Fivehundred and third Åsic- The Pianist of Yarmouk

This summer I had to let go of my piano when I moved from a house to an apartment. I tried to find someone who could accept it as a free gift, but in the end we had to leave it on the city dump. I felt sad and nostalgic when thinking of all the moments I’d spent with my instrument, playing or rehearsing for numerous piano lessons in the past.

This morning I was browsing the suggested documentaries on the Swedish Television channel #SVT. One of them caught my attention, first because there was a comment ”only two days left to watch this video” (So hurry up and watch it, all my friends in Sweden!), secondly because the story was about a man who played the piano. The pianist was a Palestinian, who had lived in Yarmouk in Syria and many of my adult students come from Syria. Some of them are Palestinians, too. I thought I needed this story as an example of what living in exile means, but I was also curious about the piano…

Music is a way to make contact. It is also an excellent way to express emotions. It doesn’t matter whether we mean happiness, sadness, anger or frustration. Whatever feeling or emotion we’d like to express, there is music to it! The pianist of Yarmouk found his way to deal with the war, through music. ❤

The documentary on is called ”Ett piano, en hjälte, ett krig” (= a piano, a hero a war). Ayham Ahmad tells his story and we follow him for a few years from the beginning of the war in Syria. He works together with his father in a wood shop, making music instruments and playing the piano. When the acts of war spreads in Yarmouk, he brings his piano to the street, in order to sing together with children, to help them focus on something positive rather than the ongoing war. Everyone of us with a heart, will be moved by the story. But those of us who has left an instrument behind for some reason, will realize there will always be solutions. By spreading the music from Yarmouk, Ayham Ahmad tells the world about the war in his own way.

The horrors of the war in Syria is a reality for people still there and also for their relatives and friends in exile worldwide. The war must come to an end! If you live in Sweden, you have access to and two more days to learn more about Ayham Ahmad and his piano:

Ett piano, en hjälte, ett krig

Three Hundred and Eighty-First Asic – Nobel Prize in literature 2016, Part 3


Nobelpris_medaljWhen the Secretary of the Swedish Academy announces this year’s winner of the prestigeous Nobel Prize in literature, many of the bookmakers have been biting their nails for a few days. As always we also meet different experts who share their particular viewpoint, such as the literature critics invited to the studio at SVT today:


Will this year’s winner be one of the favorites or not? I keep hoping for Joyce Carol Oates, year after year. I think the committee has put a spell on her for some reason, since she never seems to be good enough in the competition.

According to Swedish newspapers this year, for instance Dagens Nyheter (DN), names like Ngugi wa Thiong’o (Kenya), Bob Dylan (USA),  Ali Ahmad Said Asbar more known as Adonis (Syria) or Haruki Murakami (Japan) have been mentioned as possible winners.

Nobel Prize in literature 2016 goes to Bob Dylan for having created new poetic expression within the American Song Tradition

Now that we know the winner, I guess the hunt for books starts right away! Everyone likes to read the Nobel Prize winner in order to follow the debate… I would most certainly be one of them who would like to give my opinion for questions such as Is this good literature or not? Did you like this year’s winner?