Talented Musicians as Instruments of Social Change
The two soloists of the Shalva Band, Anael Khalifa and Dina Samteh were featured on the cover of La’Isha, a leading women’s magazine in Israel, in the wake of the Shalva band’s resounding success on the Star is Born competition on television, which led up the the band’s performance as guest artists at the Eurovision competition in Tel Aviv. Dina and Anael, both blind, are members of the Shalva Band, whose members have such disabilities as visual impairment, Down syndrome and Williams syndrome. The band has influenced the world to focus on abilities, and not disabilities, and to recognize that people with disabilities have skills and talents that overshadow their limitations.
Anael and Dina and the Shalva Band are continually working to effect social change. In May, in conjunction with the release of their hit first single, “The Door is Open,” Anael and Dina were featured in another women’s magazine article, this time in “At (You) Magazine.” The song was released as part of a campaign sponsored by Bank Hapoalim, in response to a survey that indicated that 90% of parents would not want their children playing with children with special needs. In response the song was released in a way that only one person out of ten was able to watch the clip in its entirety. In order to watch the full video, one had to sign a petition supporting inclusion of children with disabilities in all aspects of life.
“We’re here in order to deliver a message”, said Samte, “and today we delivered it.” “Address people with disabilities with respect, just as you would like for yourself”, summarized Khalifa.