This is a translation from Norwegian to English of an article written in 2014
The peace center in Oslo, in open collaboration with Amnesty International, Freemuse and the French Institute in Norway, in a camouflaged cooperation with many embassies from the Arab states, among them Algeria, organizes these days the World Music Festival.
The theme is about involvement in humanism and peace work, with music as an instrument of awakening and tools for political and identity awareness. 300 artists were carefully chosen in such a way that “the Arab world” is the essence of the event, although this arrangement is overwhelmed with a strong presence of South African artists who give this event an impression of “revolutionary struggle.”
A panel discussion was put in place with the following participants:
– Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Social Anthropologist
– Mayssa Issa, journalist in France Media Monde Arabian from the baath party
– Khaled Yassine, artistic director, Beirut & Beyond
– Tshawe Baqwa, MADCON artist
– Cecilie Hellestveit, Moderator, International Law and Policy Institute (ILPI)
All these people obviously had a very festive moment, with a lot of laughter and a friendly atmosphere that only contributed to the common battle against evil.
Everything went successfully and according to their plan until it was time for questions. I began my intervention by asking them if they know that South Africa today does not belong to the white Europeans. The consent in this was signaled with big smiles from the panel.
I pointed out that the Arab representative spoke about Arab countries in North Africa. I remarked that there are no Arab countries in North Africa. There are Arab-ruled states and the Arab world they speak som much about is an artificial world, created by French and English colonialism. North Africa are not Arab countries. These lands belong to the Berber people. Then I asked them, among other things, how it’s like among 300 artists, no native North Africans who are colonized by the Arabs.
It was clear that my question had struck them down as a lightning strike. They were crasping blindly in the dark, trying desperately to get away from my question. Instead of Cecilie Hellestveit responding to the question I had addressed directly to her, she pretended to translate my questionnaire to the English-speaking Arab in the panel to translate what I said in Norwegian so that she spent a lot of time to avoid answering until I banned them saying “Peace is a very serious mission, it must be taken seriously!”
Then suddenly they all stood up and finished the discussion they thought would do well for their egos. They simply escaped as bandits who were taken with their hands full of loots.
It felt very good to see them jamming the tail between the legs.