Jordan’s famed pianist named UNICEF’s ambassador in the region

New UNICEF ambassador on children says ‘history will judge us harshly if we fail them’

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Jordan’s famed pianist Zade Dirani has joined the ranks of Lebanese entertainer Nancy Ajram, Iraqi singer Kadim Al-Sahir and Egyptian actor Mahmoud Kabil after being named UNICEF’s latest ambassador in the region.

“We are deeply honored that Zade Dirani has accepted this role,” UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa Saad Houry said in a statement.

Houry described Dirani’s appointment as a “strong contribution to furthering the rights of children.”

“His amazing talent is critical at a time when the region is in dire need for peace, tolerance, and cultural understanding,” he added.

The billboard-charting pianist’s appointment to ambassador-status will focus on “advocating for the most marginalized children… caught in conflict, violence and poverty.”

Dirani has a big task ahead.

His own home country is one of the major Middle Eastern nations that share responsibility in hosting more than 1.2 million Syrian refugees.

Lebanon is another country with a high number of Syrian refugees of 1,500,000 estimated arrivals from the warn-torn country. But Turkey so far is the largest host country with over 2.7 million Syrian refugees.

The pianist warned that “history will judge us harshly if we fail them [children].”

“As we look around our region, we are reminded how critical it is to continue to raise our voices for the protection of children, especially the most vulnerable,” he said.

He added: “I firmly believe that music transcends borders ad is a powerful tool for peace and mutual respect.”

Venturing into humanitarian work is not new to the pianist. In 2005, he created his non-profit The Zade Foundation, using music to reach out to underprivileged youth.

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