Israeli poet to perform at Bradford


Two months after MP George Gallaway declared Israelis were unwelcome at Bradford, an Israeli born poet, Atar Hadari, Will perform at a literature festival in the city this weekend. Mr Hadari will perform at a multi-faith event in Bradford's last remaining synagogue and the festival will also feature a walking tour highlighting the city's Jewish heritage.

The event taking place this Sunday, September 28 at 4pm is described as an uplifting celebration of divine music and verse from across the religious spectrum, performed in the beautiful setting of the Bradford Synagogue which dates back to 1873.

Syima Aslam, co-director of the festival, told the Guardian: "The purpose of this event is to bring people of different faiths together and highlight the common spirituality and humanity that unites us, whatever our other differences may be, and where better than Bradford to do that, "she said. "All the artists performing have different heritages and many have been born in countries outside the UK. If in Britain we start making distinctions about people who live here based on where they were born, where does that lead us to as a country? "

Rudi Leavor, chair of the synagogue, told the Guardian he was joyous to lend the building for such an event. "It's important to make sure people in Bradford know the synagogue exists, that it's in good spirits and fine fettle," he said. "I am happy that the building is turning into a cultural meeting place as well as a place of religious worship."

Mr Hadari will perform in another event during the festival: Spoken Word, Poetry and Music: Lyrical Mehfil. The event will take place on Saturday, September 27, and is described as an intimate evening of spoken word, poetry and music from an eclectic mix of artists showcasing the diverse cultures of Bradford, and culminating in a specially commissioned collaboration between celebrated writer and poet Lemn Sissay and multi-instrumentalist Inder Goldfinger.

Atar Hadari was born in Israel, raised in England, trained as an actor and writer at the University of East Anglia before winning a scholarship to study poetry and playwrighting with Derek Walcott at Boston University.

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