“Through wise words and incredible music they show us the very path ahead that seems to elude politicians and diplomats these days. They deserve a wide, global audience.” -Dr. Henrik Syse, Senior Research Fellow at Peace Research Institute Oslo, Member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee
This mission began with an improbable story of friendship between a Jewish American and a Muslim Palestinian. In the spring of 2009, world-renowned songwriter Michael Hunter Ochs visited the Middle East for the first time. On his first night in Ramallah he met award-winning peace activist/songwriter Alaa Alshaham. Although the two found harmony in their music and an increasing openness in their dialogue, they quickly realized that their historically divided people don’t know each other at all. They’ve been dedicated to changing this status quo ever since.
In a world resonating with discord and distrust, we propose The Pursuit of Harmony: dedicated to meaningful contact between Jewish Americans and Palestinian Muslims. What began with a shared love of music moves to engage a growing circle in dialogue, workshops and people-to-people projects. Our mission is to expand this circle.
“Michael has been to Palestine over 20 times. This shows such courage and commitment to getting to know the other – and the people there notice.”-Alaa
“Alaa and I have led Shabbat services at congregations across the US. It is a powerful signal he is sending – a Palestinian in synagogue week after week – and it is moving people to tears…and action.” -Michael
Testimonials – Read More…