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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  • MaryLynne

    My eyes filled with tears of gratitude for the gift of the Maestro and the applause of the audience. It seems that LOVE is at work!

  • Josephine Constance

    The courage, the inspiration and beauty as well as the basic Truth that rises above with an amazing, unbeatable, Magnificent Power for change. When people begin to see and hear other possibilities, the Heart, the Divine Heart deep within each of us quickly responds . . . and THAT is how the world changes!!! Thank you!!!

  • Julienne

    What a great effort of love and hope. Music heals hearts! God bless you Karim and all your freinds who are bringing peace and love through your healing tunes! We used to perform at the Festivals in Iraq with "Heart to Heart" troupe during the time of the sanctions and the feedback of the comfort and strength that the songs and music brought was very tangible and encouraging! Keep up the great effort!

  • Barbara

    The power of an idea brought into reality. How amazing, how simple, how courageous, how inspiring. This helped me to see that there is always possibilities no matter what the situation, it also made me cry - from joy and relief. With gratitude to Karim. x

  • Marybeth Webster

    Beautiful idea but NO SOUND! HELP!

  • bunny

    The power of music is immense . Thanks for inspiring

  • Yvonne

    t The understanding of how fear can be disarmed...by hearing seeing and tasting beauty.

  • carrie

    It always has been about food - music - humor and prayer. If we do that together - we don't need war.

  • Christina Grote

    So beautiful. Music is the way!

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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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