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48 Years Ago: Commemorating the ’67 War

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The following includes excerpts from Iris Keltz’s forthcoming book. Unexpected Bride in the Promised Land:

This week marks the 48th year since the ‘67 War. Israeli General Yitzhak Rabin was given the honor of naming the war. Considered possibilities were: The War of the Daring, The War of Salvation, The War of the Sons of Light. Rabin chose The Six Day War evoking thoughts of Genesis, but Israel created a new world in less than six days. With the destruction of the Egyptian Air Force, the war had been won in the first few hours. Palestinians call it the Naksa. For them it turned out to be—another Catastrophe.

In the summer of 1967 I cast my fate to the wind and hitchhiked from Paris to Jerusalem hoping to live on an Israeli kibbutz, but a caprice of fate found me welcomed and married into a Palestinian family within weeks of my arrival in East Jerusalem, Jordan. The likelihood of a Jewish-American woman finding sanctuary with “the enemy of our people” during a war that changed the face of the Middle East was just about zero. My family stressed the Jewish narrative of suffering in a Diaspora that lasted thousands of years, culminating in the Holocaust. On my bat mitzvah, I chanted from the book of Exodus about the Hebrew slaves leaving Egypt with miracles and signs of wonder—ten plagues and the parting of a sea. I read Anne Frank’s diary and prayed the horrors of the Holocaust would pass over the Secret Annex where she hid with her family like the Angel of Death had passed over the homes of the Hebrew slaves.

A two-lane highway cut through the desert between Amman and Jerusalem like a sword. As the jeep I was riding in ascended from the Jordan River Valley, Jerusalem appeared in the distance like a floating fortress. Ancient saw-toothed walls, church steeples, minarets, and a golden dome slowly came into focus. Resting on a ridge of hills running north and south, a Canaanite city-state founded four thousand years ago as an oasis for caravans crossing the Arabian Desert had become a city sacred to the world. Jews have dreamed of returning to Jerusalem ever since the Babylonian exile, but for me it was simply a resting place on my way to an Israeli kibbutz where I expected to be welcomed.

I was ridiculously nonchalant about setting foot in the Old City–– and ignorant. I didn’t know that Jerusalem had been divided in 1948 when Israel was created by the United Nations. Jordanian officials informed me it would take three days to get a visa allowing me to pass through the Mandelbaum Gate into West Jerusalem, Israel, and once my passport had an Israeli stamp, I would never be allowed into an Arab country–– but I didn’t care. From the window of the East Jerusalem youth hostel, I could see the flicker of lights in Israel. A sign posted in English and Arabic read: CAUTION! BORDER AHEAD! DANGER! MINES!

The Damascus Gate in the northern wall of the Old City was a short walk from the hostel. An imperious stone archway ushered me into a world where men dressed in ankle-length white robes and headscarves that protected them from the harsh desert sun. Giddy with discovery, I walked for hours. Donkeys carried burdens along sinewy streets. Women surrounded by mounds of fresh fruits and vegetables gossiped and shouted to passersby while babies nursed at their breasts. Merchandise spilled out of stalls little more than windowless units with corrugated metal doors. Household goods, clothing, jewelry, and tourist trinkets were displayed near trays of fresh baklava, sesame rolls, fruit, nuts, herbs and spices my nose could not identify.

A golden dome crowned with the crescent moon of Islam rose like a second sun over the Ottoman-built walls of Jerusalem. Like a moth drawn to light, I tried to find the golden domed mosque but ended up on a broad cobblestone street in the Christian Quarter. Tourists searching for religious trinkets walked between monks in brown habits and priests in black robes. Shop windows displayed filigreed silver and gold jewelry, olive wood crosses, brass bowls, leather goods, intricate boxes inlaid with mother-of-pearl, and hand-blown glass of unimaginable beauty.  Upon entering one of the shops, a dapper young clerk, speaking the Queen’s English politely asked if I would like a cup of tea, and could he help me find something. I was determined not to be pressured into buying. He asked how long I would be staying in Jerusalem.

“Three days.  I’m waiting for a visa to cross into Israel,” I said, watching for any change in his expression. Not a twitch.

“That’s not enough time. There is so much to see here.” I finally bought a leather shoulder bag engraved with camel caravans and smelled of sheep The clerk whose name was Ahmed invited me to meet his cousins, Samira, Marwan and Faisal. That’s how it all began. When the Khatib family jokingly referred to themselves as the “fearful Palestinians” I had no idea who they were talking about. I had never heard that word before. Growing up, all Arabs were generically referred to as Arabs, meaning those people who want to push the tiny Jewish State into the sea. No context was ever offered. But there was nothing fearful about this family who welcomed me into their home and their life.

Faisal who became my husband three weeks later, was a world traveler, a poet and an inspired oud player. His nimble fingers slid up and down the fretless Middle eastern guitar, its atonal notes sounding like a journey with no end. He offered to be my guide in the city of his childhood. In spite of assuring him that I was not on a religious pilgrimage, Faisal insisted on taking me to the Wailing Wall. “You’re Jewish. You must go to see the Wall.”

I followed him through the streets and back alleys in a city saturated with religious, historical and cultural memories. In the middle of a poor overcrowded neighborhood we got to the Wailing Wall. It was unmarked and unnoticed. No one stopped me from leaning my forehead against the cool stones. With a few exceptions, between 1948 and 1967 Israelis and Jordanians had been forbidden to cross each other’s border because officially a state of war existed between those countries. American passports did not mention religious affiliations, and here I stood alongside a Palestinian who was encouraging me to pray at the sacred wall.

The Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary or Haram al Sharif, was a short walk from the Wailing Wall. Two mosques, built after the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem, have graced either end of the plateau for over 1300 years. The Dome of the Rock was the golden structure I had been drawn to on my first day in Jerusalem. Cobalt tiles imprinted with Quranic verses wrapped around the outside walls of the mosque like a blanket. Faisal secured permission for a non-Muslim to enter. The dome protected a massive sharp-edged black granite stone like a giant womb. Many believe this rock to be the site where Abraham (called Ibrahim by Muslims) almost sacrificed his son Isaac (Muslims believe it was Ishmael), where farmers threshed grain during the reign of King David, and where the Prophet Mohammed departed from earth when he rode his horse to heaven. At Zalatimo’s Sweet Shop, I became addicted to fresh squeezed carrot juice and knafeh, a cheese filled sweet pastry. We left the Old City and walked along Nablus Road to a walled-in garden. Let archeologists decide whether the Garden Tomb or the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was the true site of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. We didn’t care. I delayed my passage through the Mandelbaum Gate for a few days. 

One day an urgent telegram was waiting for me at the Jerusalem American Express. “War imminent. Stop. Take first boat or plane to Cyprus. Stop. Mom.” My Palestinian hosts believed none of this. We were blissfully ignorant. If I had bothered to read a newspaper, I would have understood the cause of my mother’s alarm. On May 14, 1967, Cairo announced their armed forces were on maximum alert. On May 18, Egypt demanded the recall of all UN troops stationed in the Gaza Strip and the United Arab Republic. Egyptian troops crossed the Suez Canal and took over UN positions in the Sinai. On May 22, the day Faisal and I got married, Egypt closed the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli ships and ships carrying goods to Israel. By the time Faisal and I awoke on June 5, Israeli pilots had effectively destroyed the Egyptian Air Force in a surprise attack lasting less than two hours. Long-range bombers, fighter jets, transport planes, and helicopters, exposed in open-air hangars were bombed like sitting ducks. Israeli pilots were ordered to “destroy and scatter the enemy throughout the desert so that Israel may live, secure in its land, for generations.” They succeeded beyond their dreams.

Radio Amman announced Jordan had been attacked and the “hour of revenge had come.” While Radio Cairo broadcast patriotic music between calls to cross the 1948 Armistice line and liberate Palestine, Israeli tanks were steadily moving through the Sinai. Official Egyptian communiqués falsely claimed their military had downed more than one hundred and fifty Israeli bombers, and Israeli towns were being heavily shelled. International phone lines had been cut and Israel did not contradict these lies.

Faisal and I found sanctuary in his aunt’s basement apartment in Ramallah. We listened to broadcasts from Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Israel. If either of us had understood Hebrew, we would have heard an Israeli broadcaster warn, “All of Israel is the front line.” Believing another Holocaust was imminent, Jews from around the world were boarding planes bound for Tel Aviv, ready to defend their precious nineteen-year-old country. I, too, wanted Israel to survive but could not fathom how Faisal and his family posed an existential threat—to me or to Israel. Our greatest fear was a direct hit to the building that sheltered us. The bleating and braying of terrified sheep, goats, and donkeys was heartbreaking. Without their human caretakers, the animals were thirsty and starving. Time was measured by shades of darkness and light. During a period of uneasy silence Faisal described our future honeymoon to Petra. I wondered where I’d be if I had gone through the Mandelbaum Gate––perhaps living on a kibbutz or hiding in an Israeli bomb shelter? Maybe I would have flown to Cyprus or returned to New York? I held imaginary conversations with my mother. “I told you to take the first boat or plane out of there,” she’d say, to which I would humbly reply, “You were right, Mom, I should have left when I had the chance but I discovered that Palestinians are not our enemy. We can live together,” something I hoped to convince her of someday.

On the morning of June 7 we heard the sound of soldiers shouting in Hebrew. We understood Ramallah was being occupied. Fellow survivors implored me to run into the street, wave my American passport and shout, “I’m American. Jewish. These people are my friends. My friends are your friends.” Helmeted soldiers, guns poised, barged into the basement apartment. They searched every room, confirmed we were unarmed, confiscated watches and gold jewelry but didn’t notice the gold wedding band I was hiding with the palm of my right hand. I held my breath until they were gone. My silence at that moment has come to haunt me.

The war was over! We had survived, but the world was irrevocably changed. Instead of being swept into the sea, Israel completed the occupation of historic Palestine. They conquered 42,000 square miles, including the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the Sinai Peninsula, and Gaza. The 1.3 million Palestinians living in these territories who suddenly came under Israeli military control became Israel’s responsibility. The battle for demographic domination was beginning. Just as Pharaoh had feared that the Israelites would become as numerous as the stars, the Israelis worried about being outnumbered by the Palestinians.

With youthful innocence, I shared life with the Palestinians moments before the curtain of occupation fell. I’m grateful to have seen the Wailing Wall when it was nestled in the heart of the ancient Moroccan Quarter, to have walked through the streets of Hebron with no soldiers in sight and to have experienced village life before the onset of modernization, pollution and occupation. I loved the pristine landscape between Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah before it was riddled with settlements and checkpoints. It was a borderless, seamless world that welcomed me. Renown Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish once wrote––unfortunately it was Paradise.

Solutions have been put forth––two states, one secular democratic state, a confederation, internationalizing Jerusalem, land exchanges––but solutions lie in a distant future paved with graves and broken families. Whatever compromises are reached, Israelis and Palestinians will remain entangled in each other’s lives. We must learn to empathize with “the other.” Change does not happen with arguable facts and conflicting narratives found in history books. Change starts with the human heart.

Iris Keltz

Author of Unexpected Bride in the Promised Land: My Journey in Palestine and Israel — Nighthawk Press, Taos, New Mexico, Publication Date May, 2017. Scrapbook of a Taos Hippie: Tribal Tales from the Heart of a Cultural Revolution, Cinco Puntos Press, Tx, 2000

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17 Responses

  1. just on June 8, 2015, 4:04 pm

    What a wonderful and captivating story, Iris.

    I am looking forward to more. Many thanks for sharing this.

    It hearkens back to the time before 1948 when Jews, Muslims and Christians lived in peace, and with harmony, in Palestine.

    • Walid on June 8, 2015, 9:25 pm

      “It hearkens back to the time before 1948 when Jews, Muslims and Christians lived in peace, and with harmony, in Palestine.” (just)

      This was wishful and nostalgic thinking on the part of people of good will, but in actuality, peace and harmony were not around between these groups, especially not after the Balfour Declaration and the Ashkenazi/Zionist move to colonize Palestine at the expense of Palestinian Arabs.

    • truth2power on June 9, 2015, 12:43 pm

      Iris, how can I thank you for this profoundly beautiful, truthful account of your life and love? It cuts to the chase and explains what we all need to understand – history is common for all mankind, especially of the Abrahamic faiths – it is only human pride and avarice that causes a problem. You, Faisal and your families are shining examples of how we should all be with each other. I thank you for this. I bless you for it.

      And thank you just too – you are always so measured and positive in your comments. Bless you too!

  2. Jackdaw on June 8, 2015, 4:31 pm

    Israel begged Jordan to stay out of the ’67 War.
    Jordan made some desultory maneuvers, and bombed and sniped at Israeli positions.
    Still. Israel held fire.
    But than Jordan began firing artillery at Israeli air force bases, and enough was enough.

    The rest, is history. That these unfortunates should have been caught up in it, is the King’s doing.

    • Walid on June 8, 2015, 9:12 pm

      “But than Jordan began firing artillery at Israeli air force bases, and enough was enough.” (Jackdaw)

      Jordan never really got into a war with Israel and anything thrown at Israel by Jordan was simply for show. In 48, 67 and 73, the only army of worth was the Jordanian one, but to Israel’s good fortune, it wasn’t into fighting any serious battles with Israel. There was a collusion of sorts for the 48 war and advance warning given to Israel for the one in 73, which the Jordanians did not join. The Hashemites had been cooperating closely with the Zionists since the early 20s.

    • talknic on June 8, 2015, 11:49 pm

      @ Jackdaw June 8, 2015, 4:31 pm

      “Israel begged Jordan to stay out of the ’67 War”

      You’re spouting un-supportable bullsh*t again. The UNSC was already condemning Israel for it’s un-provoked and un-warranted attacks in 1966

      Go whine and bitch to your minders, ask for some new material, you’re looking like an idiot

      • Jackdaw on June 9, 2015, 4:01 am

        I did say ’67 War. Did I not?

    • Misterioso on June 9, 2015, 6:47 pm


      At 8:30 A.M. – 45 minutes after Israel launched its assault against Egypt on 6 June 1967, General Odd Bull ( head of the U.N. Truce Supervision Organization) received a phone call from Israel’s Foreign Ministry requesting his immediate presence. Upon arriving at the ministry, Odd Bull was met by Deputy Director-General Arthur Lourie, who falsely informed him that the war had begun with an attack on Israel by Egyptian aircraft that were intercepted by Israel’s air force.

      Lourie then asked Odd Bull to pass on a message to King Hussein: “We shall not initiate any action whatsoever against Jordan. However, should Jordan open hostilities, we shall react with all our might, and the King will have to bear the full responsibility for all the consequences.”

      As far as Odd Bull was concerned, “[the message] was a threat, pure and simple and it is not the normal practice of the U.N. to pass on threats from one government to another.” However, as “…this message seemed so important… we quickly sent it…and King Hussein received the message before 10:30 the same morning.”

      It is reasonable to conclude that Odd Bull agreed to deliver Israel’s “threat” to King Hussein because Lourie misled him into believing Egypt had started the war. Odd Bull would thus be of the view that Jordan was not obligated under the terms of its mutual defense pact with Egypt to enter the conflict. If Odd Bull had known then that Israel initiated the war, it is entirely possible that he would not have forwarded the message.

      Knowing that Israel had attacked first, and he was hence bound to his defense pact with Egypt, King Hussein responded to Israel’s ultimatum by declaring: “They started the battle. Well, they are receiving our reply by air.”

      Jordan’s air force, comprised of a few old British Hawker Hunters, attacked a small Israeli airfield near Kfar Sirkin and its artillery shelled Tel Aviv, West Jerusalem and other areas. Israel now had reason to order a full scale land and air onslaught against East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, beginning with its destruction of Jordan’s puny air force.

      To state the obvious, if the Eshkol government really wanted Jordan to stay out of the war it would have communicated directly with King Hussein. At the same time of course, given the fact that it had started the war, Israel knew Jordan was bound by their mutual defense pact to come to Egypt’s aid.

      Israel’s purpose in deceiving General Odd Bull regarding who started the war and convincing him to deliver the ultimatum to King Hussein was to create the illusion that it had made a sincere effort to keep Jordan out of the conflict. Without Jordan’s entry into the war Israel would have had no reason to invade East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

      For the record: Even if Jordan had not participated in the war, the Eshkol government would have probably found some pretext to invade East Jerusalem and the West Bank as a whole. To quote American historian, Cheryl Rubenberg: “…it seems apparent that Israel would have attacked Jordan [i.e., given the fact that King Abdullah’s annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem had been declared illegal by all other Arab states, the UNSC and the U.S., the Jordanian controlled West Bank, which included East Jerusalem] even if Hussein had refrained from joining the fighting, after the Egyptians and Syrians were crushed: the temptation to seize the remainder of Jerusalem and the rest of historic Palestine would have been overwhelming. Indeed, a series of events during the war clearly suggests such premeditation….”

      • Walid on June 10, 2015, 1:12 am

        Misterioso, Jordan knew what was up Israel’s sleeve before the fist shot was fired; it always had advance warning. In 1967 whether to actually attack or simply to bluff, the Arab armies were mobilizing. Lebanon refused to join the mobilization simply because it did not have the capacity to do so and was made to pay the price for it by the Arabs a couple of years later. Those minor and meaningless attacks by Jordan you mentioned were strictly for show for the benefit of the Egyptians and the Jordanian nationalists at home. Same thing had happened in 49 when it had been agreed in advance that Israel would let Jordan take the WB unopposed and it put up a minor show of force to show the Arabs that it was on their side. The only thing that wasn’t pre-planned was Jordan taking over East Jerusalem; Jordan cheated the Israelis when it took it.

      • talknic on June 10, 2015, 6:43 am

        @ Misterioso Professor Gerald M Adler’s article is littered with blatant Ziopoop

        Some of his droppings ( I really can’t be bothered with all of it)

        ” Cheryl Rubenberg: “…it seems apparent that Israel would have attacked Jordan [i.e., given the fact that King Abdullah’s annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem had been declared illegal by all other Arab states, the UNSC and the U.S.”

        A) Israel attacked Jordan 1966

        B) The West Bank as it is now known, was legally annexed at the request of the Palestinians Jordan’s annexation was as a trustee only (Session: 12-II Date: May 1950) at the insistence of the Arab states

        C) There is no UNSC condemnation of that annexation. The annexation was by agreement, i.e., self determination per the UN Charter

        D) The US condemnation is on record … yes? Please provide

        The US as early as the mid 1800’s adopted the legal custom of having an agreement with the legitimate citizens of the territory to be annexed before taking it to a vote in the US to also agree to annexation. See the Annexation of Texas, Hawaii, even Alaska. By adopting that legal custom for annexation, the US was instrumental in that legal custom eventually passing into Customary International Law

        Earlier in the article: “Egyptian blockade against Israeli shipping in international waters – Straits of Tiran – and the failure of the maritime nations to honour their undertakings given to Israel following the Suez Campaign, to challenge that blockade, if imposed by Egypt;”

        It was never imposed because it was never challenged. IOW no blockade actually took place.

        “Having been denied access by Jordan to its most holy places in Jerusalem “

        It’s NORMAL for hostile entities at war to either intern or expel possible allies of their enemies A) Israeli emergency Law of 1948 prohibited Israeli citizens and residents from entering the territory of the hostile entity Jordan. B) Jordan naturally reciprocated, quite NORMAL. C) It’s also normal to allow their release and/or return after hostilities have ended

      • Misterioso on June 10, 2015, 11:05 am


        No argument.

      • Misterioso on June 10, 2015, 12:19 pm


        It seems my memory was somewhat faulty.

        However, to be brief, according to my records:

        Immediately after taking control of the West Bank in 1948, Abdullah ordered all Palestinians therein to turn over what few weapons they had to the Arab Legion. In 1950, contrary to the wishes of the vast majority of the Palestinian inhabitants, but with the approval of many Palestinian notables, King Abdullah fulfilled his dream by annexing the West Bank (which then included East Jerusalem) to become part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He expunged the word Palestine from all sources referring to his kingdom. The Arab League, however, promptly and declared the annexation an illegal act. Only Britain and Pakistan ever recognized the West Bank as part of Abdullah’s kingdom. The United States chose not to take a public position on the issue. As a whole, Palestinians viewed Abdullah as a traitor, a lackey of the British.

        The Jordanian parliament did, however, acknowledge the right of Palestinians to self-determination by stating that Jordan’s annexation of the West Bank was done “without prejudicing the final settlement of Palestine’s just case within the sphere of national aspirations, inter-Arab cooperation and international justice.” (New York Times, April 25, 1950, p. A1; quoted by Prof. John Quigley, p. 153)

        To enable Palestinians living under its rule to travel to other countries, Jordan granted them passports, but not citizenship, thereby not jeopardizing their rights as refugees set forth in U.N. Resolution 194.

        In July, 1951, King Abdullah was assassinated by a nineteen year old Palestinian man. The king was seen by the Arab masses as a traitor for colluding with the Jewish Agency, refusing to fully commit his Arab Legion to battle during the 1948 war and incorporating Palestine’s West Bank into Jordan.

        I am familiar with Israel’s invasion of Jordan in 1966 and as luck would have it, I have a summary of the event and its consequences:

        Managing to evade both Jordanian and Israeli soldiers, Palestinian guerrillas operating from the West Bank carried out attacks during October and early November 1966 that resulted in the death of three Israelis. Israel responded on 13 November, six days after the Syrian-Egyptian mutual defence pact was concluded and the day before a state visit to Jordan by Pakistan’s President Mohammed Ayub Khan, by launching its largest military action since the 1956 war. “… [A] brigade of over 3,000 men and forty tanks, with cover from two Mirage squadrons, invaded Jordan on a five-mile front and smashed the undefended West Bank village of Samu in the Hebron hills.” (Seal, Asad:…p. 126) The Israeli forces then “…routed the population of five thousand from their homes and then calmly spent the next four hours planting charges and blowing up 125 homes, the village clinic, a school and a workshop. Damaged were twenty-eight other houses and a village mosque. A force of twenty trucks filled with Jordanian troops rushed to the village but ran into an Israeli ambush. None of the trucks got through. Four Jordanian Hunter Hawk airplanes also rose to the battle. One was shot down by Israeli planes. When U.N. observers arrived at the site later that day, they found a scene of desolation. Fifteen soldiers and three Jordanian civilians had been killed and fifty-four persons wounded, including seventeen civilians…. The observers reported they counted twenty domestic animals that had been killed ‘either by explosions or by small arms fire…. In the nearby village of Khirbet Jinba, they found fifteen stone houses destroyed, seven damaged and one water well blown up. The police post at Rujm Jadfaa was completely destroyed. Israeli losses were one killed and ten wounded.” (Donald Neff, Warriors for Jerusalem, p. 40)

        Shocked by the brutality of the attack on Samu, the UN Security Council passed a resolution censuring Israel “for this large-scale military action in violation of the U.N. Charter and the General Armistice Agreement between Israel and Jordan.” The resolution also made it clear to Israel “that actions of military reprisal cannot be tolerated and that if they are repeated, the Security Council will have to consider further and more effective steps as envisaged in the Charter to ensure against the repetition of such acts.” (Quoted by Charles W. Yost in “The Arab-Israeli War, How It Began,” Foreign Affairs, January, 1968, p. 305)

        The raid was so barbaric that even the United States representative at the United Nations did not mince words in condemning it. “[Ambassador Arthur Goldberg] noted that the toll it took ‘in human lives and in destruction far surpasses the cumulative total of the various acts of terrorism conducted against the frontiers of Israel.’ ‘I wish to make it absolutely clear’, he pronounced, ‘that this large-scale military action cannot be justified, explained away or excused by the incidents which preceded it and in which the Government of Jordan has not been implicated.” (Norman Finkelstein, Image and… p. 125)

  3. Walid on June 8, 2015, 8:53 pm

    “Helmeted soldiers, guns poised, barged into the basement apartment. They searched every room, confirmed we were unarmed, confiscated watches and gold jewelry” (Iris Keitz)

    A very telling statement; there’s nothing in the way between Zionism and thievery. Israelis still do it today, millions of dollars in cash and jewelry were reportedly stolen by IDF soldiers during their search for the 3 teens on the West Bank. Israel is a nation of thieves and Iris Keitz gives one more example of this from 1967.

  4. edwardm on June 9, 2015, 7:04 am

    great story. A minor quibble – Oud music is not in any way “atonal”. Quite the opposite actually. Atonal means not having a tonal center, mode or key – like Schoenberg, or Webern, or a “horror movie soundtrack”. The Oud player would be playing in Rast or Hijaz or some other traditional mode with a center. Perhaps you meant “microtonal”, because many scales used in Middle Eastern and North African traditonal music have musical intervals here and there, that are closer, or “smaller” than in the West – microintervals that don’t fit on the piano.

  5. Marnie on June 10, 2015, 4:45 am

    Love your story and your photograph.

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