Voices for Peace

22 December 2011

A Concert for Humanity


A star-studded cast of international celebrity singers and Palestinian musicians will stage a “concert for humanity” in Bethlehem on Christmas Day. The performers include the Native American singer and Grammy Award winner Joanne Shenandoah, Grammy-winning Gary Nicholson, Fox Lima of Enigma‘s Social Song, and Hani Naser. Said Murad from Sabreen is musical director for the event.

Proceeds will go to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which assists millions of Palestine refugees in the Middle East through development and advocacy.

UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi paid tribute to the musicians and organisers of the event: “This is a celebration of the common humanity that unites us all, and it is a fitting reminder to a global audience about the millions of Palestine refugees in this region, as well as UNRWA, which serves them. They are truly among the dispossessed of the Earth and on Christmas Day it is proper that they should be in our thoughts and prayers.”

Steve Robertson, founder of Project Peace on Earth, outlined the aims of the event: “The concert is both inspirational and aspirational. I hope it will inspire a greater understanding of what peace means in our lives as individuals and as societies. And I hope it will in some special way unite us in our aspirations towards peace.”

The concert, which will run from 19:00 to 21:00 Bethlehem time on 25 December 2011 at the Bethlehem Convention Centre, will be streamed live on the web at www.livestream.com/projectpeaceonearth and It will also be carried live on MTC and PBC.

The event is being organised and produced by Project Peace on Earth and its local partners: Bethlehem Convention Palace, visitpalestine.ps, and Sync Systems. The concert is under auspices of the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. The producers and organisers would like to thank the sponsors of the event: CCC, Bethlehem Convention Palace, Netours and Ambassador Hotel, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, MTC -TV, Cairo Amman Bank, Peugeot, and the Palestinian Authority.

Background Information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949 and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some 5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance.

Financial support to UNRWA has not kept pace with an increased demand for services caused by growing numbers of registered refugees, expanding need, and deepening poverty. As a result, the Agency's General Fund (GF), supporting UNRWA’s core activities and 97 per cent reliant on voluntary contributions, has begun each year with a large projected deficit. Currently the deficit stands at more than US$ 106  million.

For more information, please contact:

Christopher Gunness
Spokesperson, Director of Advocacy & Strategic Communications
+972 (0)54 240 2659
+972 (0)2 589 0267
Sami Mshasha
Chief of Communications & Arabic Language Spokesperson
+972 (0)54 216 8295
+972 (0)2 589 0724