The Syrian Violin

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Every now and then a story comes along of someone who's fought against all the odds from a truly heartbreaking situation to fulfil their dream.

This young man's story should inspire anyone who reads it.

A Young Man And His Dream

In 2015, a young Syrian by the name of Rami was studying music in the city of Homs. His dream was to become a world famous violinist.

As the conflict in Syria worsened, the young man had no option but to flee in search of safety.

He wrapped his beloved violin in cling film and carried it on his back. He then began his journey of almost 2,500 miles by foot and boat. At times he would have to run or even swim for his life. All the time he did everything to keep the instrument safe.

After arriving in Istanbul, having travelled from Syria through Lebanon, it took Rami four attempts to get a boat. Once a boat was found and the engine failed, he and the other passengers rowed through the night until they were picked up by the Greek coastguards and taken to Kos.

Scared and exhausted, Rami slept with his violin firmly in his grasp through fear of it being stolen.

He travelled to Athens and then to Macedonia. At a border camp here he began to play a beautiful Arabic-influenced version of Beethoven's "Ode To Joy" for the other refugees. This performance was heard by a group of journalists.

He then travelled to Serbia, where he spoke to journalists about the bad living conditions. For this small action Rami was punished, removed from his friends and deprived of food and water.

That was until a guard noticed his violin and asked him to play a song. The song the young man played for him filled him with so much joy that he returned him to his friends and from there they moved on from Belgrade to Budapest by train.

It was at this point in his journey that Rami suffered a heartbreaking turn of fate.

After Rami and a friend were thrown off the train by police, they were then chased a second time by police as they walked on through the forest from Budapest. This caused the two friends to be separated and Rami also lost his violin.

He was then taken on to camp here before heading on to Austria and then on to Germany, where he was given refuge.

After telling his story to a local woman, he was handed a violin. He practised in a sports hall in Lahr, shared with 200 families. His practising took place in a room full of washing machines.

He managed to find a local church to practise and pray inside. The local newspaper took a photo of him playing the violin and this led to a German couple offering him a room in their house.

The couple encouraged him to continue his practising and gave him a quiet place to play. They also taught him German and this kind gesture kickstarted a new beginning for the young man.


His playing went from strength to strength and he has now recorded an album entitled "My Journey" with award winning producers James Morgan and Juliette Pochin.

The album combines traditional music from his Arabian roots with classical influences from the west.

Songs include a poignant version of "Silent Night", a classical version of One Republic's "Counting Stars" and his version of "Ode To Joy".

The single "Ode To Joy" is also being released digitally to help the British Red Cross and their work helping refugees just like Rami rebuild their lives and reunite with their families.

I hope this inspires you to live your dreams.


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