ASIA/HOLY LAND - Music is climbing over the West Bank Barrier in the Holy Land: Israeli and Palestinians play side by side in the World Youth Orchestra with its music for hope

Tuesday, 13 July 2004

Jerusalem (Fides Service) - Music is climbing over the West Bank Barrier in the Holy Land. Just when the World Court in the Hague was declaring illegal Israel’s wall built to keep Palestinians out or in, an orchestra of young musicians of all different nationalities was playing a message of peace and building a musical bridge of hope between the Israel and Palestine. The World Youth Orchestra, composed of 50 of the best young pupils at Conservatories all over the world, was founded by 50 Italian born maestro Damiano Guranna who is the conductor. In 2002 UNICEF nominated Maestro Guranna Goodwill Ambassador.
Damiano Guranna is one of those people who believe in the power of the universal language of music. Under his direction the WYO builds sharing and communion and warms hearts particularly among the younger generations. The musicians are in fact all young and they come from various parts of the world. Maestro Guranna leads his young Israelis, Palestinians, Chinese, Americans, Australians and Europeans to make music together.
The World Youth Orchestra has just completed a Tour in the Middle East with performances in Amman at the Hussein Theatre on 9 July, in Ramallah at the Al Qasaba Theatre 11 July, at and in Tel Aviv at the Givatayim Theatre on 12 July.
The notes of Mediterranean popular music rich in symbolic value - the original repertoire a selection of Balkan, Arab, Italian and Yiddish ballads chosen by Maestro Guranna - echoed on both sides of the wall which splits the Holy Land in two. The WYO’s sole intention was to play notes of harmony and peace in the Middle East region devastated by hatred and war, to show that it is possible for peoples of different races, language, culture and religion to live in peace and to help the people to hope.
After three intense weeks of concerts aimed at ideally linking the countries on either side of the sea, the Mediterranean Tour of World Youth Orchestra will make its last stop in the Italian region of Umbria, the land of St Francis who left the world a message of universal dialogue, peace and brotherhood. Even in the times of the Crusades when Christians and Muslims fought over the Holy Land, St Francis spread his message and his spiritual sons are still the guardians of the Holiest Place on earth, the birth place of the Prince of Peace.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 13/7/2004 lines 28 words 284)