fred nassiri 88.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
An Iranian-born singer who immigrated to the US as a young man of 20 and went on to become a successful entrepreneur turned artist has embarked on a whirlwind peace tour aiming to promote "love, peace and harmony" through music.
Fred Nassiri, 64, arrived in Jerusalem late Wednesday from Egypt for the recording of his new CD, Love Sees No Color, which is being sung in 12 languages together with children from 12 different countries including Egypt, Israel, Russia, Germany, Spain, China, India and the United States.
"The world today needs peace more than ever before," Nassiri said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post. "Music is a powerful force to heal psychological wounds and bring peace and harmony."
The Las Vegas-based Nassiri, who built his fortune in California and then Nevada as a fashion magnate and one of the US's largest wholesalers of designer labels to mass merchandisers, said he returned to his childhood pastime of singing in mid-life ("I was a late-bloomer") in an attempt to make his contribution to world peace.
"Music is my mission and my message is love," he said. "The music... is intended to transcend all ages, genders, races and religions to help create a harmonized, peaceful world."
The unusual businessman turned singer concurred that his first-ever trip to the conflict-ridden Middle East was the greatest challenge for the lofty aims he hopes to promote.
"My message is that it is most important to come to the Middle East because the conflict is here," he said.
Nassiri, who has pointedly skipped his native Iran on his apolitical world tour, said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad "has no right" to say that Israel should be wiped off the map.
"We do not have that authority; only God has that authority," Nassiri said. "I hope my message will change the president of Iran's mind. We cannot just kill each other."
The singer and peace advocate has not visited the Islamic Republic in nearly 25 years.
The chorus of the song, which he composed, reads in English, "Love sees no color no race no religion/We are the same as the rays from the sun/Love sees no color no race no religion/Only through love can we live as one."
The recording of the song in Israel will take place Thursday in Jerusalem's Tower of David Museum with a mixed choir of 100 Jewish and Arab children singing in Hebrew.
The proceeds from the sale of the CD, which will go on sale November 14, would be donated to charities around the world, he said.