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Daniel Pearl Music Days brings Yulduz Usmonova to her fans to spread brave journalist’s message of friendship and tolerance

Written by on Saturday, 25 September 2010
Media and Internet, Uzbekistan

“The loss of Daniel Pearl…reminded us of how valuable a free press is, and it reminded us that there are those who would go to any length in order to silence journalists around the world,” President Obama.

To be honest I didn’t know neither who Daniel Pearl was nor what does The Daniel Pearl World Music Days serve for. And shame on me and any all of us who call themselves freedom-of-speech-and-press fighters for not knowing about him.

Daniel Pearl was an American journalist, Chief of the South Asia Bureau of the Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped and severely killed on February, 2002 while reporting in Pakistan on alleged links between “shoe bomber” Richard Reid and al Qaeda.

On January 23, 2002, on his way to what he thought was an interview with Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani at the Village Restaurant in downtown Karachi, Pearl was kidnapped by a militant group calling itself The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty near the Metropole Hotel.

Pervez Musharraf’s memoirs.Kidnappers sent out e-mails with photos of Pearl handcuffed with a gun at his head and holding up a newspaper were attached to the United States with a range of demands, including the freeing of all Pakistani terror detainees.

“We give you one more day if America will not meet our demands we will kill Daniel. Then this cycle will continue and no American journalist could enter Pakistan.”

Nine days later, Pearl was beheaded…

After his death The Daniel Pearl Foundation was formed by Pearl’s family and friends to continue Pearl’s mission, and to address what they consider the root causes of his death, in the spirit, style, and principles that shaped Pearl’s work and character. Daniel Pearl World Music Days have been held worldwide since 2002, more than 4,900 musical performances in 103 countries, dedicated to and inspired by the legacy of Daniel not only as a journalist but also as a musician.

Today a global network of musical events held throughout the month of October — the month of Daniel’s birth — to promote tolerance and understanding through the universal language of music. Daniel was a talented musician who joined musical groups in every community he visited. He firmly believed in the power of music to unite people and spread a message of hope, and to unite people against the culture of violence.

In the previous years concerts included performances by Elton John, Herbie Hancock, Tania Libertad, Itzhak Perlman, Theodore Bikel, Salman Ahmad and many others worldwide.

In May 2010 President Barack Obama signed into law the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, expanding the State Department’s annual human-rights reports to identify countries that participate in or condone attacks on journalists.

Though it’s a topic for another post, I just want to emphasize how important hosting this event in Uzbekistan is. It should be understood by the government that silencing those who are born to speak the truth out is not a right thing to satisfy own ambitions.

Just to remind:

“Oftentimes without this kind of attention, countries and governments feel that they can operate against the press with impunity. And we want to send a message that they can’t,” Obama said in an Oval Office signing ceremony.

U.S. Embassy in Tashkent invites everybody to the 9th Annual Daniel Pearl Music Days Concert with participation of Yulduz Usmonova, famous Uzbek singer who hasn’t given a concert in recent few years. The concert will take place at the U.S. Embassy on October 1st at 15:00.

If you want to join the 9th Annual Daniel Pearl Music Days Concert, send an e-mail with your name (first and last) and passport number to Tashkent-Program@state.gov no later than September 28, 2010.


Daniel Pearl Foundation

A collection of Pearl’s writings — At Home in the World.

Daniel Pearl World Music Days

Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act of 2009

Yulduz Usmonova‘s official web site and Wikipedia page

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  • [...] The 9th Annual Daniel Pearl Music Days concert, hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent and featuring Yulduz Usmonova, was one of the highlights of last year’s cultural life in Tashkent. Yulduz, probably the most popular Uzbek singer of our time, currently resides in Turkey and spreads the beauty of the national music and culture of our country. Her performance at the concert was amazing. She rocked the show! [...]

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