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Oddly Enough

Arab, Jewish students play a message of peace

Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 01:36

Classical music brings Israeli Arab and Jewish students together. Alicia Powell reports.

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Cross-community relations aren't always harmonious between Jewish and Arabs in Israel, but four young students are hoping to change that one note at a time. The Polyphony Foundation is creating unlikely bonds through classical music by bringing together some of Israel's best musicians. Foundation co-founder Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar. SOUNDBITE: Nabeel Abboud-Ashkar, Foundation co-founder, saying (Arabic): "The focus is on music and music making, but the purpose is beyond that. It's really to give young people from both communities a chance to interact and to become more familiar with the other. Believing that this will have an effect on the society, the Israeli society at large." The foundation brought four members of the orchestra, two Jewish and two Arabs, to New York for a week of shows. Arab viola and violin player Feras Machour has been in the program since it started. SOUNDBITE: Feras Machour, viola and violin player, saying (English): "My close friends and family are very supportive and they always tell me that it's a good thing what I am doing. And also they are happy that I get to see the world and travel around." While the students are learning about music, Arab cello player Mahdi Saadi says the program is about much more. SOUNDBITE: Mahdi Saadi, Arab cello player, saying (English): "We're doing a change. In the past we've always heard that yes, Arabs and Jews can't live together, now we're proving it. And it's a big change for Arabs and Jewish."

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Arab, Jewish students play a message of peace

Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 01:36