Hassan’s Speech

Dec. 1870

Speech by Hassan Ali Barakah to the participants of Istanbul University’s International Arts Conference/Exhibition

My children – my own dear children!  Look about you at your fellow artistes.  You are the colors of the world, a garden watered by the Muses, who are but servants of Allah God.  For two days we have mingled in love and harmony.  We have not found it necessary to change each other, to take what is not ours, to fight, to shed blood, to bring ruin and despair.  We have brought instead love and amity. This love and amity are for all the world. 

I beg you on this day to dedicate your art to ending the cycle of hatred and war that has torn downConstantinoplecountless times over the centuries and that continues to tear apart out planet.  We cannot change the past; we do not want to, because it has delivered us to this moment.  But we can shape the future as the potter shapes the clay. 

Make your art a channel.  Musician, music is a prayer for every language and every religion; pray your music with all your heart.  Poet, you are the interpreter; spread the words of hope and servitude and upright character. Painter, paint Allah God’s encouragement and forgiveness.  Dancer, you perhaps most of all, for on this earth the soul and the body are one and to dance is to give a moving voice to the soul – let it sing of love and brotherhood.  

Your gift is a jewel.  Cut and polish it to reflect the light of Allah God’s will, which is the oneness of his children. 

Do not lose hope.  Do not give up and do not give in; for the men of the sword are many and we are few.  Be relentless.  Persevere.  Answer the blade with the brush, the arrow with the ode, the chariot with the cello – and hatred with a harp. 

Pledge this night to do these two things:

            Love and create.

            Love and create.

            Love and create.

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Published in: on October 8, 2011 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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