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VIDEO: Happy 74th, Bob

When 1,000 people sang Marley's One Love in three languages

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

A powerful and emotional rendition of Bob Marley's iconic hit One Love was performed and recorded by 1,000 people at the Tower of David in Jerusalem, Israel, on June 14, 2018 in honour of the historic​ visit to Israel by Indonesia's religious leader Sheikh Haji Yahya Cholil Staquf.

Organised by Koolulam and produced in conjunction with the Tower of David Museum and Jerusalem.com, the special event featured invited individuals, who had never met before, singing One Love in English, Arabic, and Hebrew and in three-part vocal harmony.

A report in the Times of Israel at the time stated that the event, which took place on the last night of Ramadan, “was seen as a night of coexistence, with Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders attending and calling the world to action, showing that religion can serve as a bridge to love, tolerance, and compassion”.

Koolulam, the Times of Israel reports, is a social-musical initiative, centred on mass singing events, attended by non-professionals, promoting the idea that musical harmony can inspire harmony in humanity.

“Koolulam was established with the goal of bringing together people from all walks of life by means of collaborative musical creation. In each event a new rendition of a well-known song is taught to participants and is immediately thereafter performed,” the Times of Israel explained.

“At midnight, surrounded by the ancient stones and courtyards of the Tower of David in the Old City of Jerusalem, the audience of hundreds learned an arrangement of Bob Marley's One Love, with harmonies, this time sung in three languages,” the Times report stated.

“This kind of event is the very essence of Koolulam, which wants to inspire people through music, regardless of race, religion or sex,” the Times report quoted Koolulam founders Ben Yaffet, Michal Shahaf, and Or Taicher. “This event is dedicated to a song for hope: hope for equality, empathy and friendship between different sectors.”

The video on YouTube elicited hundreds of responses, many of which were commendatory.

“I'm Japanese. I can't understand Arabic and Hebrew languages. But I can understand their hearts wish for peace,” read a post by Rendy Juliansyah.

Another post by Raheel Kaif read: “I'm muslim from arabian gulf and I'm so proud of guys ...love u.”

Julio Magana wrote: “Bob Marley would have been so proud and happy.”

A reader who posted under the name 'Wonderful' said: “One day hopefully people can be one beyond any difference of religion, race, no more war no longer any violence.”

The person posting with the name 'YESHASettler' was most effusive: “Sorry, I don't like it. I LOVE IT. Guys, once again, you've brought tears to my eyes. Unity through music.”

Amoon Adjani wrote: “Amazing, truly amazing. Bob Marley's spirit lives on forever. Peace and One Love from Jamaica.”

Another post from a reader using the name 'carpentersson77' said: “This might be the purpose why this song was written. I'm so sure Bob Marley would really be happy. God bless Israel.”

A reader who uses the name 'giftankx djean' simply described the performance as “More powerful than atomic bomb!”

In 1999, the British Broadcasting Corporation ( BBC) named One Love the 'Song of the Millennium'. That same year, Time magazine voted Marley's Exodus, which was released in 1977, as the 'Best Album of the Twentieth Century'.

Marley was born February 6, 1945, in Nine Mile, St Ann, Jamaica and died of cancer on May 11, 1981. He was voted the third-greatest songwriter of all time in a 2001 BBC poll behind Bob Dylan and John Lennon.