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Whether the bitter divide between Arabs and Jews is attributed to causes political, cultural, or Biblicalthat unpleasant Isaac and Ishmael businessthe two groups nonetheless have much in common. Perhaps the most eloquent way to demonstrate their similarity is the one devised by Atzilut: The Fourth World and Firkat Al’amal: with harmony. Since 1993, these two trad-music troupes have “played for peace” by performing together, demonstrating the common roots of their closely related styles.
Atzilut: The Fourth World performs music of the pre-Western Jewish Diaspora, including Middle Eastern, Judeo-Spanish, and Eastern European styles; Firkat Al’amal (“Band of Hope”) plays both traditional versions and modern interpretations of Arab music. The two groups bridge the chasm tonight at 8:30 p.m. at the D.C. Jewish Community Center, 16th & Q Sts. NW. $20. (202) 518-9400, x208. (Mark Jenkins)