Music from a rusty rababa becomes a lifeline for a father and son in Syria
War in the country has forced more than 12 million people out of their homes. Over half of them are still in Syria, including 84-year-old Abu Ali who lives in a cave and survives on donations he gets playing the string instrument.
Abu Ali is 84 and lives in a cave with his son Ali Ezzat in rural Hama in Syria.
They were forced to flee their village in northern Hama, one of the front lines between the Syrian regime and opposition fighters.
More than six years of war in Syria have left nearly 12 million people homeless.
Over half of them are still living in Syria. According to the UN, they represent the largest population of internally displaced people anywhere in the world.
Ezzat has been unable to find a job and has devoted his life to caring for his father.
The haunting sound of Abu Ali’s make-shift rababa, however, has drawn the attention of nearby villagers. The donations he gets for his music is what the father and son survive on.
“I took up this hobby 50 years ago. It’s the thing I am in love with,” Abu Ali said.