Interreligiöse Feierstunde                                   

Jerusalem, Stadt des Friedens


Datum: Sonntag, 9. April 2006 um 10:00 Uhr


Ort:  Seidengasse 28/4, 1070 Wien


Videoreport und Berichte teilnehmender Journalisten:

Middle East Peace Initiative: 15.-20. März 2006


Musik und Tanz

The Palestinian Band for Arts and Popular Folklore


About 100 people gathered for a interreligous Sunday service where Palm Sunday, the day commemorated for Jesus entry into Jerusalem was the appropriate occasion to give a report about the experiences during the Middle East Peace Symposium in Jerusalem last March.


Mr. M. Wolf, a professional cameraman from the Austrian national TV finished a 20 minutes Video report about the recent “Middle East Peace Initiative” (MEPI) right in time for this event and by watching this video  everyone could  vizualize entering the city of peace which has experienced wars throughout most of its history.


Participants of the recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land reported about their impressions. A Muslim participant was so thankful that he could visit Al Aqusa Mosque during Friday prayers, the place which is one of the sacred places of his faith, and only a project like the MEPI can open the door for Muslims to visit Jerusalem. Elder Reuben Silverbird expressed his hope that the peace marches and our investment from outside encourage the people over there.


It was encouraging to hear about an organization called the “Parents’ circle” that includes hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian bereaved families who have lost, as a result of the Israeli-Arab conflict, a close family member. Despite this most tragic fact the Families Forum, as the expanded group of about 500 families is called, seeks to solve the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians through dialogue and mutual understanding. Some of their leaders were appointed as Ambassadors for Peace.


For the second part of the program Dr. George Nicola, honorary president of the Palestinian community in Austria introduced the “Palestinian Band for Arts and Popular Folklore”, which has been touring Austria for a week. They performed during the “Earth Day” in a Viennese community hall, in the Diplomatic Academy during a conference of the EURO-Mediterranean foundation, in the UN building of the Vienna International Centre and in an open air concert in front of the “Museum Quarter”, Vienna’s place for contemporary art.


The Folk Band, 18 musicians and young dancers, took us into their world of Arab culture and music. Especially the children were fascinated by their lively music.




The Palestinian ambassador to Austria, Dr. Zuheir Elwazar was moved by the friendly reception they could experience and in a short statement he mentioned that this young people show to the world that Palestinians can sing and dance and keep a spirit of hope while their country is bombed almost every day.


To conclude the event we invited the members of the Folklore band, the ambassador, the president and other leaders from the Viennese Palestinian community and Ambassadors for Peace for a nicely prepared lunch, where many new contacts were made.


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The Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the ECOSOC of the United Nations