Known in Arabic as Joqat al-Farah, the Choir of Joy was founded in 1977 by Father Elias Zehlawi in the Our Lady of Damascus church in Damascus, Syria. The choir at that time included 55 children, boys and girls, representing all Christian denominations. Today, there are more than 100 members of the choir and all are unpaid volunteers.
The Choir of Joy includes five sections. The first (preparatory) choir includes children in second, third, and fourth grades. The second choir includes children from fifth grade through middle school. The third choir includes high school students. The fourth choir includes university students. The fifth choir includes recent college graduates as well as older men and women.