August 26, 2014
These Israeli and Palestinian Kids Would Rather Sing Than Fight
They come to the Jerusalem Youth Chorus from as far away as Ramallah (a Palestinian outlook in the occupied West Bank) and a moshav (a Jewish settlement) outside of Jerusalem. They speak Arabic, Hebrew, and often a bit of English. They are five tenors, eight sopranos, six altos, and seven basses. They are 13 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, all high school students. Some are friends of friends with Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach, the Israeli teens whose kidnapping and killing sparked the latest round of clashes; others grew up around the corner from Muhammad Khdeir, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy who was murdered in the wake of those kidnappings.
For the past two years, the chorus—the only mixed Israeli-Palestinian choral group in the Holy City—has met weekly in Jerusalem to sing at the international YMCA, one of the few places Arabs and Jews can meet comfortably. This summer, they've rehearsed several times a week—despite the rocket launches and airstrikes—in a flurry of preparations for their first international singing tour. It took them last week to Kyoto and Tokyo, where they could enjoy a break from the troubles at home.
Such a heart-warming story. If only there were thousands more such choruses..
Posted by acapnews at August 26, 2014 12:00 AM