By Daoud Kuttab
Zia Rami Halaseh says that her invitation to sing the Jordanian national anthem at the US Independence Day celebration is a reflection of her love of her country. “For me personally I am very attached to my homeland. We learned the national anthem from our childhood but for me, it is more than an anthem it is a sign of our love for His Majesty King Abdullah II and our love and respect for our country,” she told Milhalard
Zia says that her parents were the first to discover her talents at a very young age. “I was about three when my parents discovered my talent and when I went to the Baptist School, I joined the choir from the first grades till graduation,” Zia says that there was opposition in the school initially because of my young age but when the teacher in charge, Ms. Grace Qarmout heard my voice she agreed that I join. I continued singing with the high school under the direction of the music director Samer Batarseh.
Zia also has been active outside the school. She joined the young choir of the Alhan al Raja church group and has been singing at church and other family events without stop.
As to how she was chosen to sing at the US Independence Day event she said that the public diplomacy officer at the embassy Nina Augustine heard her singing during the Easter events at the Nazarene Church in Suwefieh and asked her if she would like to sing the Jordanian national anthem at the embassy event.
When asked why she sang the anthem without any musical support she had a clear answer. “The idea was that we should give the royal anthem its due by letting people focus on the words and not be distracted by the music. This was also the reason why the US anthem was also sung acapella.
The gentle but strong voice of Zia won her applause and an offer from a leading organization in Jordan to join them, she said.
The young eighteen-year-old Jordanian says she sings without notes and loves to play the drums but that she also has academic interests. “I received 91.7% in my high school equivalent, and I have decided to go to the German-Jordanian university to study administration.” Zia hopes to work in project management with an international development agency, especially in humanitarian areas, human rights, and the UN’s sustainable development goals.
Asked if she would like to compete in the many Arab and international music contests Zia said she has no present plans to go full-time in music. “This would require time and a trainer and dedication of all my energies. I might think of that in the future but for now, I will continue to develop my skills in the service of the Lord and humanity but I have no plans to live on that as my source of income.
Zia said that the fact that her mother Yara Qusous who is the principal at the Baptist School didn’t make any difference nor did it give me advantages. “It made no difference because in our family my siblings and I are taught not to expect any special treatment at school. On the contrary, I had the feeling of responsibility and was careful in my actions so that I can be a good role model for others.
The young singer has a 14-year-old sister Rena and a 12-year-old brother Aoun. Her mother is the principal of the Baptist school in the Rabiyeh neighborhood of Amman and her father Rami is a volunteer in Christian service and has started his own project in media communications and cultural exchange.
تكافح مجلة “ملح الأرض” من أجل الاستمرار في نشر تقارير تعرض أحوال المسيحيين العرب في الأردن وفلسطين ومناطق الجليل، ونحرص على تقديم مواضيع تزوّد قراءنا بمعلومات مفيدة لهم ، بالاعتماد على مصادر موثوقة، كما تركّز معظم اهتمامها على البحث عن التحديات التي تواجه المكون المسيحي في بلادنا، لنبقى كما نحن دائماً صوت مسيحي وطني حر يحترم رجال الدين وكنائسنا ولكن يرفض احتكار الحقيقة ويبحث عنها تماشيًا مع قول السيد المسيح و تعرفون الحق والحق يحرركم
من مبادئنا حرية التعبير للعلمانيين بصورة تكميلية لرأي الإكليروس الذي نحترمه. كما نؤيد بدون خجل الدعوة الكتابية للمساواة في أمور هامة مثل الإرث للمسيحيين وأهمية التوعية وتقديم النصح للمقبلين على الزواج وندعم العمل الاجتماعي ونشطاء المجتمع المدني المسيحيين و نحاول أن نسلط الضوء على قصص النجاح غير ناسيين من هم بحاجة للمساعدة الإنسانية والصحية والنفسية وغيرها.
والسبيل الوحيد للخروج من هذا الوضع هو بالتواصل والنقاش الحر، حول هويّاتنا وحول التغييرات التي نريدها في مجتمعاتنا، من أجل أن نفهم بشكل أفضل القوى التي تؤثّر في مجتمعاتنا،.
تستمر ملح الأرض في تشكيل مساحة افتراضية تُطرح فيها الأفكار بحرّية لتشكل ملاذاً مؤقتاً لنا بينما تبقى المساحات الحقيقية في ساحاتنا وشوارعنا بعيدة المنال.
كل مساهماتكم تُدفع لكتّابنا، وهم شباب وشابات يتحدّون المخاطر ليرووا قصصنا.