Eyhab Alshurahi

Today we all sing together

The Berlin encounter choir at the citizens' fair of the Federal President Joachim Gauck

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Singing together means to leave all differences in origin, language, religion and culture behind you and to focus on being together in harmony. This is the exact reason for people to come together again in accordance with the music.

A reason for such an encounter was the last weekend. The Current German Federal President Joachim Gauck invited to a city festival a in the Bellevue park and palace in Berlin. In the center of the festival was the volunteer commitment of numerous initiatives and charitable organizations. A guest was also the Berlin encounter choir that consists of Berlin residents and refugees.

In wonderful sunny weather, the choir presented a varied repertoire to the audience of the citizens’ fair and invited to an intercultural encounter though singing together.

Already during the brief renovation period before the show began the encounter choir took the chance to an impromptu performance and inspired the audience to sing along: "We now sing all together", it echoed through the marquee, while singers from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia, Equatorial Guinea and Germany made music together with the audience.

Then the choir took the guests on a musical journey around the world by presenting two Arabic songs, an own interpretation of the European Anthem "Ode to Joy" and two English songs. Not only the popular lyrics and melodies offered the opportunity to get to know each other but also pieces in Arabic language animated to clap and dance along.

Two sign language interpreters on stage ensured the accessibility of the show by translations of the English and German lyrics. The song "Nassam Alayna El Hawa" by the Lebanese singerFairuoz, which deals with homesickness, offered an insight into the musical culture of the refugees’ home countries. The final pieces of Lenny Kravitz and Michael Jackson mediated a clear message: In "We Want Peace" and "We Are the World" the choir sang about the deep desire for peace and community across all borders.

Singing together at the citizens’ fair of the Federal President Joachim Gauck was a special experience that will stay in the singers’ mind for a long time. Not least because it has been shown once again that intercultural encounter is possible through music, while even language barriers are overcome.