Music humanizes and connects youth

in Middle East, worldwide

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


"Music will save the world."

            -- Pablo Casals

"I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an

unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen."

            -- Frank Lloyd Wright

Across the Middle East
West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

     The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra -- -- annually since 1999 selects 90 gifted youth musicians from the Middle East, including Israelis and Palestinians, to train and tour together in concert each summer.
    After 11 years, it is a premier example of excellence in music and relationship building.
     It is the shared, fulfilled dream -- and unremitting devotion -- of Jewish conductor Daniel Barenboim and deceased Palestinian scholar, Edward Said.


Peace by Example: Palestinian Israeli Musical Mix

Reuters News 2009 - 2 min video

Palestinian-Israeli orchestra marks 10th anniversary

Al Jazeera News 2009 - 6 min video

Daniel Barenboim West-Eastern Divan Orchestra:

Barenboims Mission for Peace

Spiegel TV News 2009 (4 min)

Daniel Barenboim And The West-Eastern Divan In Palestine

Barenboim expresses vision

Video - 1 min.

In Venezuela
El Sistema: Changing Lives Through Music

     Venezuela is a good starting-point for people to begin moderating dark stereotypes painted by traditional news media preoccupied with political personalities.    
     Venezuela is the home of a music program for children, Youth Orchestra Salinas (YOSAL) --
     This El Sistema-inspired music program is so extraordinary it has been hailed as the future of classical music itself.
     More information is available from Jenean Watrous at .


El Sistema: Changing Lives Through Music

Venezuela's Groundbreaking Musical Education Program

60 Minutes

READ story:

WATCH video;photovideo

In Palestine
Ramzi's Story:
Laying Down Stones,
Picking Up Instruments

     With tears in his eyes, 8-year-old Ramzi Hussein Aburedwan was photographed in the West Bank hurling a rock at an Israeli tank.
     Young Ramzi symbolized the rage and frustration of the intifada and Palestinian people.
     More than 20 years later, that boy has grown up to become a philanthropic musician.
     Aburedwan is now a respected violist and the founder of music schools for youth in Palestinian towns and refugee camps.
     "Through music, you can make from negative energy, positive energy," Aburedwan says, "and that's what I do."


Ramzi's Story: Laying Down Stones, Picking Up Instruments

by Sandy Tolan

READ the NPR Story -- 10 July 2010

LISTEN to audio:

In Israel
The Arab-Jewish Ensemble

     Shesh-Besh: The Arab-Jewish Ensemble of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) -- -- is Arab and Jewish musicians modeling mutual respect, something that largely escapes those largely-disengaged communities in the Holy Land.
     On stage and in Israeli classrooms, Shesh-Besh demonstrates communication and cooperationm, while performing and teaching classical music of the West and the East.
    They frequently incorporate vocalists in Hebrew and Arabic, in addition to languages of the standard opera repertoire.



Elementary schools   

High schools

In Vienna
The Muslim-Jewish Conference

     August 1-8, 2010, the first Muslim-Jewish Conference j(MJC) -- -- convened in Vienna, Austria 60 students from all over the world.
     They, too, showed how music closes distances, while including discussion committees, guest speakers, open dialogue panels, and social events.

     The idea was birthed in Vienna from two Austrian students, Ilja Sichrovsky ( ) and Matthias Gattermeier, driven by their experiences at international student conferences and desire to create cultural awareness between young aspiring Jewish and Muslim academics.
     They saw that most Jewish and Muslim youth have not had constructive contact with each other.
     Opinions regarding one another are mainly based on stereotypes and prejudices dispersed both by their media and society.
     Motivation and skills lack for recognizing and understanding the wishes, fears, problems, and hopes of other communities.

     The two, young social entrepreneurs realized that young individuals worldwide hunger for multi-cultural and multi-religious dialogue.
     Participants went beyond the borders of dogmas to enter a phase where Muslims and Jews can see each other again as friends and allies who can together face the challenges that lie ahead.
     Their collective faith has no name, but is the faith in the possibility of a peaceful coexistence.
     In Vienna, they successfully addressed the lack communication, and contributed to a long term, new era of cooperation.

     Today, the MJC committee includes over 20 volunteers from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and America.
     Their homepage describes the conference:


"Our first step together creating the power to forge a link between possibility and reality.

Because the pronunciation of our names is no barrier for friendships."


     VIEW Austrian TV News Reports


The Muslim-Jewish Conference (MJC)

August 1-6, 2010

Institute of International Development

University of Vienna, Austria.

Video #1 (2 min)!/video/video.php?v=10150236164535341

Video #2 (2-1/2 min)!/video/video.php?v=10150237800080341

Photos by Muslim-Jewish Conference participant, Eyal Raviv

His personal MJC update is at


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These and hundreds of other success stories are preserved at