European Commission Hosts Omar Harfouch’s Concert for Peace: ‘Save One Life, Save Humanity’ Echoes Through Brussels

Omar Harfouch at the European Union

“Sauvez une vie, vous sauvez l’humanité”

Composer Omar Harfouch Live At The EU

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, EUROPE, December 14, 2023 / — In an unprecedented event at the European Commission, the Berlaymont building’s main hall in Brussels was transformed into a concert venue on the evening of October 12, hosting a classical music performance that captivated an audience of diplomats and dignitaries. Omar Harfouch, the honorary president of Dialogue & Democracy, premiered his composition, “Sauvez une vie, vous sauvez l’humanité” (“If you save a life, you save humanity”), echoing a message deeply rooted in both the Talmud and the Qur’an.

This evocative title set the stage for a night that was not only a musical first for the European Commission but also a poignant call for global peace. Harfouch, a classically trained concert pianist, alongside his regular Ukrainian violinist Anna Bondarenko and a diverse 15-member orchestra, delivered a performance that was both an artistic triumph and a heartfelt appeal for harmony in turbulent times.

The concert, held on the eve of a critical European Council meeting discussing global instability, featured two contrasting movements in Harfouch’s composition. The first movement celebrated the beauty of life, marked by joy, love, and mutual respect. The piano and violin led a vibrant celebration of connection and understanding, weaving a tapestry of hopeful melodies. The second movement, in stark contrast, delved into the depths of sadness and despair, with Harfouch’s piano and Bondarenko’s violin expressing the profound pain of a world torn by conflict and fear.

As the final notes of the second movement faded, the audience responded with a standing ovation, visibly moved by the powerful message conveyed through the music. The impact of the performance was immediate, with calls for the piece to be replicated in cities across Europe, demonstrating its profound resonance with the audience, including European ambassadors and dignitaries.

European Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi, who attended and supported this groundbreaking event, deserves special recognition. His patronage highlighted the Commission’s commitment to fostering dialogue and peace through cultural exchanges.

The relevance of Omar Harfouch’s concert and his message of peace through “Sauvez une vie, vous sauvez l’humanité” is profoundly underscored by the backdrop of ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, particularly in Lebanon, Syria, and Israel. Over the past decades, these regions have witnessed staggering losses. In Syria alone, the conflict that began in 2011 has resulted in over 400,000 deaths, according to various human rights organizations. Lebanon, still reeling from the echoes of its own civil war and recent turmoil, has seen tens of thousands of lives lost over the years. The persistent conflict between Israel and Palestinian territories continues to demonstrate the need for peace in the region.

Harfouch’s message, deeply resonant with these contexts, is not just a call for peace in abstract terms but a poignant reminder of the human cost of conflict. His appeal through music, drawing from sacred texts revered in these very regions, becomes a universal plea for a shift from the path of destruction to one of understanding and coexistence, highlighting the imperative to cherish and safeguard human life in a region too often overshadowed by loss and sorrow.

Harfouch’s message is clear: the choice between a world of love and a world of fear is ours to make. His music, embodying the universal values found in both the Torah and the Qur’an, serves as a reminder that in saving one life, we indeed save humanity.

About Omar Harfouch:

Omar Harfouch, now residing in Paris, is renowned not just for his musical talent but also for his advocacy for political reform and peace. His campaign for dialogue, tolerance, and mutual respect, especially in his native Lebanon, has seen him address parliaments across Europe. This concert in Brussels, under the auspices of the European Commission, marks another significant step in his journey as a musician and a peace advocate.

Juan Hernandez
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