Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Rita brings harmony to the UN

Video of the concert (with thanks: Elsie)

Iranian-born Israeli diva Rita performed before UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other international dignitaries Tuesday at the UN General Assembly Hall in a first-of-its-kind event organized by the Israeli Mission to the UN, the Times of Israel reports:

Israeli singer Rita performs at the United Nations on Tuesday, March 5 (photo credit: image capture unwebtv)

Israeli singer Rita performs at the United Nations on Tuesday, March 5 (photo credit: image capture unwebtv)

Rita and her nine-piece band performed in Hebrew, English and Persian before a full house that included President of the UN General Assembly Vuk Jeremic, ambassadors, diplomats, and leaders of the US Jewish and Iranian communities.

The concert featured songs based on Jewish scripture, Iranian poetry and Rita’s own compositions. Many of them appear on her latest album, “My Joys.”

“My mother taught me the love for music while she was cooking in the kitchen,” said the Tehran-born singer. “Two years ago I was urged to record the Persian songs that were the soundtrack of my life.”

“During the whole recording process, I couldn’t stop smiling because I came to realize I was celebrating my life. I was celebrating being both Iranian and Israeli that found expression in music. Tonight, I invite you to celebrate it with me,” she said.

“The music of this room isn’t always harmonious — our mission tonight is to change that,” said Israel’s envoy to the UN Ron Prosor. “Our goal is to weave a tapestry of music as rich and diverse as the UN itself.”

Prosor joked that it was a lifetime dream of his to one day be a warm-up act for Rita at a major New York venue. The ambassador disclosed his own love for music, saying he used to be part of a chorus and claiming that people sometimes mistake him for opera singer Luciano Pavarotti. “These days, however, I spend much more time composing speeches for the Security Council than music,” he joked. “Tonight I encourage you to get on your feet and sing along.”

Rita is congratulated by Israel's Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor at the end of her UN performance, March 5 (photo credit: Shahar Azran)

Rita is congratulated by Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor at the end of her UN performance, March 5 (photo credit: Shahar Azran)

Rita Jahan-Foruz was born in Tehran, Iran, 50 years ago. In 1970, at the age of eight, she migrated with her family to Israel, where she grew up listening to her mother sing melodies in her native Farsi.
Fifteen years later, Rita burst onto the Israeli music scene as a one-named wonder — Israel’s Madonna, or Cher, if you will — and has gone on to become one of the country’s top recording artists and most recognized celebrities.

She was chosen to sing the national anthem in 1998 at the country’s main jubilee celebration, answering a personal plea from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Ten years later, as Israel marked its 60th anniversary, she was chosen as Israel’s top female singer ever.
Still, she stayed close to her Iranian roots. Some 250,000 Israelis are of Iranian descent. Rita is perhaps the most famous of all.

In Iran, fans are exposed to her music mostly through foreign-based Farsi-language satellite TV. During a recent tour of eight music dealers in Tehran, an AP correspondent found two selling a Rita single, “Gole Sangam,” a remake of a famous Iranian song about yearning for a missing loved one.

Read article in full


Anonymous said...

I have to ask... Why? Shouldn't it be the Iranians after their genocidal rhetoric and sponsorship of terrorism making overtures? The people running the government of Israel are acting like fools. We should be strong, but these overtures present Israel as a weak country begging the Iranians to normalise while the Iranians are going full steam ahead with their nuclear weapons development.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful and very talented woman, but she is no Ofra Haza. My props to her, it's not easy to make such a weird-sounding language, such as Farsi, enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

Well, yesterday I viewed an interview of Shimon Peres and he was much more concilliatory than you. Nothing will be gained by too much aggresiveness.Israel has already proved its strength.
He answered all the questions about Iran and was as cool as a cucumber.So let the Israelis decide.
We are now much stronger with the discovery of that huge gaz reserve. So let's look forward to a better life for all Israelis

Anonymous said...

Peres is a joke. He only cares about accolades and international recognition. No wonder he is an unelected "representative" of the country. Any Israeli politician doing the crap he does would never be reelected for a major post again.

How did Israel prove its strength anyway? By refusing to defend its citizens every time the "palestinians" attack? By not reacting when the same "palestinians", time and time again, tear the Oslo accords? By making empty threats against Iran for the last years? By compromising its core values and selling the few allies the country has? Let's be serious.

Israel has proved its weakness and that's why enemies are more daring than ever.

It's always funny to see the yuppies and far-leftists in Tel Aviv complaining about "housing costs" when they actively work for us to have no housing at all....