"Give Peace a Voice"
Benefit Concert in NSWAS
December 28: The Pluralistic Spiritual Centre hosted a peace concert
organised by the Tamera
Institute for Global Peacework, Portugal. The evening was originally
intended to take place in Bethlehem, but this proved impossible due to the
political situation. At the last moment, Tamera approached the Pluralistic
Spiritual Centre of NSWAS, which agreed to host the concert in the auditorium of
NSWAS and help publicize it.
The evening included performances by Israeli musician Yair Dalal, by a young dance troupe from
the Mount of Olives, and by Palestinian musician Samir Makhoul (from northern
Israel). Bethlehem musician and peace activist Elias Hazin (click for homepage) was to have
appeared too, but instead explained that this was impossible since two musicians from his band
had been denied entry permits by the military. In a moving speech, he said that peace
activists were a minority on both sides, and that we must exert harder and work
together for change in both our societies.
Hazin arrived together with a large delegation of other peace workers from
Bethlehem, who were greeted with cheers and applause from the audience at their
persistance and consent in coming to Israel during this difficult period.
The performances were excellent. Dalal and his ensemble play classical
Arab music and original compositions with lyrics in Hebrew and Arabic. Among the
songs was his well-known peace song, "Zaman El Salaam" (Time for Peace) which he
previously performed at the ceremony of the Nobel Peace prizes awarded to Yassir
Arafat, the late Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. (The children of NSWAS
also sang this song during the
visit of Hillary
Clinton in December 1998.) Towards the end of the concert, Yair Dalal and
other musicians returned to the stage to play together with Samir Makhoul and
Tamera will use the money raised from the concert to support a workshop for
Palestinians and Israelis in Portugal during 2003.