14-year-old Jordanian violinist with a big heart makes a difference

Three concerts have been organised under the Music for Charity initiative with more planned this year.
Sunday 11/03/2018
Fadi Kidess (R) and and his brother George at a concert in Amman.  (Roufan Nahhas)
The more the merrier. Fadi Kidess (R) and and his brother George at a concert in Amman. (Roufan Nahhas)

AMMAN - “The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” The saying by Mahatma Gandhi has inspired two Jordanian brothers to bring hope to underprivileged children through music and spread awareness about the role of music in the community.

“Music for Charity” is the idea of 14-year-old violinist, composer and pianist Fadi Kidess and his brother George, 18, who saw an opportunity to help others by sharing their music.

“I have this strong passion for music and at the same time bringing joy to others,” Fadi said. “In 2013, I saw, with my brother George, that we need to play and share the good vibes of music with others. We thought that is better than organising musical events and allocating their proceeds to helping underprivileged children.”

“It was a simple decision but realising it was not easy. However, to our surprise, we received all the support we needed and this encouraged us to plan bigger events,” added Fadi, who said he started to play violin at the age of 4.

Three concerts have been organised under the Music for Charity initiative with more planned this year.

“Proceeds from the first concert went to the Islamic Centre and the Jesus Heart Society. The second concert’s proceeds went to the Domestic Violence Department at the Social Development Ministry and the third to Al Rahmah Restaurant, which provides daily meals to the poor,” Fadi said.

“This year, we will volunteer and play music for patients of King Hussein Cancer Centre for a whole month and will visit the elderly homes on Mother’s Day (March 21) to play a couple of pieces.”

Fadi said he misses George, who is studying in the United States.

“We stay in touch on daily basis and continue to discuss how to make better music and expand. We have so many ideas to share,” he said.

Composing original music is another talent that Fadi developed through his passion and practice.

“I have composed three pieces and one song. ‘Oh Brother’ is dedicated to my brother George who has been my role model and guide. The song can relate to anyone who loves his brother and had to be separated from him,” he said.

Challenges are part of doing good things. For Fadi, the main one is to keep this initiative alive.

“That requires the involvement of other parties. As they say, the more the merrier and I like to see the society involved in such events because there are many people who need help,” he said.

Fadi’s friends and colleagues support him in organising concerts, which, he said “is part of sharing responsibility towards our society and mainly underprivileged children.”

Rana Rizqallah, the administrative manager at the National Music Conservatory (NMC), described Fadi as “a brilliant musician with a big heart.”

“He has the right talent and has always been an ‘A’ student at our conservatory. His initiative shows how big heart he has despite his young age. At the NMC we strongly support his initiative for free,” Rizqallah said.

“Mohammed Othman, our director, has been with Fadi for a long time as his teacher and mentor. He gave him a lot of support and even stood beside him in several concerts playing together. We hope to see more students doing the same thing under the name of charity.”

Fadi’s father, Ghassan, who played a key role in developing his son’s talents, said Fadi’s passion for music and the compassion of the two brothers made it happen.

“The making of a musician these days requires a lot of commitment and dedication. A huge challenge for the kids is to leave smartphone apps and PlayStation and dedicate time to music. If it wasn’t for passion, it would have never happened,” Ghassan Kidess said.

“Parents must support their children as much as they can. I hope there are more opportunities for the kids in Jordan such as music competitions, etc. Unfortunately, we don’t have a philharmonic orchestra and this was a big disappointment for Fadi. It’s all about support for music and musicians.”

Behind his big glasses, Fadi’s eyes shine when he speaks about his father who shouldered him all the way and taught him that the secret to feeling good is giving.

“I owe everything to my father who stood beside me even when I felt frustrated for not doing enough or not having enough courage to go on and play. His advice and logic made me continue working for this initiative because I believe that music is good for the soul and the body too,” he said.