Musicians supporting the people of embattled Gaza

In a beautiful collision of altruism, more musicians are donating their time and talents to help kids this week. Instead of helping the children of Denver, as the Denver Gives March Music Jam will, these musicians will benefit kids on the other side of the world. On Friday night, March 27, at the Driscoll Ballroom on the DU campus, you can catch a world-class lineup for a mere ten clams. The indomitable Ian Cooke, the captivating Joshua Novak and the powerfully charming Hello Kavita will all contribute to the Gaza Relief Concert, an event intended to raise awareness of the very human suffering endured by the people of that region, and to raise money for the Middle East Children's Alliance, an organization that helps families and children in need.

With a mission to promote peace through awareness, the University of Denver's Association of Human Rights Students - an entirely student-run organization - conceived the Gaza Relief Concert as an opportunity to attract a diverse audience to hear multiple perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The goal is not to promote a specific agenda, but simply to increase awareness and stimulate both thought and action.

In addition to some very entertaining musical performances, the event will also include informative talks from a variety of experts on the conflict. Featured speakers include Gaza native and DU student Wael Dokhan (whose wife and children currently reside in Gaza), Dr. Alan Gilbert of DU's Josef Korbel School of International Studies, Metro State political science professor Dr. Robert Hazan, and Gaza refugee and documentary filmmaker Ziad Abbas. The speakers were intentionally chosen to represent divergent thinking and experiences related to the war-ravaged area.

The student organizers of the Gaza Relief Concert - who planned the event, obtained sponsors and raised funds independently from the University - intentionally chose local musicians as the centerpiece of the event in an effort to attract students and other folks who might not otherwise turn out for an international affairs-oriented shindig. In addition to playing their sets, the musicians will also be donating CDs and other merchandise that will be given away as part of the event's fundraising. With these small gestures, Ian Cooke, Joshua Novak and the gentlemen of Hello Kavita are able to use their music in an attempt to impact the larger world.

As if fascinating speakers, fantastic live music and giveaways weren't enough, the Gaza Relief Concert will also have Middle Eastern food catered by Ya Hala Restaurant and Jerusalem Restaurant, a cash bar and an art exhibit. Tickets can be picked up in advance on the DU campus for $10, or you can buy them at the door for $15. Even if you're just going to catch the music, that's a bargain. For more information, visit http://www.benefitgaza.com.

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