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Daniel Barenboim: Peace Concert in Gaza

10 May 2011 Yahoo News 6 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim will on Tuesday lead an orchestra of European musicians in a peace concert in Gaza, in the first-ever performance there by such a prestigious international ensemble.

The rare concert, which will take place at lunchtime at the Al-Mathaf Cultural House, was announced on Monday by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process (UNSCO).

It will be the first time that Barenboim, an outspoken proponent of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, has visited the coastal territory, a spokeswoman for the chamber orchestra told AFP.

“It is the first time,” Judith Neuhoff confirmed, saying that the ensemble, which is made up of 25 musicians and known as the “Orchestra for Gaza,” had been put together especially for the visit.

In a statement released by UNSCO, Barenboim said he was “very happy” to be coming to Gaza. “We are playing this concert as a sign of our solidarity and friendship with the civil society of Gaza,” he said.

The musicians, who belong to five prestigious European orchestras, were expected to enter Gaza from Egypt on Tuesday, via the southern Rafah border crossing, a UNSCO spokesman said.

They will travel directly to the venue where they will play a programme of pieces by Mozart including Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and the G minor symphony to an audience of between 300 to 400 people, which will include music students and other members of Gaza’s civil society.

“The concert is to try and bring something to the people of Gaza,” he said. “It is not a political event in any sense.”

Ibrahim al-Najjar, director of Al-Qattan Music School, the only such establishment in Gaza, told AFP that he and a group of his students would greet the 68-year-old maestro and his delegation, which numbers around 50 people, at the Rafah border.

“This visit is very important to us for many reasons, both cultural and civil,” he told AFP.

Although a handful of musicians had visited Gaza in recent months to support the school and to teach classes, it was the first time such a large group of so many prestigious players was coming, he said.

The ensemble includes players from the Berlin Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, the Vienna Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and the Orchestra of La Scala di Milano.

“We love culture, and music is a way of expressing peace and showing that we Palestinians are civilised,” Najjar said, adding that it was important that people had a chance to meet the orchestra and get to know different musical instruments.

“And from a political perspective, it is important to show that Gaza is a safe place,” he said.

Israelis are forbidden by law to venture into Palestinian territory. Barenboim has previously been refused entry to Gaza by the Israeli army — most recently in April 2010 — meaning the only way for him to enter the Hamas-run territory is via Rafah.

The legendary conductor, who lives in Berlin and holds Argentine, Israeli and Spanish citizenship, also accepted honorary Palestinian citizenship in 2008, saying he hoped the move would be an example of the “everlasting bond” between Israelis and Palestinians.

He has long used his fame as a conductor and pianist to promote the cause of peace between Israel and its neighbours, and in 1999 co-founded a “peace orchestra” with his friend Edward W. Said, a Palestinian-American scholar who died in 2003.

Known as the East-West Divan orchestra, it brings together Israeli, Arab and international musicians, and in 2005 it performed in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Barenboim performs regularly in the West Bank, but has never performed in Gaza, which has been subjected to a crippling Israeli blockade since 2006, which was eased somewhat last year following international pressure.

Original post: Daniel Barenboim: Peace Concert in Gaza


  1. [2.23] And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful.
    [2.24] But if you do (it) not and never shall you do (it), then be on your guard against the fire of which men and stones are the fuel; it is prepared for the unbelievers.
    [2.25] And convey good news to those who believe and do good deeds, that they shall have gardens in which rivers flow; whenever they shall be given a portion of the fruit thereof, they shall say: This is what was given to us before; and they shall be given the like of it, and they shall have pure mates in them, and in them, they shall abide.
    [2.26] Surely Allah is not ashamed to set forth any parable– (that of) a gnat or any thing above that; then as for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord, and as for those who disbelieve, they say: What is it that Allah means by this parable: He causes many to err by it and many He leads aright by it! but He does not cause to err by it (any) except the transgressors,
    [2.27] Who break the covenant of Allah after its confirmation and cut asunder what Allah has ordered to be joined, and make mischief in the land; these it is that are the losers.
    [2.28] How do you deny Allah and you were dead and He gave you life? Again He will cause you to die and again bring you to life, then you shall be brought back to Him.
    [2.29] He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth, and He directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them complete seven heavens, and He knows all things.
    [2.30] And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a khalif, they said: What! wilt Thou place in it such as shall make mischief in it and shed blood, and we celebrate Thy praise and extol Thy holiness? He said: Surely I know what you do not know

  2. Mike is that a thumbs up or down?

  3. to what? i didn’t read the article.

    i am just trying to live up to my “let’s read the koran together” i posted one night. so i figured i would post 7 verses at a time. i konw how you abrahamic guys think the number 7 is perfect. in fact i see there are 7 heavens.

    [2.31] And He taught Adam all the names, then presented them to the angels; then He said: Tell me the names of those if you are right.
    [2.32] They said: Glory be to Thee! we have no knowledge but that which Thou hast taught us; surely Thou art the Knowing, the Wise.
    [2.33] He said: O Adam! inform them of their names. Then when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not say to you that I surely know what is ghaib in the heavens and the earth and (that) I know what you manifest and what you hide?
    [2.34] And when We said to the angels: Make obeisance to Adam they did obeisance, but Iblis (did it not). He refused and he was proud, and he was one of the unbelievers.
    [2.35] And We said: O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in the garden and eat from it a plenteous (food) wherever you wish and do not approach this tree, for then you will be of the unjust.
    [2.36] But the Shaitan made them both fall from it, and caused them to depart from that (state) in which they were; and We said: Get forth, some of you being the enemies of others, and there is for you in the earth an abode and a provision for a time.
    [2.37] Then Adam received (some) words from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully; surely He is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful

    watch out for the jinn, they can take the form of black cats and dogs. that iblis is shifty.

  4. I think I need a simpler version of the Koran. Though I am pretty well edjufacated, I must lack the frame of reference to totally understand what I am reading. What is a shaitan?

  5. the devil

    but a slightly different devil than your devil. iblis (the devil, satan, shaitan, beelzabub) isn’t a fallen angel as in christian mythology. in islam he is jinn. according to islam god had created the angels, made of light, the jinn made of fire, and then man (adam), made of clay. here allah is calling for (all creation) the angels and jinn to bow down to adam, and iblis refuses thusly being condemned to the hell fire. well i guess he was given until the last day to try and corupt people. so if a black dog comes around you can ask it to leave your presence 3 times, or wait 3 days, (i’ve heard both) and if it doesn’t leave you can kill it, because it’s jinn. at least that is what i was told. but in these verses it makes iblis sound like and angel?

    [2.38] We said: Go forth from this (state) all; so surely there will come to you a guidance from Me, then whoever follows My guidance, no fear shall come upon them, nor shall they grieve.
    [2.39] And (as to) those who disbelieve in and reject My communications, they are the inmates of the fire, in it they shall abide.
    [2.40] O children of Israel! call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and be faithful to (your) covenant with Me, I will fulfill (My) covenant with you; and of Me, Me alone, should you be afraid.
    [2.41] And believe in what I have revealed, verifying that which is with you, and be not the first to deny it, neither take a mean price in exchange for My communications; and Me, Me alone should you fear.
    [2.42] And do not mix up the truth with the falsehood, nor hide the truth while you know (it).
    [2.43] And keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and bow down with those who bow down.
    [2.44] What! do you enjoin men to be good and neglect your own souls while you read the Book; have you then no sense?
    [2.45] And seek assistance through patience and prayer, and most surely it is a hard thing except for the humble ones,
    [2.46] Who know that they shall meet their Lord and that they shall return to Him.

  6. you people are nuts

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