Saturday, July 7, 2012

Guitars Not Guns -The Cultural Thing-

Over two years ago I came about blogging as a result of being the Tyne and Wear round up spokesperson on  The Cultural Thing.
Gari Sullivan the head honcho on that site always told me I would go far, well I have been as far as Alnwick.. haha so thank you Gari.
Gari is passionate about the Middle East, the fighting, the people and the culture, he has written blogs and lots of emails with enough passion to put that Shakespeare bloke out of business.
I have cut copied and pasted below (sue me) a post on the the recent page of TCT of Gari's latest project.
If you feel as passionate about the Middle East as Gari does, then chuck him a few coins, notes would be good, maybe drop him an email, with your support.
Or if you fancy the challenge of a lifetime and you are a  musician and you fancy adding to the project then I am sure Gari would love to have you on board.
Please give Gari my regards


Guitars Not Guns

The Cultural Thing, in co-operation with its parent organisation – NoozDesk -  is organising a tour of Syria with an unsigned music band from Australia and one from the UK, to take place in the summer 2013.
The aim of the tour is to promote a better understanding of events in Syria and to unite young people from the West and Syria. We are calling the tour ‘Guitars Not Guns’.  There have been too many young people from the West going to Middle East countries with guns – we want to change that!

Gari Sullivan, who founded The Cultural Thing, lived in Syria in 2007 and has returned there on a regular basis. If you are interested, you can read a detailed account of his trips to the country from his Insight Into Syria page. There is also a Facebook page where you can connect and chat directly with Syrians
Young Syrians love ‘Western’ music. They are aware of all the bands familiar to people in the West. This tour is a wonderful opportunity to bring music lovers from two opposing sides of the world to make friends and gain better understanding of each others culture and political situations. People coming together without the interferences of governments.
More Than Just The Gigs
As well as performing at least three gigs in major Syrian cities during the 10-day tour, the bands will:
  • Have the opportunity to be interviewed on Syrian TV and Radio.
  • Be part of a video documentary of the tour.
  • Make a promo video
  • Network with Syrian musicians and event organisers
  • Have their website translated into Arabic – subject to type of website.
The tour will have a Syrian technical and translation crew supporting the bands every step on the way. They will also have the support of youth and other organsations in Syria.
Who benefits?
Young Syrians – They get to widen their knowledge of world music, make contacts with young people in the West, promote peace and understanding.
Young British and Australians – They get to widen their understanding of events in Syria and the rest of the Middle East, make contacts with young people in Syria, promote peace and understanding.
The Bands – They get to promote their musical talents to a much wider audience, make important international contacts and develop their world music understanding
We need to raise only £9,000 that just $13,650AUD  for the ten-day tour. You can help by donating even a small amount to the ‘Guitar Not Guns’ tour fund. Simply click on the ‘Guitar Not Guns’ paypal donate button on the right hand side of this page.
Please note: Due to Western government sanctions, Syrians are not allowed to use PayPal

In a band and interested?
Any UK or Australian band seriously interested in doing the tour should discuss it as a group and then contact The Cultural Thing to be included in future discussions and project updates. You will be expected to fund-raise for the tour.
Please note: There is not as much violence in Syria as the Western media would have people believe. There are just no-go parts of the cities.  All involved in the tour will have the protection and support of Syrians who have local knowledge and speak fluent English and Arabic.


Michael Hunter

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