Famous Iraqi Musician Returns to Baghdad for Peace Concert

25 Sep 2012

image PHOTO BY © UNDP IRAQ

The world famous Iraqi musician Naseer Shamma performed at the Baghdad national theatre for the first time in 20 years at a concert to celebrate International Peace Day in Iraq.

 “On International Peace Day here in Iraq we add our voices to the United Nations Secretary General’s call for a complete cessation of hostilities around the world” stated Gyorgy Busztin, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq. He added “I am delighted that on this occasion 14 representatives of all Iraqi political blocs have endorsed a statement committing themselves to peace in Iraq”

In addition to performing around the world and winning a number of international music prizes, Shamma is widely known and respected as a man of compassion who has for years been a dedicated advocate for peace and ending violence in Iraq.

“ I have the extreme pleasure to perform in Baghdad Al-Salam, the city of peace. I call upon the whole world to help Iraq become a peaceful place to live in” said Shamma. “The concert sent a message of memories, love, hope for a better future and peace, and paid tribute  to Iraq and all those who lost their lives in the continuous wars including those who died during the 2003 attack on the United Nations office in Baghdad” he added.

The concert was co-organized by the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)  in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and local civil society youth organizations.

“ We thank the United Nations for this great initiative as it proves that Baghdad is re-establishing its presence as an Arab capital capable of hosting cultural activities of such a volume” said Mr. Nasser Taher Al-Hmoud, deputy Iraqi Minister of Culture.

The Iraqi people, many of whom were youth, who were present at the concert added their voices to millions of people around the world committed to the values of peace and a better future for all.

 “We are delighted to support this historic event as a significant first step towards a more peaceful and non-violent Iraq” noted Peter Batchelor UNDP Country Director. “Holding this concert proved that it is still possible for Iraqis to come together to celebrate Iraqi culture and the prospect of a more peaceful future for the country and its people” he added.

In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly declared 21 September as the United Nations International Day of Peace. The concert in Baghdad coincided with similar events in many parts of the world, as part of the theme of the 2012 International Peace Day – Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future.

Communications Unit

For more information please contact press.iraq@undp.org