30 June 2009

A Concert For Peace And Humanity by Marcel Khalife

In Support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees

VIENNA, 30 June (UN Information Service) - The legendary Lebanese musician Marcel Khalife and the Al-Mayadine Ensemble will give a concert this evening in support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) at the City Hall in Vienna, 8.00 pm Austrian time. The "Concert for Peace and Humanity" sponsored by the Austrian Government and the OPEC Fund for International Development, will be held under the patronage of Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will address the audience this evening through a video message.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayad will be attending the event.

In this unique musical event, Marcel Khalife aims to "create a dialogue between Eastern and Western instruments symbolizing the common humanity and thirst for peace that unites all people". Khalife's life and work has been dedicated to the renaissance of the Arabic song, ultimately breaking down ingrained stereotypes and advocating for a better international understanding of the peoples and societies of the Arab World. In 2005 he was named a UNESCO Artist for Peace for his "artistic achievement and humanitarian contribution".

This concert is one in a series of events that commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the establishment of UNRWA, following the 1948 Middle East war. The anniversary is an occasion for sober reflection on why an agency which was created by the international community to be "temporary" is now "coming of age". It is also an opportunity to showcase the work of UNRWA through sixty years of service and achievement, bringing human development to millions of Palestine refugees in one of the world's most unstable regions.

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For further information, interview requests
and details of media opportunities, please contact:

Maher Nasser
Director, UNIS Vienna
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5676

Zizette Darkazally
UNRWA at 60
Mobile: (+43-664) 5844-297

For tickets and concert information visit:
Website: www.marcel-in-vienna.com