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Galilee Quartet report

On Monday 6th October Sutton was one of only seven venues in the UK to have a visit from the Galilee Quartet, a classical string quartet of three brothers and a sister, Omar, Mostafa, Ghandi and Tibah Sa’ad, from the Druze community in Israel. On their previous visit in 2013 some of them played with Nigel Kennedy in the Albert Hall as part of that year’s Prom season.

They played an exciting and enthralling selection of Western music ranging from Bach and Mozart to the Beatles and Palestinian songs in Arabic accompanied by a lute and tambourine. It was much enjoyed by the audience at Sutton Grammar School who provided the venue. At the end of the concert the quartet were acclaimed with a long ovation after two encores.

After the concert the viola player and the oldest of the quartet, Omar Sa’ad and his next brother Mostafa, first violin, answered questions and responded to comments about their lives in Israel. Omar has spent a total of 150 days in prison on seven occasions because of his refusal, as a conscientious objector, to join the Israeli army. He said he refused to exchange his musical instrument that can make peace for an assault rifle that kills innocent children. He was finally exempted from military service. The second brother and first violinist, Mostafa, has recently been summoned to present himself at the army recruitment centre and on return home expects to have to follow his brother and spend time in prison.


The concert was arranged and sponsored by Sutton for Peace and Justice after Amnesty International had flown the quartet to England.


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