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Daniel Barenboim's speech during the Ramallah Concert


Daniel Barenboim speaks about the aim of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Transcription bellow.

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Daniel Barenboim: "Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you very much. I think what I have to say to you, I have already said in the music. Nevertheless, if you will bear with me for just a few seconds:
Let me tell you that this orchestra of wonderful, intelligent and courageous people from Palestine, from Israel, from Lebanon, from Syria, from Jordan, from Egypt and from Spain, all of them very courageous people. You, of all audiences in the world I don’t have to explain how much courage it takes for each and everyone of them to come and play with the other.
This project, that Edward Said and I founded in 1999 has been sometimes described in a very flattering way for us as an orchestra for peace, an orchestra that will bring this and that other feeling. Ladies and Gentlemen let me tell you something: This is not going to bring peace – you know that.
The fact, that this wonderful people play together here will not bring peace. What it can bring is understanding, the patience, the courage and the curiosity to listen to the narrative of the other. This is what this is about. In this context everybody has been able to express himself freely and perhaps just as important, to hear the version of the other.
This is why we come to you here today. With a message of humanity. Not with a political message, with a message of humanity, a message of solidarity. For the freedom that Palestine needs and for the freedom that the whole region needs.
It is our belief that there is no military solution to this conflict. It is our belief, that the destinies of this two people, of the Palestinian people and the Israeli people are annex recovery linked. And therefore the welfare, sense of justice and happiness of one will inevitably be that of the other and this is what we aim for. We aim for a change in the thinking of many people in this area. Many people that will begin to really think that we have here two people not one, two people that have a very, very strong philosophical, psychological and historical link to this geographical part of the world.
And that it is our duty – all of us – to find a way to live together. Because either we all kill each other or we learn to share what there is to share. It is with this message that we have come to you today.
And Ladies and Gentlemen you see that this is not only my opinion, but it is the opinion of all my colleagues here, regardless of where they come from and what nationality or what culture they practice.
And now before you go we would like to play for you a beautiful piece by Edward Elgar: "Nimrod" from the Enigma Variations. Thank you."

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