Hundreds of Christians, Jews and Muslims came together at the Tower of David in Jerusalem to sing Bob Marley’s “One Love” in Hebrew, English and Arabic.
On June 14th, 2018, in honor of the historical visit to Israel by Indonesia’s religious leader Sheikh Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, Koolulam invited 1000 people who had never met before to a special event at the Tower of David in Jerusalem, to sing one song, in three languages and in three-part vocal harmony.
That night was Eid al-Fitr, a holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting and introspection, and the Jerusalem visit of Kyai Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf, secretary general of Indonesia-based Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim organization with more than 60 million members.
Staquf had seen a Koolulam video and contacted the organization to say he was coming to Israel and wanted to be part of an interfaith social music event. Coincidentally, the Tower of David and Jerusalem.com (a website offering in-person and virtual tours of Jerusalem) wanted to sponsor such an event, says Koolulam cofounder and general manager Michal Shahaf Shneiderman.
“It was an amazing confluence and fit our agenda that each person can be part of our events no matter where he comes from or what he believes,” she says. “And what could be better than this historic location to host people of three religions singing together in English, Hebrew and Arabic?”
Shneiderman says Koolulam reached out to Muslim and Christian groups that might be interested in taking part. “Happily, they all came and sang with us.”
Koolulam was established with the goal of bringing together people from all walks of life by means of a collaborative musical creation. In each event, a new rendition of a well-known song is taught to participants and is immediately thereafter performed.
Watch the video below: