UNICEF Ambassador Zade Dirani launches world’s first music therapy programme for children in refugee camps

26 September 2018

AZRAQ REFUGEE CAMP, 26 September 2018: World-famous Jordanian pianist and UNICEF Regional Ambassador for Middle East and North Africa, Zade Dirani, launched today the world’s first music therapy programme specifically designed for children in a refugee camp at a UNICEF Makani centre in Azraq Refugee Camp.    

Musiqati, or ‘My Music’, was first conceptualized by Zade Dirani during a visit to Za’atari Refugee Camp in 2016 and has been designed by music therapy experts in consultation with children and adults living in Syrian refugee camps in Jordan.  

“I’m delighted to be here with the girls and boys in Azraq camp to launch the music therapy programme,” said UNICEF Ambassador Zade Dirani.  “Our goal is to provide a music therapy model that is both effective and sustainable and can reach thousands of Syrian children in Jordan with the healing power of music. We don’t want to stop here. This programme could help children all over the world who have been traumatized by conflict, loss and displacement.”

Musiqati was piloted for a year in Makani centres in Azraq camp, and the final evaluation indicated that 65 per cent of child participants displayed significant progress in terms of their participation, ability to wait and take turns, decision-making, working with others, and ability to express themselves confidently.  

“Evidence shows that music therapy is of great benefit to children in Makani centres. It is wonderful to see boys and girls laughing, playing music and just being children again,” said UNICEF Representative Robert Jenkins.  “We are very grateful to Zade Dirani for the passion and commitment he has shown to make Musiqati a reality for thousands of vulnerable children.”

Media Contacts

Claire McKeever
Communications Specialist


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.

Follow UNICEF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram