Young Musician: Qamishli s cultural diversity inspired me

Qamishli - North-Press Agency
Reem Chamoun

Among his students, whose ages don't exceed 10 years, Harutiyon Madarjian stands bending on his guitar as he teaches them the importance of hand flexibility in playing this instrument, helping them to learn to play music instruments from a young age, just like him.

Harutiyon Madarjian along with his family were displaced from the city of Raqqa to Qamishli more than five years ago, carrying his passion for music with him, to open Harmony Institute for Music in 2016.

In an interview with North-Press, Madarjian talked about his beginnings with playing the violin: "Since I was a child I liked music and it was my greatest passion, so my father registered me at an institute for music at the age of eight years."

As fo the reason of choosing the city of Qamishli, Madarjian explained that “the cultural diversity of this city inspired me and motivated me to establish a musical band, singing and playing in all languages of the region's components, Kurdish, Syriac, Armenian, Assyrian, and Arabic," pointing out that he aims to spread this rich cultural heritage of the city.

At the age of ten, Madarjian participated in pioneers competitions of Talaa al-Baath in his school and was in the first place over the country level for two consecutive years in 2007-2008. In the next year, he received a special scholarship to Tunisia and Egypt to learn playing the violin in a professional way. 

Tommy Chamoun, the piano trainer in the institute, said that when he came from Damascus, he met Madargian by chance and he wanted to expand the institute, where he was only training on the violin. However, Chamoun has been working as a piano trainer at the institute for two years.

Roni Jamal, a student at Harmony Institute and a new trainer of the guitar, said that he wishes to become a skilled player of the guitar.

Madarjian participated in the first solo festival held by al-Jazira Artists Union earlier this year, and won the first jury award among 38 participants from different cities of al-Jazira, Raqqa and Damascus.

Middle east

Iraq takes water shortage precautions as Turkey begins filling Ilisu Dam

Baghdad- North-Press Agency 
Ziad Ismail 

After Turkey started to fill the reservoir of Ilisu Dam, which its artificial lake will flood the water over the 12,000 years old archeological town of Hasankeyf. 

The Iraqi government's Ministry of Water Resources is preparing to work and take precautions so that it does not face water scarcity due to the dam's construction, as it had previously faced in 2017.

Aoun Diab, an advisor to the Ministry of Water Resources, assured the citizens that they will not face any problems about water scarcity, and the ministry has taken all necessary precautions on this regard. He added that the abundance of rains of this year has helped in filling Iraq's dams, explaining: "We managed to store 60 billion cubic meters of water."

"We are not worried about water resources for next summer, but the availability of water in the coming years depends on the nature of the years, whether wet or dry," Diab said.

Furthermore, Aoun Diab also stressed that they would release all facilities for peasants by taking the practice of their cultivating, unlike previous years when the quantity was determined.

Iraq has 25 small and large dams, but were not invested in supplying power, therefore, the Ministry of Water Resources in Iraq has declared that they are in the process of establishing additional dams to fill the shortage of electricity.

Water scarcity in Iraq
Turkey's start of filling Ilisu Dam reservoir prompted the Iraqi government to state that the dam would lead to water scarcity because it would reduce the flow in one of the two rivers (Tigris and Euphrates) on which the country depends for most of its water needs.

Earlier, the Iraqi government had said in a statement that Iraqi and Turkish officials discussed water resources of the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers in Baghdad to see how the interests of the two countries would be achieved.

Negotiations on Tigris Water
On the other hand, the construction of Ilisu Dam also has a geopolitical dimension, as it takes a part of sensitive negotiations between Turkey and Iraq over water of the Tigris River.

Earlier this year, the Turkish President Erdogan said that his country would start filling the dam reservoir in June, a year after holding water behind the dam for a period of time.

Turkey has stopped water retention at that time after Iraqi complaints of low water flows in mid-summer.