Ahmed Al-Mansouri, a musician from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has learned to play Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah, on the oud - a lute-type instrument - as a tribute to the recently signed normalization agreement between the Jewish state and the Gulf state.
In an interview with Ynet, Al-Mansouri talked about the Israel-UAE agreement, the responses he received to his tribute and the significance of music in shaping a world built on unity and peace.
Al-Mansouri, who specializes in the traditional and classical music of his people, says that the agreement with Israel, which was signed last month on the lawn of the White House in Washington, was nothing less than an inspiration for him.
“Once I heard about the agreement between the UAE and Israel I decided to play the national anthem of Israel on the oud, to send a message of peace between the two countries,” sa Al-Mansouri.
According to Al-Mansouri, his rendition of Hatikvah was mostly well-received by his compatriots and although some were aggravated by the surprise gesture, Al-Mansouri says he doesn't mind.
“It is very important to me to send peace by music to the whole world,” he said, “I believe in what I am doing.”
Al-Mansouri further added that not only would he like to visit Israel, but it would also be a dream come true for him to perform in the Jewish state.
“It is a dream for me, and I hope one day to visit Israel and play in public there,” said Al-Mansouri, who added he will be happy to perform with an Israeli artist one day.
Al-Mansouri also stated he is a fan of Israeli music.
“In my opinion, Israeli music is very beautiful, it is similar to Arabic music in a different taste."