APRIL 7 I REMO I DIPLOMACY
Drum Diplomacy Builds Peace in Iraq
As troops prepare to withdraw from Iraq, music is moving in. A program called Ashti Drum, which means “peace drum” in Kurdish, promotes conflict resolution, leadership development, youth empowerment and therapeutic rehabilitation through the use of drums.
Since 2007, author and music therapist Christine Stevens has been working in Iraq with an American team to train Iraqis in drum circle leadership. She will return to Iraq in April with ethnomusicologist and drum maker Craig Woodson to expand Ashti Drum programs.
Stevens will offer women’s empowerment drumming through the Kurdistan Women Union. Creating the first music therapy program in Iraq, she will also train and supervise therapists at the Children’s Rehabilitation Center. Woodson will meet with Kurdish craft centers to develop the drum making industry for economic development.
This project is supported by NAMM, Remo, Humanity Unites Brilliance and private donors. MI