Peace starts to grow when you open the door

They sang and danced on a stage bereft of the trappings of a hall or auditorium. The same tiny Chinese girl that opened the concert at the Qanat al Qasba with her a cappella rendition of the theme from ‘Titanic’ once again sang her heart out.

By Robert Flemming (Staff Reporter)

Published: Mon 14 Aug 2006, 1:28 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 4:25 PM


One hip trio bopped to the sounds of disco music while another flared their red skirts to the lilt of calypso. And in contrast were the elegant flowing movements of the slim Indian girl who danced to the melodies of her own country.

The evening of song and dance on Saturday night at the Mazaya Centre was another keystone in musician Glenn Perry’s personal and peaceful campaign to stop the war in Lebanon.

‘I include children in my peace events because I believe that children are very innocent and they are a symbol of peace. Children bring joy and laughter to this world which would be a sad place without them.’

Speaking to the growing crowd in the entrance hall, Glenn restated his powerful feelings about this conflict and all wars. ‘War is despicable and terrible. We need to have our children grow up in a better environment so that they can grow up to be the future leaders and lead by peaceful means. We don’t need these wars with their killing and bloodshed. This is such a wonderful world and I hope that we can stop this war through peaceful measures. Before I go insane, let me play some music,’ he said. And the words and chords of ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ rolled through the airways.

But the most powerful message of peace came from adults rather than children. Here were housewives, doctors and businessmen rather than singers and yet they sang harmoniously and with passion. They came from 10 different nationalities but they sang with one voice and one language - Arabic.

‘From the city of peace and beauty, from the shores of elegance in the obscure, we are gathered praying; we want heaven on our land, one world, one family.’

A few of the song that was written and composed by Dr Souheil Hussaini.

‘World peace is possible in your family; that’s how it grows to the neighbour and then it goes on and on. Once you open the door to your neighbours, that’s world peace in your community and that peace can grow step by step. When I wrote these lyrics for world peace, I wanted to use the Arabic words; Arabic is the native language of this country and I wanted to share it with the community. I brought together these people together and they all memorized the words. Very few of them are Arabic speakers.’

But Rashid was one of those few who stood on stage and sang in the international microcosm on stage.

‘Doctor Souheil invited us to come over and I feel very proud that this is happening in the UAE. And it’s very close to the message of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in which he emphasises that one world, one family, is something that we have to establish. This is what the Doctor is driving at: that we can start that from Dubai itself and take it to the global community. I think that the whole idea of this is great and I am sure that many people in Dubai and the UAE would love to be a part. These feelings that everyone shows, that they can share with each other to create a peaceful community in the UAE and all over the world.’

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