Ayham Ahmad has played his music amid the rubble of his Syrian hometown and at a transit stop while traveling by foot across Europe. On Sunday, Syria's beloved piano man performed his songs in front of thousands of people in the historic Konigsplatz arena in Munich, Germany.
Ahmad was one of the acts at the Danke-Konzert, or "Thank You Concert," a free show featuring a string of German artists welcoming refugees and thanking volunteers involved in the refugee effort. It was organized by nonprofit Bellevue di Monaco, German indie rock band Sportfreunde Stiller and Munich's city government.
Ahmad has gone through an extraordinary journey. In April, his neighborhood of Yarmouk, a Palestinian camp outside Damascus, was attacked by Islamic State members. And when Ahmad tried to move his piano out of the camp, an Islamist fighter poured petroleum on it and set it on fire.
Ahmad left Syria in early September, crossing the Mediterranean Sea in a rubber dinghy and landing on the Greek island of Lesbos before walking across Europe. He finally arrived in Munich on Sept. 22.
On the Konigsplatz stage, Ahmad sang "Here Among The Nations Calling," a song he used to play with children in Yarmouk.
"The lyrics are about Yarmouk, and Syria in general," Ahmad told The WorldPost in Arabic via Facebook. "Syria, here among the nations calling, the camp is our home. The words are a call to the world for Syria, that Syria needs help. No one is helping Syria. Everyone is just making war in Syria."
"It felt great to be in front of [an audience of] 3,000 people and I felt that I was representing peace for my country -- Syria and Palestine," he wrote.
Kerstin Picht Shamberg, Charlotte Alfred and Rowaida Abdelaziz contributed to this report.
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