Syrian-American composer who plays for peace


This video about the Syrian-American composer Malek Jandali’s work in response to the Syrian civil war reminds me of one of the most indelible images from an earlier sectarian conflict, in Sarajevo in the early-1990s, when in the midst of the fighting a cellist named Vedran Smailović played in the ruins of the National Library as a reminder that there had once been a tolerant, cosmopolitan city there and would be again some day.  The siege of Sarajevo lasted 1,425 days, from 5 April 1992 to 29 February 1996, and was the longest siege of a capital city in modern history, three times longer than Stalingrad.  The Syrian civil war has run four years already with no sign of resolution and the number of refugees has just passed 4 million.

I’m not going to say much more about the video: just watch it.

The video is part of a series called “Newest Americans” that is about the immigrant experience in the US and is also well worth watching.

(h/t The Atlantic)


Vedran Smailovic performs in Sarajevo's National Library in 1992

Vedran Smailovic performs in Sarajevo’s National Library in 1992


Click here to read my article for Travel + Leisure about Sarajevo. Or here for my posts about Syria or the Middle East.


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