Latest News from the „Brave Women“
The Arab-Jewish women's choir "Rana" from Jaffa currently receives more and more opportunities, both in Israel and the European countries, to publicly present its clear message of peaceful coexistence through concert performances and media coverage. The news clip on this website is impressive proof thereof. This desirable success, however, also requires greater effort and creates an increased need for support ... and here IrespectU once again comes into play.
A special highlight of my last stay in Israel was a visit to a Rana choir rehearsal. I received a very warm welcome - like an old friend - although this was the first time that I attended a rehearsal. The singers had obviously not forgotten that IrespectU had made the production of a video clip in December 2016 possible.
After a lively vocal cord warm-up, a concentrated rehearsal session lasting several hours began. To my surprise the foreign harmonies cast a spell over me after just a few minutes. But why? Perhaps because of the interplay of their benevolent voices which were enthusiastically directed by Mika, the choir director, without instrumental accompaniment? Mika strives for high musical quality because Rana aims to be persuasive not only through its philosophy but also through its artistic message. Or perhaps it was due to the natural warm interaction and the close familiarity of the ladies amongst themselves, even though it was obvious that a very heterogeneous group, with very different cultural backgrounds, had come together. Be it as it may, my personal favorite was the song that Mika had discovered in a Tamil anthology: The lamentation of a mother whose son has perished in battle, the solemn melody supported by rhythmic body drumming. Absolute goosebumps! The suffering and longings of women are often universal …
"Very rarely in my life have I felt as much positive female energy in a room as I do this evening". This remark, which I jokingly threw into the round, was actually meant quite seriously, although particular women groups or networks are generally not my cup of tea.
The audiences of a very successful concert tour through several French cities, from which the choir had only recently returned, obviously felt the same. A particular feedback deeply impressed the singers: "It is as if you had brought from the Middle East, packed in your suitcase, not only your hopes and dreams, but also your distress and helplessness, all wrapped in sound, and shared them with us today".
The authenticity and engagement of these women find great acceptance. A concert in Tel Aviv in September 2017 was quickly sold out. The report of the English-language Israeli television station i24, which you can watch on this site, likewise evidences this success (to view please click the white arrow in the center of the third photo from the top). Tours need to be arranged and organized, songs need to be selected and orchestrated, and rehearsals require time and energy. And if Rana should not to become a victim of its own success, as a person associated with the choir recently wrote me, it needs financial aid to finance a part-time assistant to provide much needed support for the choir director.
It is thus a great pleasure for IrespectU to sponsor these costs for the next 12 months in order to further support this unprecedented initiative.