13th Annual Daniel Pearl Music Days 2014
Dinner and Classical Music at the CMR
October 30, 2014
Good evening everyone and welcome to my home for this special event in commemoration of the 13th annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days.The World Music Days were created in response to the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl at the hands of extremists in Karachi, Pakistan.
At the time of his kidnapping, I was serving at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan as the economic officer. Shortly after we were informed of Danny’s death, I was asked by the Ambassador to go to Karachi to assist with the aftermath of this tragedy. You can imagine this this is very personal for me. After his untimely death, Danny’s family and friends came together to form the Daniel Pearl Foundation whose mission is to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music, and innovative communications.
Danny was a talented musician who joined musical groups in every community in which he lived, leaving behind a long trail of musician-friends spanning the entire world. Commemorating Danny’s October birthday, World Music Days uses the universal language of music to encourage fellowship across cultures, using original music and other art forms that support Danny’s belief that music, journalism and dialogue can build bridges across cultural divides and help achieve international friendship. Since 2002, Daniel Pearl World Music Days has grown to include the participation of more than 11,000 performances in 129 countries.
Tonight, we are here to share in this special commemoration of inspiration and harmony through music. I hope that the beautiful classical music played for us by Ato Girma will inspire you with a sense of unity and purpose.
I am pleased and honored to host this evening in memory of Danny Pearl and to reinforce the commitment of the United States to freedom of expression and support for independent journalism. I also invite you to reaffirm our collective commitment to international friendship by taking a stand against the divisive forces that took Danny’s life.
Thank you for coming and enjoy the performance.