Marcel Khalife the Artist for Peace in Vienna

On 30 June 2009 the well known Lebanese composer, musician, Oud  player and singer Marcel Khalife will revive a night of concert in the beautiful city of love, peace, music, art, culture and democracy, Vienna.

Over 1500 Austrians, Arabs, and people of many other khal-linationalities will be waiting to hear the songs of artist for peace Marcel Khalife in the courtyard (Arkadenhof) of the municipality (Rathaus) on Ring street. For the first time in a big concert event, Khalife will transport the voice of the middle-east to the Austrian audience and all those who love peace, music, arts, freedom and liberty. Among the audience is expected Karl Blecha, former minister of interior and the president of SAA, Erwin Lanc, former minister of foreign affairs, and Willibald Pahr, also a former minister of foreign affairs of Austria. The names of the official representatives of the Austrian government to be present at the concert have not yet been published.

heinz_fischer1The concert will be held under the auspicies of Dr. Heinz Fischer, the Austrian President, and Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General. A honor committee consisting of Werner Faymman, the Austrian Prime Minister,  Michael Spindelegger, current Austrian foreign Minister, Dr. Benita Ferrero Waldner, EU commissioner for foreign relations, Dr. Michael Häupl, the Major of Vienna, Karen Koning Abu-Zayed, Commissioner-General of the UNRWA, and Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, director general of the Opec Fund for International Development, underlines the importance of the event. The day after the concert, on 1 July 2009, President Dr. Heinz Fischer will receive the Lebanese composer in his office for a private audience.

The concert is organized by the Society for Austro-Arab Relations (Saar)  in coordination with other organizations. Fritz Edlinger, the Secretary General of Saar, stated that they organized the Khalife concert in Vienna in cooperation 2009_02_20-1081with the OPEC-Fund (OFID) and additional support given by the municipality of Vienna and the Federal Ministry of Education and Culture. Edlinger said that the most important financial support came from OFID, who support the event with EUR 75.000,- !! and that without this contribution, the concert would not have been possible in Vienna. He clarified that the main intention of OFID is to support the scholarship funds of UNRWA. The concert will also be used by the UNRWA to launch a special scholarship fund. The Dr. Al-Herbish of OFID will announce the pledge of an important contribution to the fund, which according to Edlinger could be about (USD 55 Mio).

About the objective of organizing Khalife’s concert in Vienna, Fritz Edlinger said that for him and SAAR, the event has two main meanings:

First: to celebrate the 60. anniversary of UNRWA, and also to launch a special scholarship fund for especially talented Palestinian students. Presenting UNRWA in this concert event means to remind the public about the still existing and unsolved fate of the Palestinian refugees!!

Second: to present one of the most important Arab singers to the 2009_02_20 024Austrian public. Abut 1.500 attendees are expected to come, what would make this event the biggest Arabic cultural event in Vienna ever!! According to Edlinger, “If you look at the Al-Mayadine ensemble, you will easily recognize that this is a real international and multicultural project. This is also a third message, taking into consideration the rising xenophobia in Europe (and unfortunately also in Austria)”.

Marcel Khalife Artist for Peace

Khalife has in the past held concerts all over the world and he was named Artist for Peace in 2005 by UNESCO. He supports the commitment to the musical heritage of Arab and Lebanese chorals. In 2009 he was named the musical director of the Orchestra of Qatar. In Arab nations Khalife is considered a cultural icon who represents their musical culture around the world.

Musician Marcel Khalife has suffered the oppression of the many Arab regimes. Khalife_Flyer_DE_ENG.inddWhen he added a revelation of Quran to one of his songs, radical Muslims fought and incited against him, and he was declared as an infidel in the mosques . For some years Khalife was banned in Tunisia because he sung a poem of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish; Khalife was also denounced by Bahraini parliamentarians for “encouraging debauchery”. His problems with the Tunisian government were finally solved, but Khalife still faces the hatred of Israel, as the zionists and the pro-Israel gangs everywhere who works obstruct his concerts around the world.

Marcel Khalife loves the Palestinians, and he sang and still sings for our national rights. He sings the poems of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. The poems of Darwish have become popular songs all around the world through Khalife’s songs. According of Khalife, he feels himself and his own presence in Darwish’s poems, he feels that Darwish wrote his words and poems for him.

Marcel Khalife and Al Mayadeen Ensemble

Marcel Khalife was born 1950 in Amchit, Lebanon. He studied the Oud at the musicalBeirut National Conservatory of Music. From 1971 to 1975 he taught at the conservatory in Beirut. He created the Al Mayadeen Ensemble in 1976 and became very famous around the world for songs like Ummi (My Mother), Jawaz al-Safr (The Passport), and Rita w’al-Bundaqiya (Rita and the Rifle), based are on the poems from Mahmoud Darwish.

Marcel Khalife was granted the Palestinian Award for Music in 1999. In turn, he kalicontributed the financial part of the award to the National Conservatory of Music at the Birzeit University in Palestine. He currently lives in Paris, and his sons, Bashar and Rami Khalife, are also accomplished Oud players and percussionists in the Al Mayadeen ensemble.


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Marchel Khalife Flayer

In the coming concert at the municipality, Khalife will sing the following songs, and Magda Assem will translate his songs from the stage, and they will also be translated and for the public.

  • 1 Arabic Coffeepot – Raqwet Arabe
  • 2 Pigeons Fly – Yateer Al Hamam
  • 3 Love You More – Ouhibouka Atkthar
  • 4 Walking Tall- Mountasiba al Qamati Amshi
  • 5 A Song On My Mind- Fil Bal Oughniaton
  • 6 Rita
  • 7 Night Traveller- Ya Sari
  • 8 Palestinian Mawwal- Mawwal Filastini
  • 9 Tango (instrumental)
  • 10 Sparrow- Asfour
  • 11 Houriyyeh’s Teachings- Ta’alim Houriyyeh
  • 12  Mother- Oummi
  • 13 Passport- Jawaz el Safar
  • 14 The Sailors – Ya Bahriyyeh

The artists in the ensemble are:

  • Marcel Khalife: composer, oud & vocals
  • Oumaima Khalil: vocals
  • Yolla Keryakos: vocals
  • Rami Khalife: piano
  • Peter Herbert: double bass
  • Mark Helias: double bass
  • Anthony Millet: Accordion
  • Ismail Lumanovski: clarinet
  • Kinan Azmeh: clarinet
  • Moslem Rahal: ney
  • Feras Charestan: qanoun
  • Kinan Adnawi: oud
  • Mohamad Osman: bozouq
  • Joanna Lewis: violin
  • Anne Harvey-Nagl: violin
  • Petra Ackermann: viola
  • Melissa Zielasko: cello
  • Bachar Khalife: percusión
  • Alexandar Petrov: percussion

3 comments to Marcel Khalife the Artist for Peace in Vienna

  • Salaam al-Maseeh

    Assalaamu alaykum, Ms. Salam,

    This sounds like a song to reach the listeners hearts with. It is beautiful to have a song to fight against the Zionists with. God bless you and the concert.

    BarakAllah fiik,

    Steve in Vista

  • Sameh Haj Kasem

    Marcel sings not only for peace ..he sings for the good intentions which make the world a better place to live in ..more harmonized ,more beautiful and with nicer face when people forget about the different languages ,cultures and mentalities and start to think music
    love u Marcel …. im coming to you finally

  • ooh yes , Marcil is one of the best Arabic composers , whose music get beyond the local boundries and unite Arabs all over the world (musically ). Wish all of you to attend a concert whatever if costs time ,money or effort .
    Sam , try to get togather when u listen to Rita song when u attened there .

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