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On a number of occasions, the Festival has been an event for modeling cooperation and understanding. The November 2005 Festival of Faiths was themed Faith and Cooperation. In reminiscing on that year’s Festival, the highlight that comes to me was the performance of a young choir of Palestinian and Israeli teen musicians. Before an audience at the glittering “Night of a Thousand Stars,” they made music together as a concrete demonstration of the potential for peaceful coexistence based on mutual respect, acceptance and understanding. As the world watches in horror the current strife between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza, memories of that beautiful evening in 2005 are inspiring, but also haunting. What and where, we ask, are those teenagers today?
Much can happen over the course of two decades. Most all institutional memory can be lost in the crush of day-to-day busy-ness. The spadework we’re doing this summer at CIR should enrich and inform the decisions and actions we take in the future.
What are your fondest Festival of Faiths memories? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below, or email email@example.com.
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Keith assists the Center for Interfaith Relations with Media Relations, and has been a Festival of Faiths attendee since the program’s inception in 1996. For forty three years he was a writer and editor for the Courier-Journal in Louisville before his retirement in 2012. He also appears as a commentator for WFPL-FM, Louisville’s public radio news station.