For a long time we are watching and living the miserable situation between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs in the area and are asking ourselves, how can we contribute to a change of atmosphere; how can we break the distrust between the societies and how can we, as simple citizens create more opportunities for Jews and Arabs to meet and be involved with one another in our daily lives.
As Paul performs to both Arab and Jewish kids (see web page for details); it gave him an idea. He will combine his love for the ukulele (a small easy to handle and to learn 4 string instrument) and his experience with children and will create "Ukuleles For Peace".
The idea is that Paul will be teaching the Ukulele in Jewish and Arab schools and create orchestras of Jewish and Arab children who will meet once a week once in the Jewish schools and once a week in the Arab schools to practice and then, perform together. The kids also learn to play the kazoo (and in future other Junk made instruments)
and sing in Hebrew, Arabic and English.
Paul's dream is that the playing together will lead to more communal activities and that these will lead to real involvement in one another lives rather than living parallel lives next to one another.
Parents and families are an intricate part of the project.
The parents are involved in the planning of the activities and help regularly with transport etc…
The families meet for trips, picnics, holidays celebrations etc…
will get involved as well eventually, forming together a bigger orchestra. We also planted a “Ukuleles For Peace” Orchard on the “trees’ new year” in a nature park that serves both populations.
We put emphasis on the children’s involvement in the communities and they performed at the regional hospital for children hospitalized in the children ward and their parents and we are always looking for more venues.
Some of the other performances were: “ Talking Kites Event” (to promote peace and dialog) and the “peace children festival”.
In December 2007 the orchestra will be playing at the “CHAH HACHAGIM” festival in Haifa which celebrates culture for Jews, Arabs and Christians.
But back to the schools; The project is on it’s 4th year now with 6 beginners, intermediate and advanced groups at our son's open/democratic elementary school in Hod Hasharon (a Jewish town) and at El Najach elementary school in nearby Tira (an Arab town).
There are about 80 children involved.
I want to stress the point that Paul's work is totally voluntary (he doesn't get paid).
Paul's dream is to create orchestras in several communities and towns,
enlarging the circle of real co-existence; enabling kids and parents to befriend one another and with our modest abilities, helping to create a happier, better, peaceful society.
There is a lot to be done in this area between the Arab and Jewish population in Israel.
When the situation and regulation will allow, Paul would
like to form a group in the Palestinian Authority too; until it is safer to travel there, Paul will be looking for a near town/village that is still under Israeli rule because he is only aloud to travel to such places; and hope that the Palestinian children can travel here.
We are planning to search for sponsorships as the activity grows, Paul will not be able to create more groups and work with them on a voluntary basis, as he will have to perform less for the lack of time, and his livelihood will be severely damaged.
We also don't want that a child who wants to play the ukulele won't be able to do so because he cannot purchase one. It is a cheap instrument (25$), but is still a lot for some families.
Paul is working on a book on playing the ukulele which will include songs, charts, a brief history and the story so far which will be in Arabic, Hebrew, and English, this will help in understanding as not all of us are proficient in English.
A CD of Ukulele related music is on the Project list and will
incorporate many current Ukulele Players throughout the world and a couple of tracks by the orchestra.
Another goal is a CD of the Kids playing. In November we will have with us a musician volunteer from Canada, Mathias Kom, who kindly offered to help with the recording.
Paul is very excited with the project and the kids and parents too.
We feel it is a great thing and it is already a success.
The school communities invited one another for holidays which were celebrated together; a joint art project is in the making;
Paul would like to take “Ukuleles For Peace” around the world playing at events to show that real co-operation between war torn communities is possible.
"I would love to turn up at the United Nations and just simply play
our Music to them as a statement of what is possible words seem to
only divide where as music unites us all in Harmony" Paul Moore
I invite you to go to Paul's site on the web which tells about him
and his other activities at: http://www.paulmooremusic.com
(The Ukuleles for peace project has yet to be entered; Paul has to learn how to single handedly update his site.)
Why I want peace:
Peace is the only way of life in which our children will be able to live in harmony and with dignity and fulfill their aspirations, hopes and dreams.
Interests and activities:
playing music and listening to music, reading, gardning, traveling
Something you didn't know about me:
I sculpt from recycled objects
How I found mepeace.org:
The Arab - Jewish co-existence net
What I want to achieve here:
I want to spread our project's existence out there; create contects with people who care about peace and want to do something about it; create contacts with people whom will be interested in helping our project out.
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The sting of all problems between Israeli and Palestinians lays in the Old City of Jerusalem. Her status has to be solved in such a way, that all parties fighting for control over her can agree upon.
On June 24, the ‘Big Hug’ will be hold in Jerusalem. Light workers from Israel, Palestine and from all over the world, ‘Lovers of Jerusalem’, will come together to bring warmth and energy to this city, embracing holding hands the Old City. If we bundle all our positive energies and bring these to Jerusalem, we can create peace to this exceptional place.
We are organizing the Big Hug to make the people aware –especially the Israeli and Palestinian inhabitants of Jerusalem- that there is a very shaped perspective for the city of Jerusalem as a city of peace: a new, undivided Jerusalem, as the capital of Palestine, Israel and at large.
Let go of the conflict concerning her command and dedicate the city to the Omnipresent. The Old City as a whole is His Temple. To give the walled Old City free to God, as a "Status Apart”, as an independent city, will be the most feasible way to come out the current impasse.
The Old City of Jerusalem must become an open city; a House of Prayer for all the Peoples. This perspective is written down in the Holy Books, this is the perspective we, as ‘Lovers of Jerusalem’ embrace as well as solution. But how many people does already notice this hopeful point of view?
What I saw in Jerusalem and also everywhere else where I meet Islamic and Jewish people is, that not so many persons really think about a future for Jerusalem. Most of the time, they stick with old ideas that the Old City of Jerusalem will always remain a part of Israel, or in opposite, that it will be absolutely a part of a new Palestinian state, as stolen land that has to be given back. With these visions, a future Jerusalem will be a divided city with an East Palestinian and West Israeli part, with barbed wire and checkpoints in between, like the situation of the city from 1948-1967. Or, coming closer to an agreement, people suggest -like proposed in the “Geneva Accord” in 2003- to make a complicated dividing of the Old City in a Israeli and Palestinian part. That will mean that the small alleys will be split by walls and barriers too. The idea that a future Jerusalem will become a divided city, is something that we have to prevent.
There are living about 250.000 Palestinian and 500.000 Israeli rather close together in one city. Do they want to make a separation of Jerusalem in parts or do they choose, deep in their hearts, for unity? So my best friends, it is our task to inform the whole city that there is an alternative for the Jerusalem of today.
All lovers of a united Jerusalem will come together to encircle and embrace the Old City of Jerusalem with love and devotion. We have to encourage all inhabitants of Jerusalem to join the coming Big Hug, with the idea of a New Jerusalem that might be realized with their support.
Rob Schrama Phone:0031-646608660 www.loversofjerusalem.org
Hi Paul and welcome to mepeace.org. I don't know how I missed you when you joined last month. Anyway, I would be glad if your advance Ukuleles for Peace through our site. Use our Features. If you have a question on the site, see our FAQ. Please share your Feedback, and Invite your friends to join us on mepeace.org.
I love the sound of your Ukuleles for Peace project (no pun intended).
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