iraq

Alan Gilbert has chosen to celebrate the close of his tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic on a political note, with a program called “A Concert for Unity.” BY inviting musicians from countries including Iran and Israel to join Philharmonic members on the stage on Thursday-Saturday, Mr. Gilbert is clearly trying to steer against the divisive winds coming out of Washington. But he is also interesting himself into a tradition of bridge-building musical events that reach back to the aftermath of World War II. Here are five memorable moments of musical diplomacy: 

P.J. Crowley

GW Professor and former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs on his most recent book, Red Line.

At the stringing table, most of the women wear hijabs. Natives of Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan, they have been in the U.S. less than two years, arriving in Houston through Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston's refugee services program. They speak Arabic, Farsi, Pashto or Dari. Which is to say, they sometimes speak with each other only slightly better than they can talk with me.

Israeli musician Dudu Tassa, who opened Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with a Friday afternoon performance backed by his band the Kuwaitis and will do the same this weekend, has deep roots. As an Israeli-Iraqi-Yemeni Jew born in Tel Aviv who plays the music of his once-celebrated ancestors.[...] For the last half decade, Tassa has been remaking Saleh and Daud Kuwaity’s songs for new generations as a way to reclaim their glorious musical past.

Ireland has announced €6 million in humanitarian aid to Iraq and Yemen which are currently raged by fierce wars which has resulted in a large-scale displacement of civilians. From the fund, €2m is being given to the Iraq Humanitarian Pooled Fund in response to the needs of almost 11 million Iraqi people affected by the violence linked to Islamic State (IS), and the counter-insurgency operation launched by the Iraqi government, Irish media reported.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will host foreign ministers and senior officials from the 67 nations that make up the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS [...] The coalition has made great strides leading the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. It is a perfect example of multilateral and bilateral foreign policy, just as the White House is calling for big cuts in funds to the United Nations.

San Diego youth will have an opportunity this summer to virtually connect with foreign students who, at one time, were temporarily barred from entering the U.S. Through World Learning's Digital Young Leaders Exchange Program, students in this country will use online tools, including video chats and webinars, to communicate with their counterparts in Iraq. The Middle Eastern country appeared on President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban but was removed in a later version.

During the second half of the 19th century, Tihosuco, a small town in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, was at the center of the indigenous rebellion called the Caste War. Overwhelmed by economic hardships, constant and increasing taxation, repression by Yucatecos (the local population of European descent), and more, the Maya revolted against Mexico, hoping to recover their territory and heritage. 

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