14159 posts since MMVI

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“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Berthold Auerbach

#solidaritynotcharity

On my last day I went into the camp early as I’d been invited to a Christian Orthodox service in the Eritrean Church. On my way into the camp I found a young man who had been beaten, wandering around looking for help. He had a deep cut to his face crusted with dried blood, the result of being hit with a weapon. He was dazed, could barely speak and needed stitches and an Xray. I brought him to a doctor for medical care.

With my heart heavy with the weight of these experiences I went to the church to record some of the Sunday morning service. The pastor explained to me how the church is a sanctuary for both the Eritrean and Ethiopian communities and how they come to him for help and solace. Although I am non religious I was incredibly moved by the ceremony and particularly the singing. I haven’t met that many women from the camp so I felt very privileged to be able to hear their songs of worship and to just be there in a sacred place nestled amongst them in their white cloth scarves.

In typical Sudanese style my young friend had accompanied me to the church. Although it was raining and despite the invitation from the pastor, he wouldn’t come in to the service because he is Muslim. He insisted on waiting for me for 2 hours outside. I felt incredibly guilty when I came out as he was cold and wet. I was in the middle of apologising but then I saw the smile on his face and saw that he was happy. He said ‘Africa’ and beamed. The sound of the women singing had brought him back to his homeland for a short time. We had both found some kind of solace there amid the dust and chaos.

All proceeds from downloads will go directly into the church collection box for the pastor to use in the community.”

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