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Iraqi Cellist Peacefully Defies Violence By Playing At Site Of Car Bomb

05/01/2015 02:10 pm ET | Updated May 01, 2015

A musician is spreading peace among chaos in the city of Baghdad.

After three car bombs went off in Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 19 people, Iraqi musician Karim Wasfi took out his cello and began playing at the site of one of the explosions. Just hours after the bomb tore through a commercial street in the city’s Mansour district, Wasfi’s music drew a crowd of people to stand around the rubble and listen.

#لن_نموت_وستبقى_بغداد_اجمل_بقاع_الارضالمايسترو كريم وصفي يعزم في مكان انفجار البارحه في المنصور لا توجد كلمات كافيه لوصف ما تحمله من انسانيه دمت لنا فخرا

“I want to adopt beauty in the life of Iraq now,” Wasfi told BBC of his peaceful act of defiance against violence and terrorism. “And music is one of the most important aspects for that.”

Wasfi is the former chief conductor and director of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra. Currently he's the head of the Karim Wasfi Center For Music & Creativity, an organization with the mission “our music is bridge for peace.”

“My message as an artist, as a conductor, also as a cellist -- that when things are abnormal, we make things normal,” Wasfi said. “We make things worth living for.”

Watch the video of Wasfi playing above.

H/T BBC

  • AHMAD AL-RUBAYE via Getty Images
    Displaced Iraqi Sunnis, who fled their home a few weeks ago due to attacks by Islamic State (IS) jihadists in the northern city of Mosul, take shelter at the Bahrka camp, ten kilometres west of Arbil, in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, on August 23, 2014. =
  • AHMAD AL-RUBAYE via Getty Images
    Displaced Iraqi children who fled their home a few weeks ago due to attacks by Islamic State (IS) jihadists in the northern city of Mosul, play at the Bahrka camp where they found shelter, ten kilometres west of Arbil, in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, on August 23, 2014.
  • AHMAD AL-RUBAYE via Getty Images
    Displaced Iraqi Sunnis, who fled their home a few weeks ago due to attacks by Islamic State (IS) jihadists in the northern city of Mosul, cook at the Bahrka camp where they found shelter, ten kilometres west of Arbil, in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, on August 23, 2014.
  • AHMAD AL-RUBAYE via Getty Images
    Displaced Iraqi Sunnis, who fled their home a few weeks ago due to attacks by Islamic State (IS) jihadists in the northern city of Mosul, wait as their food cooks at the Bahrka camp where they found shelter, ten kilometres west of Arbil, in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, on August 23, 2014.
  • AHMAD AL-RUBAYE via Getty Images
    Displaced Iraqi Sunnis, who fled their home a few weeks ago due to attacks by Islamic State (IS) jihadists in the northern city of Mosul, take shelter at the Bahrka camp, ten kilometres west of Arbil, in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, on August 23, 2014.
  • AHMAD AL-RUBAYE via Getty Images
    Displaced Iraqi Sunni children, who fled their home a few weeks ago due to attacks by Islamic State (IS) jihadists in the northern city of Mosul, take shelter at the Bahrka camp, ten kilometres west of Arbil, in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, on August 23, 2014.
  • AHMAD AL-RUBAYE via Getty Images
    A displaced Iraqi Sunni woman, who fled her home a few weeks ago due to attacks by Islamic State (IS) jihadists in the northern city of Mosul, looks out of a tent at the Bahrka camp, ten kilometres west of Arbil, in the autonomous Kurdistan region of Iraq, on August 23, 2014.
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