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Israeli Students Of Various Faiths Bang The Drum For Peace

By Steve Tawa

Philadelphia (CBS) -- Young people from the Middle East banged the drum for peace at Philadelphia City Hall to kick-off their 10-day USA tour.

"Shalom aleichem," Mayor Kenney welcomed the middle schoolers in the Reception Room near his office.

The mayor says it's wonderful seeing young people doing positive things, even if they come from a difficult region, where children are at risk.

"We recognize that fact that there is one god, and we all pray to that one god differently," said Kenney

Peace Drum Steel Band.
(photo credit: Steve Tawa)

Organizers say the 12-to-15-year-old Israeli Jewish, Christian, and Muslim children from the Galilee region of Israel are living proof that diversity can be overcome through music, and co-existence is possible.

"No matter what's going in Israel with conflicts between Jew and Arab, peace can still be found, and you can still make friends," said 13-year old Amelia Hans of Haifa. Who says she enjoys meeting new people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds through their teamwork and music.

Yaron Sideman, the Philadelphia-based Consul General of Israel to the Middle Atlantic Region, thanked the ensemble for "setting the beat for a better tomorrow," and "coming together in perfect harmony to show us what true peace sounds like."

The Peace Drums Steel Band performs Wednesday night in Wilmington at the Cab Calloway School of the Arts, then it goes to a synagogue in Westchester County, New York, returns Saturday to the University of Delaware in Newark, Sunday at Abington Presbyterian Church, and next Tuesday the young folks perform at Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia.

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