City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Klezmer Crossed With Spoken Word in Jewish, Palestinian & British Storylines


By Lindsay Corr - Posted on 01 November 2017

Longing, Belonging and Balfour_Chai For All

Chai For All perform the Arts Council England-funded multi-narrative music and spoken word show this Saturday, 4th November at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh.

This performance piece, which is part of a ten-gig UK tour, is Chai For All's musical re-telling of the Balfour Declaration story of 1917 in its centenary year, to educate, invite comment and engage people in working together for peace with justice.

The show explores the 100 years plus history and context of the Declaration from several perspectives; pioneer Zionist Chaim Weizmann, Palestinian Gazalla Mohamed Abu Eid who was terrorized by Jewish forces as Israel became a nation and Arthur Balfour, the British imperialist himself.

The music is drawn from contemporary English Arabic and Yiddish song, and performed on oud, derbuka, trumpet, clarinet, flute, violin and guitar by a multi-national band, mainly based in Bristol.

The ensemble welcomes, for Edinburgh’s performance only, a performance by young Palestinian violinist Shaden Nahra, who hails from Haifa, which is described as ‘a little bubble of what a just relationship for all the people of the West Bank and Israel could be’ by Chai For All bassist Jewish British Israeli Mark Smulian, an outspoken critic of Israel’s on-going programme of what Israeli historian Ilan Pappe describes as ‘land grab’ through Settlement construction and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, in the week of the centenary of his predecessor Arthur Balfour’s famous ‘Declaration’ of support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, has called for an honouring of the unfulfilled part of the Declaration, that there now be a 'viable and contiguous state of Palestine... the borders based on the lines they stood on June 4, 1967.’

Longing, Belonging and Balfour producer David Mowat, states:

‘I have been gripped by this unfinished story, the creation of Israel and the unfulfilled promise to safeguard the rights of Palestinians all my life, as my father was with the British forces in Mandate Palestine in 1946. He visited the dwindling Christian Palestinian community yearly since his retirement until he was too old to travel. He dearly wished Britain should right its wrongs. Now is the time.’

There is opportunity after the show for audience members to share their personal stories evoked by the performance, amplifying or correcting the tales from the stage.

Longing, Belonging & Balfour
Sat 4 November | 7.30pm (1hr 30 inc. interval + Q&A) | £12 (£10)

Book Tickets Online or Call 0131 556 9579
www.scottishstorytellingcentre.co.uk

Lindsay Corr is Marketing and Communications Manager for Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland (TRACS), which is based at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.