China to build a new Conservatoire in Lebanon – for Maher Zain?

Lebanon’s Ministry of Culture “has signed an agreement with China for a grant of $35 million to develop the National Conservatoire for Music in Dbayeh, including several music halls for training purposes, as well as an amphitheater for concerts, with a capacity of 1,400 seats.”

What a wonderful news! The first time I learnt something interesting about Lebanon was from my search for poetic quotes on love. I was wholeheartedly impressed by Khalil Gibran’s splendid writings. The most unforgettable one is “If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”

For once when I ate lamb kebab in Hong Kong about 15 years ago, I happened to chat with a man with his family sitting next to mine, and discovered that he came from Lebanon. Being very friendly, he told me he had been working and living here for more than a decade and appreciated this city as a peaceful and convenient city. He taught me a lot about Arabic foods and their features, and I like the way he smiles , simply sincere and touching.

What is more touching is Maher Zain’s song “Hold My Hand”. Maher’s Lebanese family emigrated to Sweden when he was eight. He became a popular singer, in both Arabic and English, beginning from 2009, but his name came to me only in 2014 because of his trek through the Great Wall in China “to raise funds for the war stricken Gaza”. His songs monopolized my mind for as long as two months. As always, he promotes love, peace and harmony.

The Han Chinese is a nation that has been a long-time friend with the Jews as well as the Arabs and Persians, and thus may be able to achieve something unthinkable. One of the recent moves is that the Israeli “cabinet on Sunday (April 23, 2017) ratified an agreement with China relating to the employment of Chinese construction workers in Israel. The agreement was made possible after Israel agreed to a condition demanded by the Chinese government that in practice provides that Chinese construction workers in Israel will not be employed in settlements in the West Bank or East Jerusalem.” It seems to me that the Israelis, Palestinians and Chinese all benefit from such a compromise. As there is already one, some more may happen……

And I very much hope that, one day, people of all nationalities can travel to Lebanon to sing the song “Hold My Hand” together with Maher Zain in the new concert hall.

The opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.

Categories: Show Business

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