December stories of intercultural journeys

28 December 2009


"As long as human hearts can connect and love,

especially during such times as these,

there is hope."

            -- Naba Saleem Hamid

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     Some Arab and Jewish musicians determinedly share INTERCULTURAL JOURNEYS -- .
     Musicians seeks to promote understanding among people of diverse cultures through dialogue and the presentation of world-class performances in music, poetry and other art forms.
     Jewish-Israeli Udi Bar-David ( ) is a cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
     Palestinian-Israeli Hanna Khoury ( ) is a violinist and leader of the Arabesque Music Ensemble.
     The two Israeli-born musicians - presently U.S. residents - recently joined forces for a series of December concerts in Israel-Palestine as part of "Concerts for Life and Peace" performed in Bethlehem, and Jerusalem, as well as Greccio, Italy.

     Khoury and Bar David performed a medley of Arab and Jewish music to a highly appreciative Christmas Concert audience at the Pluralistic Spiritual Centre of Wahat al-Salam - Neve Shalom -- -- the bi-national model village in Israel were Muslim, Christian, and Jewish families live and learn together.
     PHOTOS are at
     SEE VIDEO and READ more:


Jews and Arabs on an intercultural journey  

Israel 21c - December 20, 2009

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     Muslim Gazan Maha Mehanna ( ) and Jewish Israeli Deb Reich ( ) refuse to be enemies.
     More, they insist on holding onto each others hands across borders even in the face of war.
     This December, 2009, PEACE X PEACE: Connecting Women for Peace updates us about the story of this determined friendship of Maha and Deb.


Mutual Sharing: This Is What Women Do

from Deb Reich, Israel

December 15th, 2009 - PeaceXPeace Voices from the Frontline4s


     Almost a year ago Maha and Deb were first interviewed for "The Story" of NPR.
     HEAR their voices and SEE photos:


Friendship Without Borders

Tuesday, January 13, 2009 - The Story from American Public Media

by North Carolina PUblic Radio - WUNC-FM


     Concludes Deb Reich:
      "Our mutual sharing keeps us both human.
     "This is what women do."

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     Muslims and Jews commonly are rather freed up on Christmas Day.
     Many Jews consider the day an opportunity to serve their community while Christian neighbors celebrate their holiday.
     This year, what's also known as Mitzvah Day in southeast Michigan got a historic, added boost from Muslims.
     For the first time, over 100 Muslim youth and adults joined 900 Jews for their largest annual day of volunteering.
     Leaders say it's a small but significant step in defusing tensions and promoting good will between the religions -- particularly on a day that is sacred to Christianity, the third Abrahamic faith.
     Mitzvah Day, a nearly 20-year tradition in the Detroit area also practiced in other communities, is so named because Mitzvah means ''commandment'' in Hebrew and is generally translated as a good deed.
     The new partnership stemmed from a recent meeting between members of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan, the Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit -- which said it was unaware of any similar Mitzvah Day alliances.
     "The bottom line is we really want to do it together," said Victor Begg ( ), chairman of the Islamic council, seeking a public way for the two faith communities to "build bridges of understanding and cooperation."
     READ MORE at:


Michigan Muslims Join Jews for Christmas Day Mitzvah

New York Times - December 24, 2009

"As long as human hearts can connect and love,

especially during such times as these,

there is hope."

-- Naba Saleem Hamid