UAE Musician Plays Hatikvah
By Micah Halpern
Monday October 19, 2020
I've Been Thinking:
Ahmed al-Mansouri, a musician from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), played Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah, on his oud – an eleven-stringed guitar-like musical instrument popular in the Arab world. He taped his rendition of the anthem and then posted it on YouTube. Al-Mansouri was paying tribute to the normalization agreement between the Jewish state and the UAE.
Ynet, easily tracked him down. They spoke on air about the Israel/UAE agreement, the responses he received to his tribute and the significance of music in shaping a world built on unity and peace.
In the interview Al Mansouri said that he would love to play together with an Israeli musician, on air, hosted by the interviewer. The Israeli newscaster said that he would arrange it and taught the UAE musician the Yiddish-Hebrew word “Schiduch” which means a match.
Al Mansouri told Ynet that: “Once I heard about the agreement between the UAE and Israel I decided to play the national anthem of Israel on the oud, to send a message of peace between the two countries … It is a dream for me, and I hope one day to visit Israel and play in public there”.
Speaking about Israeli music, al Mansouri said that he learned it from Youtube. He said he likes it and added: “In my opinion, Israeli music is very beautiful, it is similar to Arabic music in a different taste."
This is just one example of how people, regular people, not famous people, are expressing their excitement about the new horizons opening up between Israel and the Arab world. On YouTube, again, I saw another example. People, driving in a car on a busy highway in the UAE are happily singing the Israeli national anthem.
All the while imprinted on the screen are the words United Arab Emirates.
Israeli and UAE artists have already jointly recorded and posted songs. One of those songs received 1.1 million clicks in just a few weeks. The song is now trending and has gone viral.
Going back to the Ynet interview, the newscaster commented that this agreement seems so natural. He’s right - it does not seem forced at all. Actually, from Oct 17th to the 20th a team of Americans, headed by US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, spent time in Israel and the UAE in order to further assist in commercial projects that will benefit all the parties.
This is a prime example of the famous quote: a rising tide lifts all boats. This expression is often attributed to John F Kennedy in a speech he gave in 1963. But his speech writer, Ted Sorenson, said that while he did write it into JFK’s speech, it is not original to either one of them. Sorenson borrowed the phrase from a report by the Economical Council of New England.
Partnerships, that’s what it’s all about.
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21 October 2020 10:49 AM in Thoughts
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