Reprinted with permission from Peace News Network
Written by Lea Suter
Some people may not believe that music can properly combat terror, but this maestro is proving them otherwise.
When 3 car bombs shook the foundations of Baghdad, famed Iraqi maestro Karim Wasfi played his cello at the site of the explosions the very next day as a means of showing resilience against terrorism.
“The focal point is to beat terror and intimidation through beauty and refinement in civilization,” Wasfi told PeacePrints.
“Those who can hate do not recognize beauty, they can’t hear beauty, they can’t see it, they can’t feel it,” he said.
“Maybe because they were never even exposed to it, so there is a responsibility on our shoulders also to share with everyone the solid, concrete, basic foundation of good-doing and beauty because it’s something that you can build upon.”
After Wasfi’s spontaneous performance earned him international fame, he created the Centre for Creativity-Peace through Arts: an organization that unites youth from different ethnic backgrounds so they can play music on the streets of Baghdad.
“So instead of just the National Symphony Orchestra performing every month or two months, we’ll have 5 or 7 groups performing around the city all at the time,” Wasfi said.
The conductor says that he created the center out of a desire to “flood the scene with culture and beauty, against intimidation and against fear.”
And his approach seems to be working.
“One positive experience was when I realized there were around 14 militiamen decided to give up their commitment to their weapons and to resolving disagreements through fierce fighting [so they could become] musicians,” he said.
If Music Be The Food Of Love, Click To Share With Your Friends – Photo by Peace News Network