Heartbeat- A Peaceful Rhythm
By: Kristiana Peric, Interfaith Engagement Intern
Photo Credits: Heartbeat’s Official Website: heartbeat.fm
“All day I’m looking through my window and I understand whatever is his is mine and whatever is mine is yours. We are supposed to even be brothers, but to me it seems that doesn’t really matter to you. We’ll break down the walls, and take down the flags and then we’ll discover a world where everything is possible. When we understand that we’re all human beings then forever and ever we will be able to live. We will be able to live!”- Bukra Fi Mishmish (When the Impossible Happens)
These are the powerful lyrics from Heartbeat- a non-profit that is dedicated to connecting Palestinian and Israeli youths through the power of music. Though it may seem impossible to many, Heartbeat is getting back to the basics and fundamental things in life that have the most unifying capabilities and capacities- music. With frequent music and dialogue programs in Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa, Heartbeat is actively integrating Palestinians and Israelis together and fostering an environment where true friendships can grow and flourish. The amount of trust, communication, understanding, respect, authenticity, transparency, humility and confidence between these members all stems out from the basic fundamentals that music teaches a person. Heartbeat understands music’s influence in changing the hearts of those who listen and the potential it has to create social change and harnesses this through helping these musicians develop both their professional skills and their development as individuals on a human level. Heartbeat does this through weekly meetings, retreats, workshops, multimedia productions, as well as local and international performances.
“Make hummus not war. Build playgrounds don’t build any walls/ educate children not soldiers/ wear flowers not uniforms/ raise life not a racist core/ read books not censored news/ pray for life not holy stones/ un-occupy these lands and souls”- Make Hummus Not War
Heartbeat is using music as a new form of traditional peace talks, and although it may not be as widespread and formal as the traditional kinds, it is much more sustainable. Heartbeat addresses the roots of the conflict by reaching out to each individual and citizen and instilling these core values within them that they hold for themselves and their peers. Writing original songs- such as “Bukra fi mishmish” and “Make Hummus Not War”- and performing them on an international platform, allows the space for one to find assurance in their voices as well as open-mindedness and consideration of others’ narratives and thoughts. Though it is obvious that peace is nowhere near the reality of the state of the relationship between these two groups- Heartbeat is slowly but surely making this a reality.
In an ocean of angry, frustrated and hopeless voices within the conflict- Heartbeat is the redemption song. Heartbeat reflects the natural rhythm of the world and is dedicated to tuning humanity back to its natural state- a rhythm of peace and coexistence. We often think of peace as this abstract and unachievable thing but only because we are not thinking of how we can connect it to our everyday lives. Heartbeat shows us that we are complicating our own conflicts much more than we need to, and we just need to focus on the simple foundations that are known to bring people together on such a basic and fundamental level. It has been scientifically proven that our heartbeats synchronize with the music that we are listening to. So Heartbeat’s simple philosophy isn’t just some synthetically sugar-coated belief, but it stems from the scientific discovery that we are what we listen to- and if we play this rhythm of peace we will, in fact, embody and emit peace.
“To understand my message, face me for a second and then you’ll be one of me, and you’ll become dear to me. We are always on stage to teach you how to roll. What you learned at home how to move your body, move it for peace instead of war. It’s not that difficult you can change it and simply. It’s about the will, not power to be whatever you need to be, don’t stay a prisoner in yourself. let go.” – Make Hummus Not War
If you liked Heartbeat’s mission and want to support their efforts towards peace, visit their website at: http://heartbeat.fm/donate/