This week in Jerusalem: Life after Elections

Peggy Cidor’s round-up of city affairs.

Oud Festival (photo credit: OMRI BAREL)
Oud Festival
(photo credit: OMRI BAREL)
Life after elections
If the October 30 elections end up requiring a second round, Jerusalemites and guests will have a wonderful opportunity to put aside the turmoil of politics and enjoy some good music.
The 19th Oud Festival produced by the Confederation House under the artistic direction of Effi Benaya will provide some pleasant diversions. Benaya, who delivers a high-quality festival year after year celebrating the music and poetry of our region – with a special emphasis on classical Arabic music – is enlarging the scope to include more music from India and Greece.
The festival opens on Thursday November 8, with a world premiere of “Rembetiko,” featuring composer Stavros Xarhakos, with soloists Giannis Kotsiras and Iro Saia, featuring the music and songs of the Greeks who fled their motherland in today’s Turkey. Also on the program is an homage to one of the greatest female voices of Baghdad in the past century; an evening dedicated to the great liturgical composer from Morocco, David Buzaglo; Montse Cortes, the great Gypsy flamenco performer from Spain; master of Indian classical music Aruna Sairam; and the Takim Ensemble from Greece.
About half of the festival’s NIS 1.2 million budget is financed by ticket sales, a notable achievement. Created when Middle Eastern music and culture were not highly regarded, the festival scored popular and artistic successes even during the Intifada and hosted on its stages quite a few Arab performers.
Turkish musicians have been declining invitations to come recently, but the popularity of Indian and Greek music in the country has provided high-quality alternatives. Benaya believes he has a mission not only to provide a stage for the best music of the region, but to continue to do it in Jerusalem.
This year, he has added a few programs free of charge, including an evening with the popular Orphaned Land ensemble – a fusion of Eastern and hard rock music – which will take place at the Muristan Square in the Old City, at the crossroads between the three monotheistic religions represented in this city.
Info and tickets: (02) 623-7000 or *6226
Route awakening
A group of city council members have discovered that exiting Mayor Nir Barkat is maneuvering to get the Emek Refaim segment of the light rail approved before the association of residents opposing the planned route manages to appear again before the district planning committee. According to these councilmen, since Barkat is not a candidate for mayor, this could be considered an abuse of power that he does not hold anymore.
Barkat prefers the route along Emek Refaim, while candidate Moshe Lion advocates the use of nearby Harakevet Street, while candidate and close partner of Barkat, Ze’ev Elkin, has publicly declared his support for the tunnel solution.
End of chaos
The new policy of Manhi, the education administration at the municipality, will be stricter regarding infractions of public transportation rules for children with disabilities. High fines will be levied for delays, or any infringement of the regulations – including accompanying the children from and to their homes. Fines of up to NIS 1,000 will be charged for excessive delays, for leaving a child at a place from with he or she has to cross a road and more. These new rules were decided upon after hundreds of complaints were submitted by parents of children with disabilities throughout the past school year.