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A chance encounter between a British jazz folk singer-songwriter and one of Iraq’s most well known musicians has led to the formation of a unique new collaboration for helping children in war torn Iraq.

British Jazz folk singer Tanja Maritsa met world famous musician and Oud player Naseer Shamma, who is one of Iraq’s most revered musicians, in the old market district of Cairo, where Naseer currently heads the famous music school “Beit El Oud” (House of Oud).

Discovering a shared passion for music and humanitarian causes, they have decided to launch a unique initiative for Naseer’s charity Tareek Al Zahuur Community (TACZ), dedicated to helping children in Iraq.

Musicians and music fans in the UK and beyond are being encouraged to donate used or unwanted musical instruments to the charity which then will be given to children in Iraq, recovering from the ravages of conflict. A series of concerts are planned for in London and Egypt in 2011-2012, and a beautiful reworking of Sting's classic song ‘Fragile’ with Tanja and Naseer, is set to be available on iTunes, with all the proceeds raised, going to help traumatized children in the country.

“We’re encouraging people to dig out their musical instruments, they no longer need, to donate to the ‘Musical Healing for Children’ initiative. The instruments will be sent to many of the orphans that Naseer’s charity supports or sold to raise money for one of the great projects that the charity runs,” says Tanja Maritsa. “Music has a remarkable ability to help heal traumatized children and we’ve had a great response for our musical instruments drive, forthcoming concerts and musical download fund-raising.”

For more information about how to donate musical instruments to children in Iraq though the TACZ charity, contact

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