“Country for Syria” was established in Istanbul in the year 2015 by Bashar Bela from Lattakia and his American colleague Harris. The band includes rising artists from Czech, France, Spain, Turkey, as well as two others from Syria. The country music is a cultural type mainly popularised in the American Civil War. According to the Syrian reality today, Bela has decided to integrate the country music with a classical oriental flavour to spread joy and warmth in a time of war, and to provide assistance to refugee families from the returns of the concerts the band holds with the assistance from relevant organisations, where they provided financial assistance to more than 60 families since the beginning of their journey.
Bela faced many difficulties since coming to Istanbul in late 2014, as he began performing in a café given his musical background and ability to play more than one musical instrument. Nonetheless, it did not last for as he felt insecure and mistreated by the demanding and controlling character of the owner. As such, he tried to leave towards Greece through the Mediterranean, yet it was a rather painful experience from which he suffered and lost hope in idea of leaving to Europe altogether. Bela then returned to his guitar in Istanbul playing on its streets until he met Harris, who quickly clicked with him, and their melodies merged also to express the images of migration, loneliness, longing, love and faith. Despite the different political views of the members of the band and their religions, what brings them together is their commitment to support the refugees whomever they are, and to play melodies in English and Arabic of a special mix that bonds with their diverse audiences.
Bashar Bela and the members of the Country for Syria aspire to reach everyone sharing their interests to help and promote the cause of refugees and spread love and harmony in a reality of violence. After touring the United States, the team works to produce their own album with the help of their fans, and are working to expand cooperation with charities in Turkey to secure basic supplies and donations to needy families.