Wednesday, July 09, 2014

The power of music to transform conflict

“Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”
 - Preamble to the UN Declaration of Human Rights

Maybe not the greatest singer, but certainly a truly remarkable and inspiring young man. Aaron Shneyer is the Founder and Executive Director of Heartbeat, a nonprofit social enterprise launched in 2007, which uses music to empower Israeli and Palestinian youth to transform conflict.
Music and creative media offer powerful tools to educate, empower and build respect far beyond physical and psychological barriers. Facing the oncoming migration and resource needs of as many as 1 billion climate refugees by 2050, this presentation highlights the critical role music and creative media can and must play to build mutual-respect and trust across the world. Engaging with the experiences of Heartbeat, audience members will explore the three critical tools for music creation: Listening, Respect, and Responsibility, as a guide for sustainable community building and conflict transformation. Via Heartbeat Israeli and Palestinian youth musicians build critical understanding, develop creative nonviolent tools for social change, amplify their voices to influence the world around them, and in doing so become agents of change.
-- 'Heartbeat' Shares Message of Peace Through Music at the State Department

Bukra Fi Mishmish (When Pigs Fly) is a song by Palestinian And Israeli youth promoting peace and co-existence With lyrics like, "Tomorrow will be better" and "Try to create and believe, yes YOU can," the song is an anthem of optimism in an often dreary landscape.

Hopeless Town -- Words and Music by Rasha Nahas
"you kill / you take / you grow hatred all around / why not grow peaceful generations in this hopeless town / tell me why i'm not asking for a country or a flag / i'm not asking for my land / i cannot translate my pain into a language you'd understand / i can't take it no more / i can't face you no more."

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