New York City, USA – The
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization cultural agency is set to appoint
Lebanese musician and writer Marcel Khalifé one of its artists for peace, saying
his original musical compositions make him a “cultural ambassador”.
Mr. Khalifé, born in 1950, first studied then taught the ud [aka oud], or Arabic
lute, at the Beirut National Conservatory. After a solo career, in 1972 he
founded the Al Mayadine musical group in his home village, Amchit, Mount
Lebanon, with the mission of using the ud to preserve the Arabic musical
heritage. The group has toured extensively, UNESCO says. He also has composed dance and film music, inspired by contemporary Arab poets,
and has written several books on music. UNESCO will officially appoint Mr.
UNESCO also recently appointed Prince Twins Seven Seven of Nigeria, considered
the foremost exponent of the Oshogbo School of Painting, representing the
cosmology and mythology of the Yoruba people. Their culture spread as captives
from among them were enslaved and transported across the Atlantic to Cuba,
Brazil and the southern United States. Prince Twins Seven Seven, appointed late
last month, is also a musician, actor and writer.
The agency created the Artist for Peace award in 1995, the International Year
for Tolerance, using the artists’ influence, charisma and prestige to “sensitize
public opinion about issues relating to peace, justice, children in need, the
struggle against illiteracy, the environment and tolerance.”
Among them are Russian conductor Valery Gergiev, French-born “Gypsy King”
composer and singer Chico Bouchikhi, Japanese ballet dancer Miyako Yoshida and
violinist Eijin Nimura, U.S. Native American writer and painter N. Scott Momaday,
Chinese actress Gong Li, Mozambican painter Malangatana, Brazilian cultural
minister, composer and singer Gilberto Gil and Venezuelan actress Patricia
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.