Songs for Kids is a project that looks to find ways for children to be offered joyful, nature-loving, non-patriarchal, imaginative, and evocative music that encourages them to be kind, curious, adventurous, and loving. Music and song are one way children learn, express emotions, hear and tell stories, and get to know their bodies, yet the Arab world has very limited offerings of musical production for children.

Jumana Emil Abboud, cover artwork for Affratta, coloured pencil on recycled paper, 2021. Graphic design by Joud Toamah.

In spring 2021, Mophradat invited children’s book writers Ahlam Bsharat, Hadil Ghoniem, and Yosra Sultan, along with musicians Aalam Wassef, Aya Metwalli, Huda Asfour, Maurice Louca, Rehab Hazgui, and Sam Shalabi to collaborate on producing an album of experimental and progressive songs for young children. The music is made for children around the ages of four to six, the moment where their acquisition and understanding of language as form and meaning starts to take shape. The process, which took the form of a series of online retreats, led to Mophradat Songs for Kids, Vol. 1: Affratta, an album of children’s music, which was released in January 2022. The album was mixed by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, and mastered by Katie Tavini, with original artwork by Jumana Emil Abboud and graphic design by Joud Toamah.  With special thanks to Maurice Louca for coordinating the music production and Simsara for their great promotion and outreach.

You can listen to the entire album here, featuring “Kalbi Balady” (My Baladi Dog), “Affratta” (Mischief), “Girani” (My Neighbors), “Beit Teta” (Grandma’s House), “Al-Tennin” (The Dragon), and “Shahrour” (Blackbird).

Songs for Kids is part of the project “Distinct Voices” which is partially funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, realized in cooperation with Allianz Kulturstiftung, and with additional support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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