On October 27, U.S. Ambassador John Heffern welcomed The Beautified Project and the Liberta Quartet on stage at the Tumanyan Puppet Theater for an evening of music and cultural dialogue. The U.S. Embassy organized the concert to mark the 13th annual “Daniel Pearl World Music Days,” a global series of concerts that promotes the ideals that inspired Daniel Pearl’s life and work. The series is designed to bring attention to the global threat faced by journalists and the critical importance the United States government attaches to protecting — and promoting — the rights of the media. This year’s brutal murders of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by the terrorist organization ISIL are a stark reminder of the continuing danger to journalists and freedom of the press. Press freedom is one of the core and recurring themes of U.S. diplomacy.
Daniel Pearl was an American investigative journalist and amateur musician who played the violin and mandolin with musicians around the world. He was killed by extremists while working on assignment for the Wall Street Journal in Pakistan in 2002. After his death, his friends and family created the Daniel Pearl Foundation to promote dialogue and understanding, counter cultural and religious hatred, encourage responsible and balanced journalism, and promote peace through music.