I don’t know how we missed hearing about this wonderful album with over 50 musicians representing an amazingly diverse eclectic spectrum of talent and fame who have joined forces to support Gaza. What emerged is 2 Unite All, 26 powerful musical tracks of healing and peace created in a wonderful, (rewarding!) and very accessible way for people around the world to support the besieged Palestinian community of Gaza.
Stewart Copeland, from the band The Police, had this to say about being a part of this project:
Our music may not be able to rebuild homes nor bring back victims of violence, but at least it can soften hearts. Hard hearts allow violence in the Holy Land and softening up allows persuasion.
Speaking of persuasion, here’s a track from the album by System of a Down’s Serj Tankian, Copeland, and Egyptian-American award winning composer Omar Fadel at the Sacred Grove to get us in the “healing and peace” vibe before we check out the rest of the dedicated artists reaching out and making a difference by lending their hearts and talent to this project.
2 Unite All Executive Producer Steve Robertson, founder of Project Peace On Earth (PPOE) became inspired to make the album after finding out a young Palestinian girl who was in a coma from the bombing last summer might wake up only to find her parents and sibling were massacred during the attack. “The doctors weren’t sure if she would survive, but said if she did regain consciousness she would learn that her mother, father and sister had all been killed. My tears wouldn’t stop” Robertson continued, “and I said to myself ‘That’s enough. I have to do something now and offer some sort of healing support to the people of Gaza and this Middle East crisis.’”
Robertson called acclaimed Indian composer Ricky Kej to produce the album, and he enthusiastically accepted. “I just knew how important it was for me, and all people, to help bring awareness and an end to the suffering of the people of the Holy Land,” Kej says.
The star studded line up that’s come together for this benefit album, all proceeds going to deliver urgent humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza through the indomitable Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF), includes Peter Gabriel, Stewart Copeland, Grammy Award-winning opera singer Sasha Cooke, Rick Allen (Def Leppard), Country Grammy winner Gary Nicholson, Pearl Thompson (Cure/Led Zeppelin), Down’s Serj Tankian and so many more!
Peter Gabriel’s reasons for contributing to the album echo the kinds of frustrations that have exhausted so many of us at times, “Although I am sure both the Palestinian and Israeli people would benefit enormously from a just and fair two-state agreement based around the ’67 borders, we have watched the Palestinians subjected to more and more suffering for far too long, especially in Gaza.”
And I love his resoluteness; “Meanwhile their long held land is repeatedly stolen by force for illegal settlements. I am not and have never been anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic; I am anti-Israeli government policy, anti-injustice, anti-oppression and anti-occupation. There is clearly a growing movement around the world willing to speak out, including my own country’s Parliament. I am happy to be one of these voices now asking the Israeli government, ‘Where is that two state solution you have so long said you wanted?’ and more simply, saying, ‘Enough.’”
Serj Tankian adds “Helping to rebuild the lives of Palestinians in Gaza is a necessary and noble worldwide humanitarian prerogative that we must not shy away from. It’s the least we can do for a people that have suffered under an occupation, embargo, and invasion.”
The commitment of these artists to make this album a success reminds me how much people all over the world became so united last summer and why we have to keep focused, have sumud and make our presence matter until the blockade of Gaza is lifted, the occupation is over.
Rick Allen (Def Leppard) and his wife and songwriting partner, Lauren Monroe, sound passionate about their contribution to the album . Monroe said that contributing a song “to help bring necessary healing and resources to Gaza was the least Rick and I could do, the beautiful people of Palestine require the world’s immediate medical support.”
“Our world is finally focusing on resolving this conflict and too many lives have been lost, too many innocent children and families remain perilously injured,” Allen says, “I’m encouraging all Def Leppard fans to buy a copy of 2 Unite All and support this cause.”
I love the theme, I love that it’s healing music, I love that the proceeds will be supporting those medical heros at PCRF. Copeland said, about the energy behind 2 Unite All “Even the most flinty realpolitik analysis shows that ‘Kumbaya’ is more credible than ‘They Must Go.’”
Ha! Kumbaya it is. Big thanks to the full list of the musicians (which can also be viewed at Itunes where the album was recently released):
Peter Gabriel (Six-time Grammy® Winner)
Stewart Copeland (The Police) and Serj Tankian (System of a Down), with Omar Fadel
Rick Allen of Def Leppard, with songwriter Lauren Monroe
Pearl Thompson (The Cure), with Finbar O’Hanlon
Sasha Cooke (Grammy® Winner, Opera)
Gary Nicholson (Grammy® Winner, Country)
Joanne Shenandoah (Grammy® Winner, Native American) with Leah and Diane
Richard Gannaway, Jay Oliver & Miriam Stockley of AOMusic
David Arkenstone and Charlee Brooks
Rickie Byars Beckwith
Beth Nielsen Chapman
Sussan Deyhim and Richard Horowitz
The GuruGanesha Band
Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman
Fox Lima of the Enigma MMX Social Media Song
Maetar with Itai and Hagai Disraeli
Gary Malkin with Thich Nhat Hanh and Phap Niem
Hani Naser Band
Elijah Ray and the Band of Light
Riddle the Sphinx with Christiane Cargill Kinney, Burgundy Morgan, Christo Pellani
Kenji Williams of Bella Gaia