I’m accustomed to singing in English or Hebrew. But it wasn’t until I participated in last year’s Interfaith Harmony Day that I sang in Arabic. It was an uplifting experience to literally be in harmony with people whose faith traditions are different than mine.
For the past five years, the Tri-City Interfaith Council has sponsored Harmony Day on the first Saturday in February. It is a wonderful opportunity to experience the religious diversity that is a hallmark of our region.
This year’s theme is “Braving Harmony Across the Divides.” Jessy Zapanta will be the guest speaker. Jessy is Director of Programs and Partnerships at the Oakland Peace Center. He will teach ways to create a safe space for listening and compassion. There will be time to identify and explore communication and conflict styles, common ground, and areas to stretch and grow.
Along with engaging in conversation, there will be time to enjoy treats reflecting the diverse cultural heritage of participants. And yes, there will be time for singing as well.
Harmony Day will take place on Saturday, February 1, at Niles Discovery Church, 36600 Niles Blvd. The program is from 1-4pm.
Moina Shaiq, co-chairperson and founder of “Meet a Muslim,” says, “I wish every community had this kind of event with so many faith traditions; we are very fortunate. The world wouldn’t be at war if there were more communities like ours. We need to keep proving that we can all coexist. All major faiths teach us to live in harmony. It’s the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated.”