ+ tells his story.
His qanun zither — the video spells it “qannon" — had somehow survived.
Distress over the war in Syria had been keeping the Syrian-born 19-year-old from playing the zither much before he left. But now, pulling notes from the instrument struck a profound chord inside.
It wasn't something literal or even explainable, but the ancient sound and sensation of playing his zither took him out of the ruins to a stronger place.
It made him feel like maybe there was a way back.
And so he plays and plays, each note sending up a clear message from the rubble that “I'm still here — we're still here" to anyone making the mistake of thinking that war had broken, or silenced, his spirit.