NANO RAIES, SYRIA
"Music has always been a deep-rooted passion that I never dared to touch upon until the war in Syria taught me that life is worth living. My passion for music became the most precious and empowering aspect of my life. I still remember how I always spent my time dreaming of singing while commuting by bus between Aleppo, where I studied architecture, and Homs my hometown."
"Homs is a small town where various kinds of boundaries are placed on female potential and creativity. Growing up there, I wasn't allowed to think of music as a future career. The influence of family, society and culture forced me to take music as a hobby, and as such, I was forced into choosing a different path. When the war broke out, I witnessed my family lose everything, and friends and people dying. At that moment I understood that my dream of having a career in music was the only thing worth living for and the only thing that no one could take away from me, and achieving it became my first priority."
"In the mist of the ongoing devastating civil war in Syria, I kept a promise I made to myself, which was to not stop taking singing classes under any circumstance. During the war, every Wednesday, I would travel from Homs my home town to Damascus the capital, through war zones, just to take an hour private singing class."
"I fought my way and made it to Berklee College of Music, the first step in my dream. I want to be an example for those who have been through war and strife to believe that nothing is impossible."