Music festival in Jerusalem aims to break isolation and preserve Palestinian cultural identity
Jerusalem / Maisa Abu Ghazaleh - From "the ancient graves of the sultans," located on Salah Addin Street, the Jerusalem Foundation began Sunday evening the beginning of a new musical program.
As part of the Jerusalem Festival 2009, “Music Celebrates Jerusalem,” will run for 10 days in cooperation with the French consulate.
Foundation director Rania Elias says that since its inception in 1996 the shared mission is to organize cultural events to preserve Palestinian cultural identity. The project is more important than ever as the Israeli Prime Minister says openly that the project of Judaization of the city and the destruction of its Muslim and Christian holy sites and citizenry will continue unabated.
“We will not lose the feeling of the city’s Palestinian presence,” she said today while also thanking the French Consulate for their support of this festival.
Elias said the festival this year includes the diversity of music between the Roman, the Chilean, Eastern and classical to take into account all of the Palestinian public‘s taste.
She held a card that reads, “I am Palestinian and I love Jerusalem,” which is available to the public for discounts on all passes for the 10-day music festival in hopes of encouraging participation during difficult economic times.
The Jerusalem Foundation director also addressed the Israeli harassment of Palestinians attempting to enter the city to participate in the festival.
For his part the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Lebos Institute said Sunday that the aims of the festival is to break the isolation that Jerusalem is suffering surrounded by Walls and fences. He referred o the Israeli destruction of Jerusalem, the displacement of citizens and the revocation of identification cards. He said that this festival is answering “the cries for freedom to get rid of isolation and embargo.”
The cultural attaché at the French Consulate, John Paul said program seeks to support institutions working in Jerusalem as part of a culture that reflects the Palestinian identity of the city.
He added that the French consulate supports institutions working sincerely to keep the flame of the city‘s culture.