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.

Bet you're eager to hear his music.

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