News / Middle East

    Although Peace Proves Elusive, Young Israelis, Palestinians Find Harmony

    As Peace Proves Elusive, Young Israelis, Palestinians Find Harmonyi
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    March 14, 2014 2:15 PM
    As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tries to bring Israeli and Palestinian leaders together on a framework peace agreement, a group of young Israelis and Palestinians is already working in harmony. They are the musicians of Heartbeat, a social movement using the power of music to transform conflict. VOA reporter Julie Taboh caught up with them as they wrapped up their American tour in Washington before heading home.
    As Peace Proves Elusive, Young Israelis, Palestinians Find Harmony
    As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry tries to bring Israeli and Palestinian leaders together on a framework peace agreement, a group of young Israelis and Palestinians is already working in harmony. They are the musicians of Heartbeat, a social movement using the power of music to transform conflict.

    The young musicians performed at a Congressional office building in Washington to raise awareness of their vision of a better future for the Middle East.

    Since 2007, Heartbeat has brought Palestinian and Israeli high school students and young adults together to talk, listen and make music. The songs they write weave traditional and modern Eastern and Western styles. 

    The lyrics, in Arabic, Hebrew and English, reflect dialogue that takes place among group members and the often tense society they live in.

    “We have this song which asks, ‘What’s the Wall good for?'" said Israeli Guy Gefen, 22, who has been with Heartbeat from the start. “I think when people are afraid, they put those walls. They put those physical and psychological walls and it makes it that much easier to be afraid; it makes it that much easier to hate. And I say there’s no need for that. You don’t need to be afraid, you don’t need to hate.”

    Moody Kablawi, a Palestinian hip-hop artist from Haifa, joined Heartbeat in 2011.

    “If I go back home and tell the guys ‘I’m working for peace, man, I’m a peace-maker,’ they would probably tell me, ‘Bukra Fil Mishmish,” which is similar to the English expression, ‘When pigs fly,’" he said.

    But his friendship with the other Heartbeat musicians inspired Kablawi to change that expression to something more hopeful, in one of the group’s most popular songs.

    “So we said, ‘Bukra Fi Mishmish,' without 'L'  which is similar to the expression, ‘Pigs are flying,’" Kablawi said. "So it just shows our hopes and our dreams that we want to make the future now, which is bringing peace now, bringing that trust and understanding.” 

    American musician Aaron Shneyer founded Heartbeat with the goal of building trust between young people from both communities, and, he says, to amplify their voices.

    “We believe that the silent majority of Israelis and Palestinians desperately wants the same thing yet has almost no opportunity to be heard and we understand that music is an incredibly powerful tool to amplify the voices of the silent majority,”  Shneyer said.

    Heartbeat musicians use that tool in performances at schools, community centers and music venues, and in workshops and camps - presenting living proof that peace and harmony between Israelis and Palestinians is possible.

    You May Like

    US Watching as North Korea Holds Biggest Political Meeting in 36 Years

    Workers' Party Congress set for Friday; Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Shein Ariely
    March 15, 2014 1:40 AM
    James Adams said:
    ""No wise man tries every day what he has proved wrong the day before.""

    The western politicians, including Secretary Kerry, misunderstand why the Arabs and Islamists oppose to recognize Israel as the Jewish state and could miss the opportunity to help those in the Arab and Islamsit world willing to live peacefully with all the world cultures.
    -----
    No- western politicians, you don’t understand the Arabs and Islamists narratives.
    No- western politicians, your solutions to the Palestinian Israel conflict do not bring peace not worldwide ( from Phillipins to Paris and not from China to USA) from non Islamic cultures and not Israel.
    Yes- western politicians , if you would bother to understand the Arabs and Islamists narratives you will understand that:
    ---What you call peace they call it temporary truce with the infidels to be broken when they will accumulate more power
    --- What is your policy is a sign of weakness, encouragement for more demands and aggression for their quest of worldwide domination.
    ----
    Before making statements and policy you should know the basics:

    1:In order to legitimize their hold on power, Islamist theocrats and pan Arabic's dictatorships need antagonists.
    They blame the west for all their structural problems and Israel the land of the Jews.
    2: Their goal is that the world will be Islamic because of the ""truth of Islam” needs to be proven true in the real world.
    And the proof in the real world begins with the destruction of Israel.

    3: Al Jazeera- quote:
    "If we say that we want to wipe Israel out its too difficult.
    It’s not acceptable policy to say so.
    Don’t say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.
    Everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go.""
    3: Peace and quiet for Christians and Jews is possible only under Islam wings""
    "The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews)""
    -----
    Western politicians you have the key the help changing the above paradigms>
    By demanding the Arab and Islamist world to recognize Israel as the Jewish state you will help those who whant to break the violent cycle and open the gate for fundamental changes in the Arab and Islamsit societies.
    The changes that will depart from the 7 century values and bring 21 century values of peace and quiet to large parts of the world in ME,Europe,Africa,Asia and America.
    -----
    Western politicians:
    Keep demanding the recognition of Israel as the Jewish state.
    In Response

    by: swej kcuf from: West bank
    March 24, 2014 4:25 PM
    No one will legitimize stealing Palestinian lands then ask them to recognize you as "jewish" that means you had rights to stolen land. If G_D who you allegedly gave you the land couldn't keep that promise why ask human to do what G_D couldn't
    The inbreeding Hebrews sooner or latter will make aliyah in reverse.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora