Ramzi, as an eight-year-old Palestinian refugee, threw stones at Israeli soldiers. A photographer caught the 1988 incident, and Ramzi became famous. Seven years later, he picked up a viola, suggested for his large hands. Over time, Ramzi used his fame as a form of resistance to occupation - by creating a successful dream of music education for the dispossessed children in refugee camps.
Children of the Stone is the unlikely story of Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan, a boy from a Palestinian refugee camp in Ramallah who confronts the occupying army, gets an education, masters an instrument, dreams of something much bigger than himself, and then inspires scores of others to work with him to make that dream a reality. That dream is of a music school in the midst of a refugee camp in Ramallah, a school that will transform the lives of thousands of children through music. Daniel Barenboim, the Israeli musician and music director of La Scala in Milan and the Berlin Opera, is among those who help Ramzi realize his dream. He has played with Ramzi frequently, at chamber music concerts in Al-Kamandjati, the school Ramzi worked so hard to build, and in the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra that Barenboim founded with the late Palestinian intellectual, Edward Said. Children of the Stone is a story about music, freedom and conflict; determination and vision. It's a vivid portrait of life amid checkpoints and military occupation, a growing movement of nonviolent resistance, the past and future of musical collaboration across the Israeli-Palestinian divide, and the potential of music to help children see new possibilities for their lives. Above all, Children of the Stone chronicles the journey of Ramzi Aburedwan, and how he worked against the odds to create something lasting and beautiful in a war-torn land.