Annette Bellaoui is the coordinator and co-founder of the Copenhagen World Peace Music Festival – an annual Danish music festival. She also directs the organization ‘ Missing Voices’ a musical consortium that empowers and promotes Muslim and non-Muslim women to independency and self-growth through music which is more than just entertainment.
To her: “Music just not speaks to your ears but to your feelings”
Peace thrives in human spirit through music; it has all the powers to eradicate the human and worldly distress that has dawned upon us. This view stands for what Annette seeks from peace through music. Her concept of peace is absence of any kind of trouble. Her idea to combat socio-religious political extremism would be music. Musical experiences can bind strangers into a bond of fellowship.
Annette’s work has impacted peace in two vital ways one through her company which serves as a music school for children and teenagers that offers free musical education to them. It has opened a new avenue for them to express their emotions and provide that inner peace which might have escaped them for years. This school of music teach songs in fourteen languages because Annette believes children are pure so they understand more about each other’s language and culture. In spite of such diversity, they would no longer remain a stranger to the others existence and that will promote acceptance and love in them.
Being a strong independent woman herself Annette established a music band specially for Muslim women who are considered a benighted creature incapable of any strength. This gave those women a soulful voice with other such women of Christian and other background. They all sing together the folk songs which sends the message of peace. Few years back there was a great agitation between Palestine and Israel that led to trouble within her musical band belonging to these two different nationalities. Annette took this situation to be a great opportunity to convey the message of greater understanding and cohesiveness. She encouraged a performance where the Palestinian and the Israelite musicians held each other’s hand and sang in Arabic, Palestinian and Hebrew.
To her, music and food has the ability to share artistic tradition and abolish fear so she wants more and more fellow youth to engage in activities which can be done together one of which is music, sports and others. Her conversion to Islam has taught her that life on earth is not just about an individual but it’s about standing united as one. This acceptance and inclusive way of living comes from the art of kindness and sharing where music has a great power to show who these people really are.