by Connie Louise Katz
In 2003, I created a dance to her song Middle East. Tensions in the region continued to be tenuous. Haza’s song, on her 1989 “Desert Wind” album, echoed the situation as if it were prophetic. She described the song:
“The Jewish nation returned to its homeland after thousands of years of wandering. It endured an inquisition, a Holocaust, and endless struggles. The Palestinian Arabs desire a homeland in the same land as the Jews.
The local conflict is not really local. It involves the whole world. Harsh words like terrorism and fanaticism have become routine. Tragically, the Jews and Arabs, through many conflicts, complications and victims, have become locked into this situation. Like two parallel lines that never meet and our green fields are filled with tears and mourning.
We could live differently, creating more positive things, taking advantage of the possibilities that G-d has afforded us. We could turn the Middle East into heaven, for us all. We are the key. When can we meet?”
She recorded Fatamorgana and Middle East in English. She felt this was extremely important. She told me:
“It’s very important for people to understand the message I sing. When we write songs, the English comes very naturally for us, because I want to say something and I want people to hear it.”
Continue reading the article “Desert Songbird,” about Ofra Haza, which appeared in Lifestyles Magazine in 1991. It is reprinted here by permission of Lifestyles and author Connie Louise Katz for presentation in Daughter of The Arts.
My dance Middle East premiered at Ramah Rikkudiah, 2003.
|Dances and music mentioned in “Meeting Ofra Haza” may be found at the following link