Model Role Details

Wasif Jawhariyyeh

Wasif Jawhariyyeh

Sector : Cultural Figures , Singers / Musicians

Personal Info

  • Country of residence : Palestine
  • Gender : Male
  • Born in : 1897
  • Age : 119
  • Curriculum vitae :


Wasif Jawhariyyeh (14 January 1897–1972) was a citizen of Jerusalem and a well known composer, oud player, poet and chronicler. He is noted for his memoirs, The Diaries of Wasif Jawhariyyeh, that spans over six decades from 1904 to 1968, covering Jerusalem's turbulent modern history, including four regimes and five wars. Wasif Jawhariyyeh was born to Jiryis and Hilana Barakat on 14 January 1897 in Jerusalem. The Jawhariyyeh's practised Eastern Orthodox Christianity. His father was an active member of their community, as a member of Jerusalem's municipal council and served for a time as tax assessor. He would later pursue a career in business practicing various trades as a silk farmer, cafe properietor, skilled icon maker. He also was an amateur musician.

Wasif's education provides an example of the cultural diversity of Jerusalem. The writings of Wasif reflected, "...a substantial degree of formal schooling... His polished language, rich poetic imagination."  Among the schools and subjects he studied were:
I. The Dabbagha School (governed by the Lutheran Church) until 1909 and his studies included: basic Arab grammar, dictation, reading and arithmetic.
II. The Dusturiya Nation School - a progressive institution directed by Khalil al-Sakakini. Here he was introduced to the subjects of physical education, English, French, Turkish. As well as Qu'ranic studies, which he later accredits to his, "...mastery of Arabic music and singing." 
III. The al-Mutran School, where he was encouraged by his benefactor Husseini to study English.

Wasif's music career was influenced from the young age of nine. He was tutored by various musicians of Jerusalem. Wasif's music career exposed him various cultures of the region and well as the West. Most important is the relationships formed with fellow musicians traveling from Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Turkey and Russia. He played with and for Christians, Muslims and Jews. The collaboration of artists transcended the ethnic and sectarian identities.
Wasif's education and musical career were marked by the growing influence of the culture of al-nahda.


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