Universal language of music unites Americans, Qataris

U.S. EMBASSY DOHA, Qatar -- The U.S. Air Forces Central Band "Mirage" performed recently to a host of dignitaries, and with famous Qatari musicians creating great diplomatic effect, proving that music is indeed the universal language of the world.

By special invitation from the Minister of Culture and the U.S. Embassy in Qatar, Mirage was asked to perform a special concert with world class Qatari musicians Abdulaziz Jasem Mohd. Al-Haidos and Aleaq Sahid. Mirage is comprised of eight musicians who are all members of the U.S. Air Force Academy Band located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo.. 

They are deployed to Southwest Asia in support of troop morale and Air Force diplomatic relations. Mr. Haidos is a world famous Oud (similar to a lute) player and Mr. Sahid is world renowned as a percussionist throughout Southwest Asia.

Meeting for the first time the morning of April 8, Mirage and these two Qatari musicians began rehearsing for that evening's performance at the U.S. Embassy. In no time at all, smiles were predominant as the musicians collaborated to put together a concert. 

The enthusiasm was infectious. Something surreal was happening here--a form of communication that goes beyond any traditional means. 

"Mirage has elevated the status of my music school ... I am honored," said Mr. Haidos, who also serves as chairman for the Qatari Music Arts Center. "This is one of the best groups I have performed with. I am amazed at how fast and successful our collaboration took place." 

Mahvash Siddiqui, Cultural Attache and Public Affairs for the U.S. Embassy in Qatar said, "The Mirage performance with Mr. Haidos was absolutely spellbinding. They are such great folks to work with--superior professional artists." 

Joseph LeBaron, Ambassador for the U.S. Embassy, Doha, State of Qatar, was most appreciative of the concert. 

"You have really created a buzz here tonight," he told the musicians. "Music is a better form of communication than even the spoken word. The emotional impact of music provides a deeper meaning. You are fantastic ambassadors...you transcend music, culture and nations to create valuable diplomatic effects."

Plans are underway for more performance in the coming weeks. Basking in the warm hospitality of the embassy, the musicians shook hands and smiled. The event helped deliver a strong message--all through the universal language of music.