05/01/2015 02:10 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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

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

Posted by Karim Wasfi Center For Music & Createvty (Peace Through Art) on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

“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.


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Refugees in Iraq