Musicians for Peace
Musicians for Peace are an example of living together in multi-lingual harmony guided by spiritual principles and avoiding political divisions and bad news. They focus on the positive and seeing them perform with their idealistic happy energies, inclusive audience participation, oud/guitar exchanges and absolute sincerity can convert even cynics to believers that if every meeting of Arabs and Jews were like their concerts, peace would spread as easily as radio broadcasts.
Their CD, RUACH, meaning wind or spirit in both Arabic and Hebrew, focuses on letting the spirit of peace into our "hearts, lives, and homes" and than sending that spirit out to spread peace in the world through recording, performance, travel, study, networking and prayer .
The collaborative effort between Nabil Abu-Nicola on Oud and Daf and Samia Ashkar on Bandir and Darbouka -Arab Christians from Nazareth- and Ofer Golany, a Jewish pacifist from Jerusalem, on guitars began in December 2002 when Elijah, a German and Jennifer, an Austrian came to Jerusalem with a prophetic vocation: Find Jewish and Arab musicians committed to peace and put them together on the same stage. They met Nabil in the garden of Gethsemene. He was already on a path of service to humanity regardless of nationality, religion or other divisions and offered the name Musicians for Peace. They heard Ofer, a working musician who had been praying to play less in the service of beer and more in the service of peace at a concert for the peace of Jerusalem and knew that he was the right Jew.
As happens with commitment - providence shifted gear. Father Raed, a Palestinian priest, offered 30 studio hours at Sabreen’s East Jerusalem studios and Peace from Jerusalem, a 7 song 30 minute CD, with 2 songs in English, 2 in Hebrew and 3 in Arabic from previous repertoires was mixed in time for a summer tour of Germany with the Jemael community.
During that tour Isaiah 2:4 ( Nation shall not lift up sword against nation) got its first Arabic/Hebrew four voice arrangement later blossoming into the Arabic/Hebrew/French/English arrangement on RUACH. You can download Nation shall not lift up sword against nation by clicking here
In October 2003 Ofer and Nabil flew together to Sarajevo at the invitation of Musicians Without Borders and there Oh Lord, a Franciscan prayer asking to be instruments of peace in Arabic and Instrument, that same prayer in English, were born. A December tour of Belgium with the Newlife Community gave birth to Ideals (about refuseniks in prison) Love Your Neighbor (song 6) and Come Holy Spirit in a 7 minute version. In healing prayer this song can go on for half an hour - opening the heart and asking spirit for all good things.
Back in Israel they got into a studio, receiving provident help from Herwig Strobl, an Austrian violinist who sent the violin track to Born Winner and the Dutch Franciscans who contributed to the recording costs. Israel's finest Harpist, Sunita Stanislow, accompanies 2 songs, 2 have a small clarinet part by Daniel Jacobson, 3 have accordion (Avishi Fisz) and 3 different percussionists: Avraham Doron, Nabeg Abu-Nicola and Oren Fried gave their talents to be on RUACH. A sign of hope.