The place where the Christian band Melody now meets to sing was once used as a shooting range by ISIS radicals.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, you hear in a church square. However, this was not always like that.
In 2014, the hope of Christians living in Qaraqosh was reduced to ashes when ISIS took over the region.
At that time, many believers had to leave their homes behind, not knowing what the future would bring.
The music group Melody, founded by Sam, Farid and Fady, started in those difficult times, when the three young people were still living as displaced refugees in Erbil.
Sam, the leader of the band, recalls that they “started getting together and playing” . Music became food for the soul, giving them a sense of life once again.
In 2017, ISIS was finally defeated and they were able to return home to Qaraqosh. Right after that, Melody recruited some female singers to expand the group.
Ironically, the place where they now meet to sing is the square of one of the most important churches in the region, which was once used as a shooting range by ISIS radicals.
This evokes the verse from Isaiah 58:12: “Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations;you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwelling”.
Melody had once the chance to perform in Mosul, the city from which ISIS proclaimed the Caliphate.
Hardly any Christians returned to Mosul after its liberation, so they sang for a largely Muslim audience.
“When we perform for an audience like that, we try to rearrange the program, but through our work and our style we show our faith”, points out Sam.
Hiba, one of the new members of the band, stresses that: "God has given us this gift. We should take advantage of our talent and use what God has given us”.
For her, it is important to recognise that what happens in life has a purpose and that God can use everything for the good of those who love Him.
“My dream is to continue working together, preparing shows that touch people and bringing the Word to more people through our music”, adds Sam.