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RAMALLAH – As part of the 17th World Day of the Italian Language, the Consulate General of Italy organized a classical music concert at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music Hall in Ramallah on October 11, 2017. The works of Italian composers were interpreted by two artists of Palestinian origin, Dima Bawab and Mourad Layouss.

The event was named “The Italian Touch”, organized by the Consulate General of Italy on the occasion of the 17th World Day of the Italian Language, on Wednesday October 11 at the “Edward Said National Conservatory of Music Hall” in Ramallah. To celebrate the language and culture of Dante and Rossini, two young soloists, Dima Bawab, a lyric singer, and Mourad Layouss, pianist, performed six classical operas by Leoncavallo, Puccini, Handel and six songs from film music composed by Morricone, Bernestein, Rinaldi, Afanasief and Pacalov. Mourad Layouss also played works by Scarlatti and Clementi.

Mr. Fabio Sokolowicz, Italian Consul General in Jerusalem, thanked the many present – about two hundred – for having responded to his invitation. Among them were Dr. Sabri Saidam, Palestinian Minister of Education, Bishop Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo, Patriarchal Vicar in Jerusalem and Palestine, and many from Ramallah, East Jerusalem and Palestinian universities.

The two artists were not randomly chosen for the evening. Both are virtuosos of music and are imbued with European and Palestinian culture.

Dima Bawab is Jordanian, and her family is of Palestinian origin. After starting her training in Amman, this young practicing Catholic was actively involved in the activities of the Catholic Student Youth and joined the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris, where she graduated with distinction in 2007. Soprano coloratura, she participated in many operas on stages all over the world. Last month, as part of the famous Jerash festival, Dima Bawab had the chance to sing in duet with Andrea Bocelli.

The pianist Mourad Layouss had a slightly different path. Born in Padua, northern Italy, to a family from Mi’ilya in Galilee, he was quickly spotted as a young talent and benefited from the training of many maestros including the famous Laura Palmieri.  After pursuing Masterclass and international competitions in Switzerland and Italy, he continues to train at the Buchmann-Metha School in Tel Aviv.

Thanks to them, yesterday the pleasure of music united the Western and the oriental communities.

Cécile Klos

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