UPDATED: My reader, Amir, just provided new background and information about the song and I’ve updated this post.
One of my readers, S, e-mailed me about a great song which he’s uploaded to YouTube called Heveinu Shalom Aleinu-Ma Ana Ajmal Min Salam. This is in no way to be confused with Heveinu Shalom Aleichem, a rather tired old Jewish song that has long outlived any musical usefulness it ever had. The song S sent me was written by Shlomo Gronich and Ehud Manor as Peace Child Israel, Israel’s answer to We Are the World. In 2000, during the Intifada and a very low moment for Israeli-Palestinian relations, the composer and lyricist decided to broaden the song. And so Heveinu Shalom Aleinu was born, with the collaboration of Peace Child Israel Millenium Year workshops in which Israeli and Palestinian children wrote about their feelings and dreams regarding the conflict. Magid Abu Rokun joined Manor in writing Arabic lyrics for the song and Mikhail Marun (oud) turned the arrangement into one that incorporated Arab as well as Israeli Jewish styles.
The Jewish and Arab musicians are obviously having a grand old time and rejoicing in their ability to share their joy with their brethren. The music really cooks and the instrumentation sounds like a traditional Arabic orchestra–or at least an Israeli crossover version of one. If you’re interested in Israeli-Palestinian peace this will be a cure for what ails you. The musicians tell us: peace is possible.
We Brought Peace Ourselves
There are connections between us
Of which our parents never dreamed
We talk in ways never heard before
We are here for all
We are a bridge and a ladder
For all those who dream
For all those who dreamed
While we live and in our days
We will sing with our voices
We brought peace ourselves.
If your feast becomes mine
Your faith and dreams too
Then we can build a new world of love and peace
When the intention becomes clear all people become human
A family drinks from the same cup
The cup of peace
We have nothing more beautiful than peace.
Yes, our parents ate the sour grapes of yesterday
But our teeth, you’ll be surprised, have not decayed
Together we will open our hearts
Together we will open our minds
With the children of peace
With the children of dreams
These are the wonderful musicians who made this recording possible:
Zehava Ben, Shlomo Gronich, Nivine Jaabri, Elias Julianos, Eli Luzon, Lubna Salame, Lea Shabat and Sahmir Shukri and participants from the Peace Child Israel workshops in Ramle and Lod and elementary schools students from Ibn Rudg (Qalansua) and Elentary School for the Arts (Tel Aviv).
Drums: Doron Rafaeli
Bass: Alon Nadel
Percussion: Gadi Seri
Guitar: Shmulik Budagov
Oud: Mikhail Marun
Piano: Shlomo Gronich
Darbuka: Bishara Nadaf
Flute: Amir Milstein
Nai Alfred Hadjar
Violin: Bashir Assad
Clarinet: Chanan Bar-Sela
Another of my readers tells me that S was one of the first Israeli military refusers who showed the courage to refuse to serve in the Occupied Territories. I salute him for his vision and bravery.