During the second week of March many people came from near and far to experience the wonderful Music Festival in Jerusalem. With hands clapping, feet tapping and bodies swaying, each one delighted in the “Sounds of the Old City Music Festival”. Talented musicians representing the four quarters of the Old City, performed in the narrow streets, providing a taste of the unique cultural character of Armenian, Jewish, Muslim and Christian musical traditions. Any fear or apprehension that could have been present as we walked the alleyways of the Old City, embracing the balmy evening, evaporated. The stranger we passed last week became a friend as we engaged in conversation and showed our appreciation following each performance.
To be there was magic. One could feel that this music was making a difference to how, in the future, we might view our neighbour. That here in the “mix” of the Old City you were standing together with the other, the other who is different and a stranger, while at the same time knowing that the musical entertainment was uniting us. Through this music we were offered yet another glimpse of what is possible when differences can be embraced and we dare to appreciate the talents of our neighbour. The organizers and the talented artists from the four quarters of the Old City offered us a chance to taste peace and we delighted in it.
Sr. Bernadette Lynch, nds