By Mahtab Farid
Twenty three years-old Palestinian artist, Halim Basim who resides in US finds comfort in music as the explosions take place in Gaza. Basim also known as Sal is a hip hop performer in the group called, "The Latin League." Recently, Basim lost his grandmother during the Israel Palestine conflict and is worried about his mother who is gone to Gaza to attend his grandmother's memorial service. His facial expression became more intense during the interview when the television in the lobby of Beacon Hotel in DC showed the Gaza explosions. "It is ridiculous what is happening there."
Basim is among estimated three million people who have come to Washington, DC to be part of the history as the first African American, 44th US President-elect Barack Obama will be inaugurated on January 20, 2009. Basim and his music group, "The Latin League" received an invitation to perform at the Latino Gala Inauguration.
Basim hopes through music, he could communicate the message of love and peace to the world. He finds comfort in music as his homeland Palestine struggles with the ongoing explosions in Gaza. He didn't portray any sign of negative feelings towards the people of Israel and in fact he expressed concern for both sides, "They don't want it either, we need peace. Innocent people are dying."
Basim hopes the incoming US President will be able to change what is happening in the world and bring peace to the Middle East. "With Obama it is not about race. It is about who is qualified."
"The Latin League" was formed three years ago in Tampa, Florida to bring the message of peace and love through music. There is no profanity in their music.
The hip hop group from Florida performed on Friday night for the Latino Inauguration Gala at "Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School" before prominent members of Latino community.
Linda Chavez, the head of "Center for Equal Opportunity" said, "We are the greatest nation in the world because of the opportunities presented to us. The Future of our country is in our generosity, in our willingness to take new blood in this country." As how the new US administration will deal with challenges in the Middle East, she said,"It is going to be a challenging time in the Middle East, big problems to solve."
Rep. Henry Cuellar, Democrat from Texas who attended the Latino Gala told USI NEWS, he believes United States needs to set some ground rules for dialogue with Iran. "They need to know that we can communicate with them and if they are able to engage in some sort of dialogue. I think this will open up a different type of relationship with that country, but again make sure that we protect our country first."
Mahtab Farid is an award winning international reporter, founder of US Iran NEWS and an expert in US Iran relations.
... Payvand News - 01/19/09 ... --