By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
Eliyahu and Qadim Ensemble consists of musicians from Jewish, Muslim, Christian, Arabic and Persian traditions, celebrating the common musical and spiritual heritage of the Middle East region’s cultures, while honoring the great diversity found within them.
The eclectic group of musicians will perform Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Galvin Fine Arts Center on the St. Ambrose University campus in Davenport.
Eliyahu and Qadim Ensemble’s performance is being offered in cooperation with the St. Ambrose Middle East Institute. Ryan Dye, the institute’s coordinator, said the musicians’ mission to promote intercultural understanding and tolerance through music “is needed more than ever today.”
Allan Ross, president of the Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities, is a member of the Middle East Institute. He said the concert is not meant to be a political event. Rather, it is intended to be an interfaith event celebrating diversity and camaraderie. “Especially in the Middle East, there are so many issues between Jews, Muslims and Christians. … We are very fortunate here in the Quad Cities because, by and large, all the faith groups get along very well and support each other. That’s been my experience as long as I’ve been here,” said Ross, who has lived in the Quad Cities for about 30 years.
“I think this group, hopefully, will be an affirmation that we can work together and not just tolerate each other; we can actually be supportive of each other.”