JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestine National Orchestra performed for the first time in the Palestinian Authority and in Israel.
The orchestra made its debut in Ramallah, and then performed in eastern Jerusalem over the weekend and in Haifa on Sunday night.
"Today an orchestra, tomorrow a state," Suhail Khoury, director of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, wrote in the program, according to the French news agency AFP.
Said, a Palestinian American and an advocate for the Palestinian cause, was a professor at Columbia University. He died in 2003.
"Today we are witnessing the birth of the Palestine National Orchestra at a time when the Palestinian struggle for independence is passing through one of its most critical and difficult moments," Khoury also wrote. "We musicians truly believe that a state is not only about buildings and roads, but most importantly it is about its people, their values, their arts and their cumulative cultural identity."
Each concert began with the Palestinian national anthem, AFP reported.