American Jewish journalist, documentary and radio producer, professor Sandy Tolan (USC) is author of 2015 book, Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land. It’s the story of a 8-year-old Palestinian boy from a refugee camp named Ramzi Hussein who used to throw stones toward Jewish soldiers occupying his ancestral land – but then grew up as a musician and founder of a music school, Al-Kamandjati, in Ramallah, the West Bank.
The book is about the story of a Palestinian boy – but the book has a picture of a beautiful Palestinian girl on the cover of the book – thanks to its publisher, UK-based Bloomsbury headed by Sir Anthony Salz Rothschild.
Ramzi was raised by his grandparents after his mother left her abusive husband. He had a passion for music as a child. He kept practicing it at the Al-Amari refugee camp elementary school while determined to keep resistancing the Jewish terrorist gangs who stole his grandparents’ home and farmland in Na’ami village near Tel Aviv in 1948. Ramzi’s grandparents along with other 750,000 Native Palestinian Muslims and Christians were trucked to intern camps set up by Jewish armed militias to clear land for foreign Jewish settlers. The family fled to Ramallah, where Red Cross helped to set-up a refugee camp. Since the Israel’s 1967 occupation, however, most of these refugees grew up knowing only apartheid; night raids, armed checkpoints, separate Jewish and Palestinian roads, murdered relatives (Ramzi’s brother), tear gas, curfew, etc.
Tolan tries to convince his readers through the stories of people like Ramzi, that in spite of the racist and barbaric Israeli occupation, Palestinians has no other choice but to accept this reality – as an armed resistance to it would make life worse for Palestinians.
Ramzi has been invited to West East Divan Orchestra, by eminent Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim, who co-founded it with famed Orientalist Dr. Edward Said. Watch a video below.