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Arab-Israeli Orchestra Makes It to Ramallah

The hope of peace through separation is driving Israel's pullout from Gaza. But for some time a group of young Israeli and Arab musicians have sought to foster peace together. They're members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a project that grew from the friendship of conductor Daniel Barenboim, an Israeli citizen, and the late Palestinian scholar Edward Said.

Earlier this month, the orchestra released its first recording. And Sunday night, in Ramallah, the musicians will perform for the first time in its home region, after three years of touring abroad.

Barenboim tells John Ydstie about the extraordinary timing of the concert and the challenges of bringing the musicians together.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

John Ydstie has covered the economy, Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve at NPR for nearly three decades. Over the years, NPR has also employed Ydstie's reporting skills to cover major stories like the aftermath of Sept. 11, Hurricane Katrina, the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He was a lead reporter in NPR's coverage of the global financial crisis and the Great Recession, as well as the network's coverage of President Trump's economic policies. Ydstie has also been a guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. Ydstie stepped back from full-time reporting in late 2018, but plans to continue to contribute to NPR through part-time assignments and work on special projects.