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Palestinian Musicians

A Celebration of Palestinian Music – Postponed


October 16, 2020


We are so disappointed and saddened to read this morning that Hartford has been identified as a COVID-19 hot spot and that our area is now considered under the “Red Alert” category. Local officials are saying that public events should be canceled.

As an organization deeply committed to human rights and the flourishing of healthy human communities, we feel we cannot, in good conscience, ignore such clear suggestions that public events, even outdoor, are considered dangerous at this point.  We therefore feel we have no no choice but to postpone our concert, hopefully to be rescheduled post-pandemic with the same Palestinian musicians.  What a wonderful celebration that will be!

Ghoufran Allababidi and Nancy Boldt McLaren


I hope this note finds you in good health and in good spirits, despite the difficult year we’ve all been enduring. My name is Reverend Nancy Boldt McLaren. In addition to being a member of the Tree of Life community, I am also the Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Hartford. I have had the wonderful honor and privilege of leading trips to Palestine with the Tree of Life, and have continued my partnership with Palestinian music-makers and community organisers through the Sounds of Palestine and Musicians Without Borders.

While many of us have been physically distant for many months, staying socially connected has been an important lifeline to ease the intensity of the moment. We all need community more than ever right now, which is why I’m inviting you to join me and your fellow Tree of Life community members at a physically-distanced concert gathering, A Celebration of Palestinian Music.

When: October 17, the Tangiers Restaurant food truck will arrive at 1 pm and the concert will begin at 2.

Where: Elizabeth Park (on the lawn in front of the Rose Garden), 1555 Asylum Ave, West Hartford, CT

Please RSVP here – the event is free of charge. Your RSVP will help us plan COVID-19 safety precautions accordingly, and give us a way to contact you in case we need to postpone because of inclement weather.

BYOE: please plan to bring your own… everything 🙂 We recommend chairs and/or blankets, and a picnic of whatever you like… save room for a delicious falafel sandwich though, as the Hartford-favorite— Tangiers Restaurant— will be bringing their food truck over for the event!

We’re thrilled to have three talented Palestinian musicians joining us: Alber Baseel on percussion, Firaz Zreik on qunun, and Zafer Tawil on oud. I’ll be hosting the event, and you’ll hear remarks from our Tree of Life President, Ghoufran Allababidi. As the expansion of Israeli settlements continues to threaten life and culture in Palestine, the COVID crisis has added another impediment to Palestinians’ ability to thrive. As you can imagine, the arts are the first to be defunded during a financial crisis, further damaging the already-stressed entities practicing resistance through the arts. It is vitally important that we support all forms of resistance to the cynical Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and that we celebrate the artistic traditions which sustain life in the Palestinian spirit.

Everyone is welcome, though we require that you practice appropriate distancing and wear a mask. Whether or not you can make it, please consider making a donation to support the important work of the Tree of Life Educational Fund.

Rev. Nancy Boldt McLaren


I hope to see you there!

Rev. Nancy Boldt McLaren

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