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Young Ethiopian Israeli receives piano from former prime minister Ehud Barak

Ten-year-old Oshri Bitau from Nazareth Illit was discovered to have exceptional piano playing abilities by his piano teacher, but his family could not afford an instrument of their own.

Oshri Bitau with his mother and their new piano. Photo: Hadashot news.
Oshri Bitau with his mother and their new piano. Photo: Hadashot news.

A young Ethiopian-Israeli boy whose rare musical talent got him featured on Israeli news was gifted his very own piano by a former Israeli prime minister.

Ten-year-old Oshri Bitau from Nazareth Illit was discovered to have exceptional piano playing abilities by his piano teacher, but his family could not afford an instrument of their own. Oshri would practice on an old piano at his elementary school at the end of the school day.

So when Hadashot television news produced a story about the boy, who has played for audiences at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque and other public venues, the network reported that the news desk was flooded with calls from well-wishers who wanted to help him buy a piano.

But when Hadashot made contact with Oshri’s mother, Alam, they discovered that former Israeli prime minister and lifelong amateur pianist Ehud Barak had already reached her and made arrangements for a new Yamaha piano to be delivered to the Bitau home.

Oshri was quoted in Ynet as saying that the gift of the piano gave him “a feeling I never felt before, that a past prime minister brings you a piano. I don’t ever want to leave this piano. This dream came true. Now I keep going. It’s just the beginning.”

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