Bringing together young musicians from Palestine, Israel, and other countries of the Middle East, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra was founded by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said in 1999 to promote Arab-Israeli understanding through music. It is now one of the most acclaimed youth orchestras in the world as well as a rare note of hope in a war-torn region. Elena Cheah, a professional musician and assistant to Barenboim, chronicles the orchestra's journey through the remarkable stories of its musicians, with youthful testimonies that form a window into the life of the region.
"The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is a beacon of hope on the dismal political landscape of the Middle East.... Raised in enmity, these talented young men and women set an example by their devotion to their common craft. Together they play with wonderful energy and unanimity in an orchestra that is larger than life."—Avi Shlaim