by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-11-29
With all the troubles in the world, a group of musicians from Jewish, Muslim and Christian backgrounds are looking to show how they can work together.
Combining their respective backgrounds and influences, London-based Berakah is making inroads as an "inter-faith" band and playing a fusion of their cultures.
Group founder Pakistan born Mohammed Nazam who has lived in the UK since he was a toddler explains one of the purposes of creating the band: "The real aim though, is to draw audiences from the three faiths so that Jews, Muslims and Christians can sit with each other and enjoy a cultural event and maybe even strike up a conversation. Who knows what could happen then?"
Jewish contribution comes from Dutch-born Serena Leader who when not playing violin in the band is also at venues including The Wigmore Hall in London's West End and Ronnie Scott's Club in SoHo.
Nazam also believes that the three faiths can get along:
"Since the latter half of the 20th century the situation in the Middle East has raised tensions between the Muslim world and the Jewish community, and these are all things that I find regrettable because all three faiths come from a common ancestry and actually have more in common with each other than various religious dogmatists would dare to admit. Were basically cousins, descending from Abraham, especially the Muslims and the Jews!"