Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Arabs, Jews Unite Under One Baton

AIR DATE: Feb. 5, 2013 - Playing With the Enemy: Orchestra Brings Together Israelis and Arabs
SUMMARY - Set on the backdrop of mideast conflict, Jeffrey Brown profiles the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a musical ensemble that brings Israelis, Palestinians and other Arab citizens together for a common goal of creativity and maybe more. He talks to their founder, renowned conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim.


Watch Orchestra Brings Together Israelis and Arabs For Common Goal on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

Music Bridges Mideast Divide
February 5, 2013 - Thirteen years ago, acclaimed Israeli pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim and Palestinian-American scholar and activist Edward Said brought together musicians from Israel and the Arab world to form the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Originally conceived as a summer program of musical rehearsals by day, and lectures and discussions at night, it has grown into a year-round endeavor with a touring orchestra, a training orchestra and a musical education program in the West Bank. The idea is to promote peaceful co-existence among people.

If that sounds like a lofty, unattainable goal, Barenboim is quick to point out that he is under no illusions. "The Divan is not a love story, and it is not a peace story." The point of the orchestra, he says, is to create a space for dialogue where everyone is treated equally. Even as the violence in the Middle East has intensified, their mission has intensified. "The more the situation is difficult and desperate, the more I believe there is a need to create spaces of dialogue," he says. "You don't change a desperate situation into a better one by ignoring the other." read more>>>

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