- Norwegian Nobel Committee
- United States of America
Sometimes peaceful change happens in the most unlikely ways, fostered by the most unlikely people. In the past few years, while Israel’s relationship with the Arab and Muslim world has drastically deteriorated, Orphaned Land, Israel’s biggest heavy metal band, has been uniting thousands of Jews and Muslims across the Middle East.
These fans come from Turkey, Syria, Iran, Palestine, Lebanon, Morocco, Dubai, Yemen and Israel.
Orphaned Land has been able to achieve this through their music (which fuses traditional Middle Eastern sounds and instruments with Western Heavy metal), vision of coexistence, collaborations with Arab and Muslim artists, and a vigorous and active community of fans.
While not overtly political, Orphaned Land are nevertheless proud of creating a reality of coexistence that has escaped politicians and peacemakers alike. They often speak of the power of music to turn purported enemies into friends; frequently pay homage and encourage collaborations with Arab and Muslim artists; and have made their latest album free to download for anyone in a number of Middle Eastern and North African countries.
Their endeavors to transform the region’s conflicts have not gone unnoticed.
• Reciprocating the band’s courageous efforts to cross religious and national boundaries, Divan, an Iranian rock magazine, featured Orphaned Land on their cover in an eight-page spread.
• In 2010, the band was awarded a peace prize by Istanbul Commerce University for their contribution to the friendship between Muslims and Jews in the Middle East.
• In February 2012, in a five-city tour of Turkey (in which proceeds from the Istanbul concert went to the victims of the Van earthquake), Orphaned Land was given The Friendship and Peace Award from Dr. Huseyin Tugcu, official advisor to Prime Minster Erdogan.
• In September 2012, Orphaned Land was bestowed another Peace and Friendship award by Bulent Tanik, Mayor of Cankaya (the main district of the capital Ankara).
Again, it should be emphasized that this all happening during a period in which relations between Israel and the Muslim world are at an all-time low. Orphaned Land has produced a social force that pushes against the direction of conflict, while at the same time creating space for the type of peaceful relations that are still possible within the region.
To nominate them for 2014 Nobel Peace Prize is therefore to make a bold statement: violent conflict is not the destiny of the region.
Please sign this petition if you agree that Norwegian Nobel Committee needs to seriously consider Orphaned Land as a nominee to the 2014 Nobel Peace prize.