SAMAR is born !

14/6/2016 The Hague / Netherlands .

I came to the Netherlands with two dreams , The first is to form a music group and the other is to create a music institute as i used to have back in Syria , but i lost them during the war .

I'm here for less than two years and the first dream is coming true .

I started to form the group after I met with the Percussion player ' Karim Darwish ' and loved playing music together , so after a while we met with the Contrabass player ' Martijn Willemsen ' to form a musical trio and play music together , then an extra charm was added to the group by joining the piano player and the singer ' Stephanie Ruijsenaars '

With a lot of passion and love playing music together , the family of Samar is created !

You can listen and watch the two recordings please click on the ( Layla ) and ( Enta Omri )

If you like our music please like and share , and let the world listen to our sound

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For booking and more information :

Eerst was er Thuis / First there was Home

The Netherlands / Delft Fringe /  Theater-festival.
In 9 and 12 June / 2016
Locations :
Prinsenkwartier :
 9  June at 20:30 and at 22:30
12 June at 13:30 and at 15:30
Eerst was er Thuis / First there was Home

This poetic music performance takes you through a varied landscape full of memories of a lost home: this home where you fled from because it was dangerous, or this safe place where you stayed your whole life, but where you can’t find yourself anymore.

The music performance Eerst was er Thuis is a collaboration between singer-songwriter Stefka and the Palestinian ud-player Amer Shanati (refugee from Syria), Robbert Verweij on trumpet, and Christian ten Hoope on bass.
Four musicians are searching for a lost home. That homeland in your memory that once existed, or hasn’t existed at all. That homeland you’ve left because it was too dangerous to stay there. This safe place where you’ve stayed all your life, meanwhile the world around you changed, with the result that you didn’t recognize ‘home’ anymore, you couldn’t find yourself in it anymore.

In Eerst was er Thuis the musicians will take the audience through a varied landscape, consisting of new music, arrangements of old folk-melodies or songs that are based in our collective memory, presented in a different, sometimes unexpected context. In between you hear fragments of text and poems .

Amer Shanati: Ud, vocals
Stephanie Ruijsenaars (Stefka): Vocals, piano
Robbert Verweij: Trumpet, bugel
Christian ten Hoope: Bass

For more info please click here !! 
We hope to see you there !!

First year in the Netherlands

From: 28/7/2014 to: 28/7/2015 

I arrived in the Netherlands all alone and I did not know anyone or anybody. I was without friends and without family, I was alone with my best friend the lute (‘Oud’).
The first year ended with wonderful friends in the Netherlands.

I don’t want to write about the difficulties I faced, I was able to get rid of it. I will write only about the positive things during this year, travelling/wandering/living/bringing me/ all over Netherlands, from north to south.

I spent nine months living in five camps and after this luckily I got my residence permit to stay for 5 years in Netherlands and I found myself a house and a new home in the Hague. 

The year started with playing at the opening exhibition in a gallery for painter Jan Pekelder in Groningen and the year ended with playing in Immelo Park Festival in Arnhem.

But during this year there were many other fantastic things happening to me:

* Playing with the NBE Orchestra (Nederlands Blazers Ensemble) in Het Conertgebouw in Amsterdam, which was broadcasted on Dutch TV on Newyearseve.

* Playing at the program OBA Live, a life radio show from the Public Library in Amsterdam.

* Playing at Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsfestival) in the Hague.

* Playing at the opening in a gallery with painter Orland Willems in Nijmegen.

* Playing at the open day in the camp in Eindhoven.

* Playing for children with Ghazal Club in the Hague.

* Participate in many musical activities for children of war children who suffered from war with Stichting De Vrolijkeid in Arnhem, Overberg, Wageningen and Katwijk.

* Playing with the Iraqi poet Mahmoud Alnajar in De Nieuwe Regentes in the Hague.

* Playing at the open day in Onnen.

* I have recorded the song ‘Speeltuin’ by Marco Borsato, together with the Belgian musician Enja Legrand.

* I have recorded a song: Its name is (As if death were my amusement), composed by me and the lyrics of Mahmoud Darwish poet and singing of my student Shaimaa with Wndering Songs institution in the Hague.

* And I will not stop studying, so I have registered in Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.

* At the moment I am volunteer as a music teacher of children who suffered from war with Stichting De Vrolijkheid in Katwijk.

Around this year: Four newspapers and ten websites have written about what I did with my music in Netherlands and about my activities.

At the end I want to thank Allah and my family and everyone of my wonderful friends in Netherlands, Palestine, Syria, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Puerto Rica, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates who helped me. 

Now my second year in Netherland is to start!

The journey of twenty seven

My name is Amer Shanati, I’m Palestinian and have been living as a refugee in Syria for 27 years. Now I live in The Hague.

I studied at the music institute where I graduated in 2008 with honors, in the same year I opened a music school in Homs for about 100 students of different ages.

In the beginning of 2009, I created my first band in which twenty of my students played.

In 2010 I also established a mixed male and female band, then these two bands gave a lot of music performances in Syria. 

During that period, I authored the Eastern Musical Theories book, the Reading Musical Notes book which will be translated into English, and a series of seven books about music and Arabic songs.

Starting with composing music : I composed many musical pieces and wrote music to some of poems of Mahmoud Darwish.

The war began: The school closed its doors and the members of my two bands were separated.

During the war I worked as a volunteer for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees which is known as UNRWA. I helped children who are suffering from war, there were about 70 to 100 students. I trained them to sing and to play music until they reached a very high musical level.  With about 25 of them, I formed a new music band.

We performed at many parties during the war till 2014, when the second journey of migration to the Netherlands started.