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Jewish Journal

Middle East Peace Through Music

by Carvin Knowles

October 7, 1999 | 8:00 pm

Can music be a catalyst for peace in the Middle East? His Holiness the Dalai Lama thinks so, and he's not alone. An A-list of Jewish and Arab musicians and music experts are lending their support to "The World Festival of Sacred Music-The Americas," the Dalai Lama's mammoth concert series that begins this weekend and continues for nine days. According to Jordan Elgrably, founder and creative director of Ivri-NASAWI (Sephardic and Mizrahi music), the Dalai Lama believes musicians can set an example of cross-cultural cooperation through their harmonious behavior. Whether the performances will ease tensions in Israel remains to be seen, but their efforts should prove dazzling.

The most notable example of cross-cultural cooperation will take place at the John Anson Ford Amphitheater on Saturday, October 16 at 7:00 p.m. with the "Poetry of Peace" concert. The concert, produced by Elgrably, features Omar Faruk Tekbilek, who is of Turkish and Egyptian heritage, and the Israeli group "Sheva," that includes both Jewish and Arab members as well as guests Ali Jihad Racy, Jai Uttal and Adam del Monte. The concert is hosted by Neal Brostoff, director of Cultural Affairs for the Israeli Consulate.

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