Father and Son Duo Builds Bridge over Cultural Gap
CNN.com, 11/17/09

"Diplomacy hasn't worked. Sanctions have achieved little. Relations between Iran and the United States are, at best, chilly. So why not try music?

On [November 14], for the first time, Iranians were the headline performers at New York City's famed Carnegie Hall. A father and son from Iran led American musicians in a hybrid session of traditional Iranian and classical Western music.

Thirty-year-old Hafez Nazeri told CNN he was pleased to present 'another dimension of Iran and Iranian culture to the Western people.'

Nazeri, who now lives in the United States, said, 'We hear mostly about the other side—bloodshed, chaos—and I wanted to be able to present the reality of our culture, which is about peace and love and unity.'

Nearly 3,000 people, many of them Persians, flocked to Carnegie Hall for the concert. One patron said, 'The message was completely obvious: Love all the way. Peace!'

The Nazeris said it was an honor to be onstage at the historic music center. The younger Nazeri said his music might be able to bridge cultural divides between Iran and the United States.

His father, Shahrem, still lives in Iran. Speaking in Farsi, the man known as the Iranian Pavarotti talked about the demonstrations that followed June's disputed Iranian presidential election.

The tenor said some of the people in the streets are 'requesting something, and I think it's important to answer to their requests. The government should answer to their requests and they have to see what their people want.'"

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