With her lovely and soft voice filling the stage, Jestilia Hallak has carried a message of peace from Syria’s children to the world as to stress that the sound of joy and the melody of life are louder than the noise of war and destruction.
Hallak was the guest of honor at the closing ceremony of the 61th edition of “Zecchino d’Oro” Festival for children’s songs, broadcasted by the Italian Rai 1 TV channel.
The little girl gave a glamorous performance as she sang “La terraluna” song in Arabic and Italian languages. It is the same song performed by singer Hala al-Sabbagh when she was 10 and took part in the 41th edition of this contest 20 years ago. “La terraluna” lyrics are written by the poet Issa Ayoub and composed by the musician Suhil Arafa.
“Hallak has been selected to participate in this festival because of her beautiful voice and dynamic stage presence,” Roula Mustarih, the Choir’s director who accompanied the girl during her journey, told SANA Cultural Bulletin.
Mustarih added that Hallak delivered a message on behalf of Syria’s children in which she called for halting wars and achieving peace in the world and that all children have the right to live in safety and peace.
Jestilia Hallak was born in Aleppo, 2008. She trained as a singer at the Choir of the Latin church of Aleppo. Now, she is continuing her study of piano. She has been selected by Institute of Antoniano, the organizer of the festival, as part of its support to “Khabar” initiative launched by Franciscan fathers in Aleppo to provide assistance to needy people.
“Zecchino d’Oro” Festival is one of the most prominent contests for children’s songs. This year’s edition is led by Francesca Fialdini along with the Italian comedy duo Gigi & Ross. The jury includes the TV program technical director, Carlo Conti, singer Cristina d’Avena and actress Micaela Ramazzotti. 12 songs competed to be voted by the Italian audience and a special jury of children from Aleppo.