Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero today honored the late Edward Said and Mariam C. Said with the title Doctor Honoris Causa for their work within the framework of the West-Eastern Divan, alongside Daniel Barenboim, who received his honorary doctorate from UNTREF in 2005. The ceremony, which took place at the Sede Centro Cultural Borges, featured remarks by Dr. Horacio González, director of Argentina’s Biblioteca Nacional, and Dr. Hamurabi Noufouri, Director of the Master in Cultural Diversity UNTREF.
15 years ago, Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra as an experiment in coexistence.
Each year, the orchestra brings together musicians from Israel, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt – joined by a number of musicians from Iran, Turkey and Spain – to perform music and promote reflection and mutual understanding. They meet each summer for a workshop, where rehearsals are complemented by lectures and discussion and followed by an international concert tour. This year, the orchestra is in residence at Buenos Aires’s Teatro Colón, from where they will embark on a tour of the major music festivals of Europe. The orchestra was founded at the invitation of the Kunstfest Weimar, and it derives its name from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s collection of poems entitled “West-Eastern Divan,” a central work in the evolution of the concept of world culture.