I live in Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv. It’s one of the only places in Israel that is mixed, with Arabs and Jews living side-by-side.
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is alive in the streets of Jaffa. We see each other almost only through stereotypes projected by the media, by politicians, by parents and teachers.
There are ways to build bridges between us. There is a language that helps us understand each other better: music. However different our identities may be, we all feel touched by music. It transcends identity. It creates community where no community seems possible. It can helps us find our own voice and to acknowledge the beauty in the voices of others.
I’m a musician, I know the power of music. Under my artist name, Sun Tailor, I have performed around the world over the last seven years, including in Russia, Japan, India, and most recently Germany.
I want to use music to give young people in my community a chance to engage in a positive experience together. Somewhere beyond religion, beyond nationalism.
My GATHER Fellowship project is an interactive musical workshop during which my Palestinian partner and I connect teenagers on both sides through music. We create a safe environment for respectful dialogue that can ultimately serve as a vehicle for social change. If we make music together, we are more likely to become good neighbors.
I hope that our workshops touch the hearts and minds of the next generation in this land, so that when they pass each other on the street, they’ll think of a song, not an enemy.
“Reconciliation comes from meeting, from being in the same space together. Racism and violence can be cancelled out by working together. Can you hate someone who sings with you? What kind of friendships can be created from playing music together?”