When the Composition Workshop to Iraq had to be cancelled, we were greatly saddened, but from the ashes an idea arose. Jeanne van Dijk suggested we purchase copies of Elaine Gould’s Composition Book Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation suggested by Davo van Peursen, Director of DONEMUS Publishing Stichting, NL and send them to the eight young composers who submitted their works and were chosen to participate in the Composition workshop in Sulaymaniah, Iraq.
In the Fall of 2015, the books were taken from the UK to Cologne, Germany where Jeanne van Dijk and Sharon Brassey-Brierley met with Hellgurd Ahmed. Hellgurd was delighted that in all the chaos, we had remembered the participants. Jeanne and I were deeply touched when Hellgurd quietly observed, “Young people in Iraq do not expect to be remembered by such kindness.” He continued, “So often promises are made and for some reason broken. Then, they never hear any more about their dreams.” We finished packaging the books and sent them to Sulaymaniah by overnight airmail with the kind help of Rosa Travel a Kurdish travel and postal service in Cologne. The books were retrieved and dispatched by Hellgurd’s brother, another member of the NYOIraq.