Marking Passover

8 04 2009
Passover 2009 - Jerusalem Post, AP

Jerusalem Passover, 2009 - Jerusalem Post, AP

Today is an important day for many Jews around the world. It is Passover, a seven-day celebration marking the Jews’ exodus from Egypt and their liberation from slavery. It is a day of appreciation, humanity and, of course, food!

This photo captured my attention on the Jerusalem Post. If you click on the link titled “Blessing of the Sun” right below this photo on the actual website, you will see many more beautiful pictures taken today. The article also reports the different events and celebrations that are taking place these next couple of days among the Jewish community in Israel and around the world.

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Yes, We Can Do It Through Art

25 03 2009

 

Strings of Freedom Performs for Holocaust Survivors - Associated Press

Strings of Freedom Performs for Holocaust Survivors - Associated Press

From the famous Jenin Refugee Camps in the West Bank, 13 Palestinian teenagers rode a bus to the Israeli city of Holon, to sing and play music for Holocaust survivors.

As part of the annual “Good Deeds Day” celebration, where Israelis are encouraged to do positive social actions, the Holocaust Survivor Center had invited this young “Strings of Freedom” orchestra to perform. Neither side had known much about each other, and that was the real true beauty of an event like this.

You can read the AP article here.

Imagine for a second the scene in that room. Imagine the two sides: Palestinians and Israelis, Muslims and Jews, young and old, performers and listeners. Could there have been a bigger rift? The musicians and their audience must have been a world apart. Yet, music was played and applause was heard. Later, some mingled and took photos with each other.

Don’t mistake me for an arts fanatic. I am an amateur in the creative world. But when politics fail, as I mention in my previous post, art becomes a savior, healing wounds and bringing people together in a way that politics can never do.

My most favorite quote in this article comes from an 18-year-old keyboard player called Ali Zaid. He said:

“Only people who have been through suffering understand each other.”

 Simple words. Wise words. Artistic words.