The Mansour district is a busy area of Baghdad that was once home to wealthy diplomats and other professionals. In recent years violence has become more common to the area, displacing some locals and endangering others. In May, 2015 three car bombs exploded there, killing 10 people and wounding 27 more. Karim Wasfi, the conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, often referred to as “Maestro,” is a resident of the area and decided it was time for a different approach. The following day he set up a chair among the debris and played his cello to an audience of soldiers, shop owners, and bystanders. People have been moved by his work, and Wasfi feels this may be a way to help heal his nation. "The other side chose to turn every element, every aspect of life in Iraq into a battle and into a war zone. I chose to turn every corner of Iraq into a spot for civility, beauty and compassion."


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  • Follow Karim Wasfi's work with the Centre for Creativity - Peace through Arts on Facebook.
  • Find more good news at Peace News, the newspaper for the UK grassroots peace and justice movement
  • .Just for one week, try to respond to anger with love. Someone cut you off in traffic? Relax and realize they may be having a bad day. Telemarketers bothering you? Take a deep breath and wish them a good day before hanging up. 

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