Perhaps you were with us in November at our Providence symposium, or perhaps you read about it. I have the privilege this week [January 4-10] of continuing that dialogue in the Israeli town of Nazareth, with some of our friends from November, including Michael Steinberg from Brown University, Pamela Rosenberg from the American Academy in Berlin, and especially Nabeel Abboud Ashkar who is hosting us in Nazareth. Nabeel is the director of the Baremboim-Said Conservatories in Nazareth and Ramallah, and also of the ensemble Polyphony.
I got off the plane this morning at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, and headed for the bus station to take a scenic two-hour bus ride to Nazareth, and then dived into a day of discussions. The conversation feels like the one we have at CMW, but transferred to the populations here. At CMW we talk about creating transformative opportunities for young people for whom this experience gives voice and access.
Whereas we talk about creating cohesive urban community, here the conversation is about giving access and voice to the Arab Israeli young people, who are a minority in this country. The issues and challenges are similar. One of the members of the discussion today put it well, that programs like CMW and Nabeel's create interventions on multiple fronts--addressing racism, revitalizing classical music, developing or uplifting a particular region or city.
Then this evening, we watched Act 1 of Mozart's Magic Flute with 15-20 of Nabeel's students, and had a discussion afterward about how the characters in the opera were really learning to become independent thinkers, breaking away from falsehoods they were taught. Tomorrow we continue, and see where we wind up!
-Sebastian Ruth, Founder & Artistic Director