A Festival of Music and Light in Cyprus

  (photo credit: Embassy of Israel in Cyprus)
(photo credit: Embassy of Israel in Cyprus)

After almost two years of coronavirus restrictions, the Israeli Embassy in Cyprus created an Israeli-Greek-Cypriot tavern for one evening in Nicosia. The event, entitled "Festival of Music and Light,” featured Israeli singer Neria Hovav and keyboardist and musical arranger Moshe Danino.

The musicians from Israel played a series of well-known Greek songs translated into Hebrew, including "Shekshenavo,”, "Naara Mamash Otzar,” "Einayim Sheli" and more. The then-Cypriot Foreign Minister, Nikos Christodoulides, MPs, academics, media figures, businessmen and other friends of Israel were surprised to discover how popular and beloved Greek music is in Israel. The embassy guests accompanied the singer from Israel and sang with him throughout the evening. The highlight of the performance for the local guests was when the Israelis switched from Hebrew to Greek.

Video credit: Noga Caspi, Deputy Ambassador

The performance took place in December 2021 with the assistance of the Cultural Relations Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The venue, known as The Shoe Factory, is an intimate and unique setting, where classical music is performed. It belongs to a Cypriot art collector, and is located in a private home near the buffer zone which divides Nicosia.

Israeli ambassador to Cyprus, Oren Anolik: "Israel and Cyprus have excellent mutual relations. This has not always been the case, but a very positive trend has been seen for over a decade, and Cyprus has become one of the closest like-minded countries that Israel has in the world. I hope that the younger generation in Cyprus and Israel will know how to join hands and cooperate in many areas including in the fields of culture and the arts.”

  (credit: Embassy of Israel in Cyprus) (credit: Embassy of Israel in Cyprus)

The Cypriot Foreign Minister emphasized the historic ties of friendship between the two peoples. "A friendship that shone even in the darkest times," the minister said, referring to the aid that Cypriots provided to Jewish Holocaust survivors who were detained in camps on the island between 1946-1949. The descendants of some of these Cypriots attended the performance.  The minister also defined the cooperation between Israel and Cyprus as a beacon of security, stability and prosperity.

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