In an attempt to offer a positive answer to the ongoing flow of refugees from the Middle East, Muziekpublique came up with the Refugees For Refugees project and bringing together twenty musicians who fled from countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tibet. The band consists both of classically trained musicians schooled at renowned conservatories in Damascus, Baghdad and Aleppo, as well as virtuoso folk musicians from musical centers along the former Silk Road. The title of the album refers to the Iraqi town of Amerli, situated northeast of Baghdad and until the invasion of Islamic State, home to Hussein Rassim, a skilled oud player who in 2015 decided to flee to Europe and finally ended up in Brussels. However, Hussein was determined to continue his musical activities, and now sees that dream realized in the Refugees For Refugees project. Most of the other tracks on 'Amerli' are full of nostalgia and melancholy for the homeland that the various band members, for diverse reasons, had to leave behind. Tibetan singer Aren Dolma and dramyen player Kelsang Hula, for example, sing of the beauty of the Himalayas in opener 'Chomolungma', qanun player Ali Shaker Hassan Al-Bayati pays homage to Iraq's long and grand history with 'Babylon', and dombura player Aman Yusufi's 'Nowruz' is about the traditional and pre-Islamic New Year's celebrations in Afghanistan, a tradition the Taliban consider pagan and haram. In the instrumental 'The Second Day Of Spring', ney player Tammam Ramadan mourns the victims of the terrorist attacks of March 22nd 2016 in Brussels: "We have left our homeland to live in peace far from bombs and war. Our hearts grieve for Brussels, just as they bleed when we think of all the loved ones who stayed behind in our country". But 'Amerli' is also a positive sign of intercultural cooperation between people who have often suffered great ordeals and, through their music, are trying to prove their worth in a new country. Moreover, part of the proceeds from the sale of the album goes to two charities: Globe Aroma, an artistic sanctuary focusing on dialogue, collaboration, networking, creation and experience, and Synergy 14, an organization providing administrative, educational and psychosocial support to underage refugees for whom traditional care institutions prove insufficient. A beautiful album in all senses of the word!