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Interview with Mariela Shaker

A skilled and accomplished violinist from Syria, Mariela Shaker survived the war in her home country by receiving a music scholarship in America. In this Interview Mariela shares her own thoughts about the tragic conflict in Syria and the power of music.

How important is music as a tool for peace?

I truly believe that music is a very powerful language. It breaks boundaries between people and nations, and it makes our world more compassionate and tolerant. Through my music, I get to tell the story of my suffering city and people. I hope music will help healing the pain our world has felt and create peace platform for everyone.


How much does humor factor into your keynotes and other speaking engagements?

I of course tackle a very sensitive topic when I speak about vulnerable people fleeing their homes, and students who lost their future. My goal is to draw attention to their suffer and pain. However, this life cannot be possible without that sense of joy and humor. It has always been part of my personality even at the most difficult time.


What do you think is a common misconception of the conflict in Syria?

The conflict in Syria is a complex. It is something that I cannot understand. But what I am sure about that civilians are the only victim in this savage war. My heart breaks to see what my family and people in my country are going through. People in Syria from the different backgrounds and religions live together at the same neighborhood sharing Christmas and Ramadan. Now during war, they even share their bread and water. This what makes me feel hopeful.

Islam and Christians in Syria form harmony together. A mosaic fine antique piece.


What do you gain personally from being a public speaker?

First, raising awareness about humanitarian catastrophe which is still going on and affecting many innocent civilians. Second, trying to help and support these people and refugees in general through fundraising events. Being a White House Champion of Change 2015 and High Profile Supporter for UNHCR, I am so keen to do whatever I can to help people in need and save their lives.


Who or what inspires you most?

I am inspired by the people who contributed a lot to my journey and changed my life. It is also fascinating to always meet special human beings who are eager to help others. These beautiful souls and so blessed. They simply give their heart out without waiting to get anything back.



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