"Respect and Dialogue are the essence of Peace and Tolerance."
Finally we got an opportunity to sit down with Prof Mosi Dorbayani, PhD, the Founder of WAALM, who was visiting Vienna for conducting an Executive seminar and he kindly agreed to meet with me in a nice friendly café in the city centre to chat on the recent cooperation and facilitation of WAALM in several artistic productions over a hot cup of Viennese coffee.
Regretfully due to his tight schedule, we had to be brief, but a full formal interview with him as well as several other WAALM and WAALM-SCD members for 6Qs section of WAALM-Diplomatic Journal, are set for 2012.
DJ: During the past year or so, world was seeing WAALM’s steady expansions in areas that perhaps no other similar entity ever took such directions. Tell us about the new initiatives.
MD: Well, while WAALM shall predominantly stay an international awarding body, recognising and promoting arts, literature and media productions, it shall practically support and accommodate ‘Cultural Diplomacy’. This is what WAALM stands for and this is what we need to concentrate on. Every event or single production of WAALM shall serve this goal and support humanity. For this importance, we have developed the first ever School of Cultural Diplomacy for further education. lt still has a long way to go but we are doing our best to speed up its progress. We also have engaged in several artistic productions in order to facilitate further dialogue and understanding.
DJ: Please tell our readers a few words about the recent musical productions or engagements of WAALM and that to what extend they are to serve.
MD: WAALM got engaged in facilitation of two music duets. For both we were fortunate to have Maestro Sattar, the WAALM Award winning vocalist of 2005 on board. The first duet, ‘Ai Giochi Addio / A Time for Us’ was recorded in Italian and English, which is a theme song for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Movie. In this song Baritone Opera singer, Leonardo Tajabadi recorded the Italian segments and Pop-tenor Sattar, did the English parts of it. This duet is dedicated to Peace and personally I am thrilled that this non-commercial song is well received by millions. The second duet is ‘Simin Bari’ a Pop-classic Persian song, which is now released in the Persian and Turkish languages. In this one the Turkish rising star, Ersin Faikzade, recorded the Turkish and some Persian segments and Maestro Sattar did some in Turkish as well as Persian. This song is also dedicated to Peace and Love of Beauty.
As mentioned in one of my articles, Culture is having a diplomatic role in global governance and in this respect “Cultural Diplomacy” is increasingly playing an important role in promoting liberal values. It fosters dialogue. For example on those music projects, the studies show that perhaps millions were overwhelmed by ‘A Time for Us’, it was also estimated that over quarter of a million downloaded ‘Simin Bari’ within its 36 hours of release. This act that a singer from my country, sings a few verses in your language and a singer from your country, performs in my language not only establishes dialogue but also increases mutual respect! Respect and Dialogue are the essence of Peace and Tolerance.
DJ: Was there any concern that perhaps people who had listened to the original songs in their native language might not accept the cover songs?
MD: The origin of both songs goes back to early 70s. Many singers from many nationalities covered them in the past and perhaps will continue to do so in the future. Art is about daring, is about being brave to try. People have different tastes but in my opinion artists, especially professional singers, must not withhold themselves from the fear of not being accepted. In my view, singing songs in foreign languages is a sweet thing and perhaps even the performers’ accents could add flavour to the music.
DJ: You mentioned streaming and internet, is this part of the Digital Diplomacy that you lately discussed?
MD: Exactly, of course we can’t monitor all the sites over the Internet but if you just look at the Facebook and see those artists’ pages, you can see how dialogue over these two songs has developed among people from different nationalities. For example regarding ‘Simin Bari’, Turkish, Egyptian, Greek, Indian and other fans have jot down their views, comments and encouragement notes on the Persian pages and Persians responded accordingly. Or in case of ‘A Time for Us’ people from many nationalities including Italy, France, England, America and Canada have appreciated this initiative.
DJ: Why producers did not put these songs for sale?
MD: The digital world has its own disadvantages too! In today’s market no music can be fully protected against illegal downloading, sharing and pirating. Human Rights number 27: ‘Copyright’, still needs to be taught and promoted until it becomes a reality. Moreover, the artists, license holders / producers wanted them to be free, within the obtained clearances from their respective publisher for people to enjoy. WAALM as a non-profit organisation welcomed the gesture too.
DJ: Will such facilitation and association of WAALM in other artistic productions continue?
MD: As much as WAALM can afford, we shall continue our further support. We are now assisting a few music video productions including one for ‘Simin Bari’. And we are studying the possibilities of our association in a few Theatrical productions, through which we hope to send more messages of tolerance and respect with an emphasis on cross-cultural values.