The Pianist of Yarmouk is the moving story of one young man's struggle to find peace during war, and the power of music to bring hope to a desperate nation.
As heard on BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' __________
A man, a piano, a Syrian street under siege . . .
One morning on the outskirts of besieged Damascus, a starving man stumbles through a familiar street that is now rubble. Everywhere he looks his city, his home, is shattered by civil war, famine and siege.
In despair he turns to his only comfort and joy, pushes his piano into the street and begins to play. He plays of love and hope, he plays for his family and his fellow Syrians. He plays even though he knows he could be killed for doing so.
As word of his act of defiance spreads around the world, he becomes a beacon of hope and even resistance. Yet he fears for his wife and children, his elderly parents. The more he plays, the more he and his family are drawn into danger.
Until finally he is forced to make a terrible choice - between staying and waiting to die or saving himself and abandoning his family . . .
Aeham Ahmad's spellbinding and uplifting true story tells of the triumph of love and hope, of the incredible bonds of family as well as the healing power of music in even the very darkest of places.
Aeham Ahmad, born in Damascus in 1988, grew up in Yarmouk, a suburb of Damascus. From the age of four onwards his father encouraged his musical talent and at seven he received piano lessons at the Arab Institute in Damascus. He later studied music education in Homs and worked as a music teacher.
In 2015 he was forced to flee to Germany because of the war in Syria. Today he lives with his family in Wiesbaden and gives concerts all over Europe. In December 2015, Ahmad was awarded the International Beethoven Prize for Human Rights.