Arabs and Jews coexist by magic

Magical coexistence

Arab, Jewish magicians put on joint show for annual coexistence festival in Jaffa in hopes of promoting dialogue, friendship inspired by their own relationship

By Boaz Fyler, YNet News, November 15, 2009

The Arab-Jewish community center in Jaffa held its annual single-day festival of co-existence titled "Duet" last Saturday in collaboration with the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality. The purpose of the event was to bring Arabs and Jews together trough artistic collaborations. This year the festival featured Israel Cagliostro and Auni Shahberi, old friends and fellow magicians, as the opening performers.

"Our performance is a unique magician stage show, the first of its kind in the world," said Cagliostro. "An Arab magician and a Jewish magician combining the ‘art of illusion’ that are able to create together for a moment the feeling that peace is within reach. On stage we each speak in our own language and perform wearing our cultural clothing. The truth that hides behind our joint magic is the aspiration for true dialogue and friendship, similar to our own relationship."

Auni added that the two dream of showcasing their performance outside of Israel as well.

Cagliostro and Shahberi. (Photo: Hagai Dekel)

The 2009 Duet festival also featured children’s TV stars, a clown circus, Arab and Jewish choirs and a theatre troupe. Interactive workshops were held during the event on dance, cooking, Greek music and more. An arts and crafts fair was also displayed at the event.

"The powers that be forgot that the people also have thoughts and emotions," Auni noted. "The people don’t benefit from antagonism and most people I know love Jews and wish to live in peace. Once every Jew could visit any Arab village on Saturday and we would tour the Jewish cities."

The Arab magician further added that the media, which mostly reports on negatives incidents, is partly responsible for people being more afraid. "We simply speak from the heart, of peace and love which build bridges and don’t burn them."

Cagliostro noted that their purpose was to remind the public that co-existence is possible. "Through the illusion on stage we remind people that there’s true magic – magic of love and faith which changes our reality, even if it’s one person at a time, and it doesn’t matter whether they’re Jewish or Arab."

Source: YNet News

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