A note from Zuhal

If you know anybody who might be able to help us raise the money for the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq, do get in touch. It’s an amazing project that really deserves to happen.

Dear All,

First of all, I’d like to thank you for your continuous support. As each day passes by, we’re getting closer to the date we have scheduled for the Summer Academy leading to the historic debut of the first permanent National Youth Orchestra of Iraq; this very thought is truly exciting, but it also means that we have to work extremely hard to make it happen.

I’ve had a chance to promote the orchestra on several occasions a little over two weeks ago in England, we have had lots of response from people who wanted to help, we also had some interest from music tutors to help with the our online mentorship programme. It’s also where I’ve had a meeting with the British Council, and they have promised to provide seed support

The reality is we still need over £100k to fund the 09 Summer Academy and the tour in the Caucasus, and it’s your chance to take part and help us achieve our dream in having our own National Youth Orchestra. You are able to help no matter who you are or where you come from, whether you’re a professional musician or a believer in this cause, it’s YOUR chance to contribute to a life-changing experience through music. Make a donation now through our justgiving page:


It’s not too late to be involved in this project, in fact, your help is needed more urgently than ever before; and remember: every little contribution makes YOU a participant in spreading peace, bringing hope to a war-torn region and inspiring the whole world.

Thank you, for everything you do.


Battlefront — meet Zuhal

For the last couple of months I’ve been mentoring Zuhal, a 17-year old Iraqi living in Baghdad as part of Channel 4’s Battlefront. Zuhal’s aim is to set up the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq and eventually bring them on tour to Europe and the US. She’s a phenomenal pianist and just an outright amazing person and it’s been a real pleasure working with my co-mentor Jamie Murray Wells to help her along the way.

The first step is to organise a Summer Academy in Northern Iraq next year. She’s already got the application forms out and people are applying to come. With the help of the fantastic Paul and Allegra all the pieces are slotting into place.

It’s going to take about £70,000 to run the Summer Academy and we’re just starting to fundraise for that. If you can help, do get in touch and you can watch the campaign unfold here.