Diplomacy & Art

Lydia Canaan stands out as global citizen and diplomat artist. Lydia is a world renowned music talent, with the spirit of ambassador for the future where inclusiveness and peace are the answer to exclusion and conflict. Recognized as the first rock star of the Middle East, she was born into a diverse Lebanon that has stood out as a jewel in a war zone.  Lydia shares with many of us the vision of what is possible in our best aspirations, and how we can all be partners in this future. We are grateful to call Lydia contributor to Diplomat-Artist, and you can read more about Lydia at Wikipedia, hear her songs and join @Lydia_Canaan via social media at the bottom of this article she penned based on a speech she recently presented at the 25th session of United Nations Human Rights Council.





The problems we face as a world feed off of ignorance and isolation. Art is the indelibly effective medium by which to combat it. Perhaps it is time that we focus less on the art of diplomacy and more on artistic diplomacy.

Art is a universal language, a mighty bridge that transcends religiosity. It is embraced and appreciated not by adherents, devotees, believers, or converts of any certain sort, but by members of the religion that is Love. Artists of all cultures, nationalities, and religions are, at their most irreducible, kindred spirits, and have more in common internationally than intraculturally.

Art is non-divisive, all inclusive, and universally accessible. It is the primal and sacred heart of the mind, the DNA-deep instinct to express the human soul and to appreciate and delight in the expressions of others. It is the innate Divine Creative Power with which humanity is endowed.

I was born and raised in Lebanon, a country dictated by war and sectarian violence. Despite atrocities committed at the height of the Lebanese Civil War and the current political, social, and economic instability, my experience is that violence does not overwhelm and dominate the lives of the Lebanese people; we have always lived with war, but we have chosen not to live with fear. We live with wine, we live with laughter, we live with art.

As an artist and a humanitarian interacting with people of different faiths and ethnicities while performing, recording, touring, and speaking all over the world, I’ve witnessed firsthand hope, faith, compassion, empathy, tolerance, and understanding. It is a testimony to the human conscience and a prevailing force to subvert fear in all its unconscious forms. These shadows of the human soul can only be illuminated by the very force that is its antithesis: Love.

But the very nature of an illusion is the brittleness of its unreality, the weak supports that clumsily balance its inherently defective logic. Hatred has a peculiar sleepiness to it, a confused belligerence. Such hateful are sleepwalking terrorists of the heart!

As seen in the glorious murals on the separation wall of Palestine, painted with blood, sweat, and tears, art is the ultimate weapon in love’s arsenal. Art awakens the heart, and an awakened heart will awaken the mind. It is a weapon that sheds no blood and wreaks no terror. It is the rumbling at our soul’s well bottoms, an irrepressible force of a new era, outer and inner, a tidal wave of truth as peace that begins within each one of us and expands past our rigid individuality and transmutes everything around us into its purest beginnings, returning us to the beginning of All. Let us all return to a state of spiritual innocence so unconscious of itself that it transcends concepts and is experienced only as the ultimate; the spiritual root of all culture, the all-inclusive: Love.

How, then, do we begin this journey back to the Source? How do we regain the lost sense of tribalism that has allowed us to recede into the brutal trap of individualism? If the lessons of history have not sufficed to warn us of the dangers of exclusionary ideology, what, then, can shake us from this aggregated nightmare and open our eyes wide? The paradoxical irony is that unity begins with the individual. We must each look past our often misled minds, to fearlessly assess the recesses of our own deepest self: the heart. For though the mind can make mistakes, the heart is never mistaken; the heart knows no judgement. So may this be a call to arms: we must fight! But because the pen is mightier than the sword, I leave you with a poem:


Humanity Wake Up And Fight

By Lydia Canaan 

When you’re beaten to death 

And your hope is raped 

In the absence of defense 

More attacks more raids 

When mercy is far away 

A plea for help is not near 

And justice fades away 

You live in constant fear 

When you are left without a choice 

To have a say or raise a voice 

Stand for your right, and shout 

Humanity wake up and fight 

When violence sets the rules 

Hatred starts to breed 

With torture and abuse 

You fall into defeat 

When you’re sentenced to pain 

Suffering never ends 

Faith seems in vain 

Cause you don’t have a chance 

When you are left without a choice 

To have a say or raise a voice 

Stand for your right, and shout 

Humanity wake up and fight 

Come, here is my hand 

No no you’re not alone 

Your agony will end 

Cause not all hearts are made of stone 

When you are left without a choice 

To have a say or raise a voice 

Stand for your right, and shout 

Humanity wake up and fight 

When you are left without a choice 

Have a say, raise your voice 

Stand for your right, shout out loud  

Humanity wake up and fight 

Humanity wake up and fight! 

 Copyright © Lydia Canaan 2015

(For more information on Lydia Canaan and a collection of some of her songs, please visit her channels on YouTube and SoundCloud)



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