When I watch the news, Syria is portrayed simply as a battle zone – who is fighting against whom, who has gained or lost territory. Seeing the pictures of bombed buildings and rubble in Aleppo or Homs, we have to remember that this was (and still is) home for so many people. People just like you and me. Many of these people have had to leave through sheer necessity (the immediate threat of being bombed, lack of food, water, shelter), not because they wanted to go. The Civil War in Syria has meant that some of the modern musical artists are currently exiled in other countries, but they are still making music and writing poetry, often about their thoughts, memories and feelings regarding their home, friends and families, who sadly may not currently be with them.
General information about music from Syria: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Syria
Great blog from 2016 by Alexandra Petropoulos about Syrian refugees who are making music in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan: http://www.songlines.co.uk/world-music-news/2016/01/songs-of-the-syrian-refugees/
Another enlightening blog from Mideast Tunes about Syrian musicians: http://blog.mideastunes.com/post/122027272879/10-syrian-indie-musicians-who-give-us-hope-for-the
الموسيقى التقليدية من حلب (Traditional Music of Aleppo)
Nearly half an hour of the most beautiful Syrian music…
Lena Chamamyan – Love In Damascus
This song is just gorgeous. Lena Chamamyan is currently based in Paris.
Hello, Psychaleppo! – Sand Song
Hello, Psychaleppo! is a project by Samer Saem Eldahr from Aleppo, currently working in Beirut. He combines samples of traditional music with electronic beats and computer manipulation. But it is *so* much better than that description suggests…
Short article here: http://www.beirut.com/l/28824
Khebez Dawle – Betaammer خبز دولة بتعمّر
Khebez Dawle is the name of the state-funded bread that was available in Syria. The band was formed in Damascus and now consists of Anas Maghrebi, Muhammad Bazz, Bachi Darwish, Hikmat Qassar and Dani Shukri. They have created a more ‘traditional’ (from my Western perspective) rock sound, and after a difficult journey across Europe the band are currently in Germany (Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport has been repurposed and many Syrian refugees are now living there until their status is sorted out). Great Britain, we could learn so much from the way Germany has dealt with the people who have had to leave Syria!
Article from Middle East Eye about when the band were in Lebanon: http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/syrians-rock-out-beirut-1987858858