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Zade Dirani is a Jordanian pianist and composer whose compositions blend world, classical and pop music – and he uses his unique gift for humanitarian efforts.

He established the Zade Foundation for International Peace and Understanding aimed at helping young musicians share with the world a deeper understanding of their cultures by offering them a unique opportunity to expand their roles from musicians to proactive peace builders and future community leaders. was privileged to speak to Zade about his charity work.

Zade, what organizations do you support, and why?

  • The Zade Foundation for International Peace and Understanding, which we founded in 2005 in the United States, aimed at helping young musicians share with the world a deeper understanding of their cultures by offering them a unique opportunity to expand their roles from musicians to proactive peace builders and future community leaders.
  • Tkiyet Um Ali in Jordan, it is the first NGO in the Middle East focused on hunger alleviation. By serving hot meals on a daily basis and providing humanitarian aid to the poor and needy from the Jordanian society in all locations, Tkiyet Um Ali aims to eradicate hunger from Jordan by 2015.
  • Global Zero, The international Global Zero movement launched in December 2008 includes more than 200 political, military, business, faith and civic leaders – and hundreds of thousands of citizens – working for the phased, verified elimination of all nuclear weapons worldwide.

Global Zero members believe that the only way to eliminate the nuclear threat – including proliferation and nuclear terrorism – is to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, secure all nuclear materials and eliminate all nuclear weapons: global zero.

Why do you feel that they are a worthy cause?

  • The Zade Foundation: As advocates for international peace and understanding, and firm believers in the power of music to deconstruct religious and political barriers, we focus our work towards benefiting young musicians around the world by supporting structured, equal opportunity initiatives that will sustain the mission of the foundation.
  • Tkiyet Um Ali: The organization was founded by Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein as a memorial for Her Majesty the late Queen Alia, to become a voice of hope for those who cannot provide their basic daily needs for nutrition, and as a role model to all NGOs in the region; to revive the feelings of social bonding in our society.
  • Global Zero: The international Global Zero Commission of 23 political and military leaders has developed a practical step-by-step plan – backed by hundreds of former heads-of-state, foreign ministers, national security advisers and military commanders – to achieve this goal over the next two decades.

Why did you first get into charity work?

I was raised in an Arab culture that promotes the values of compassion and tolerance. My involvement with nonprofit work is an extension of the core values and beliefs that I was raised with as a boy from Jordan. I do not consider it “charity” work as I was taught that helping others is a fundamental and natural part of our existence as human beings. We live to serve and help each other and our communities at large.

Were you raised to think about others, or was there an event in your life that spurred it?

My upbringing and cultural values instilled in me the deep sense of commitment to my fellow human beings. We are part of one human family. Furthermore, because of the joy that the gift of music brings me as a composer and performer, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude that catapults me to serve others to the best of my ability. I have also had tremendous role models in my life, whether in my family such as my Mom who exemplifies kindness and care to others, or political leaders such as Her Majesty Queen Noor, who taught me that true fulfillment is achieved through sincere public service.

What do you get out of it?

I get out of it a deep sense of fulfillment, and peace of mind. You go to bed knowing that you did your absolute best to help others through your work.

Why would you recommend others to get involved?

I recommend that others get involved in supporting causes larger than themselves is because being a public servant, if you will, gives you a feeling that you are doing your best towards building a better, safer future for your children and generations to follow.

What would you like to see changed about the world?

The first thing that comes to mind is perpetual and inclusive peace in the Middle East. My dream is to take a drive from the hills of West Amman, to Jerusalem, and then to Beirut with no complications. I look forward to the time when the people’s peace is in full effect.

What would you do to fix the issues?

I wish I had the answers! I like to think that music can have a healing effect, and help bring people together by shattering stereotypes.

If you could ask people to do one thing, what would that be?

Follow your passion. I truly believe that God has given all of us a talent, and our job is to work hard on developing our talents and maximizing our potential.

If you follow your dreams, you can’t go wrong. Feeling that you are working towards one goal; one star to reach, gives you a tremendous sense of focus and an endless supply of God given energy, and as you continue to achieve, you will feel the blessings of hard work transforming your life. You will want this for others as well, thus starting your public service work.

Do you feel Hollywood/the music world/sports world, etc. should take action and set an example?

What I admire the most about musicians in general is that they have this sense of community service. Look what Jon Bon Jovi is doing with his foundation, look what Bono has done on a global scale, Céline Dion with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Gloria Estefan with her foundation and the list goes on. Again, I think as musicians, by default we are programmed to give. Perhaps its because of the joy music gives us?

Does any of your recent work reflect your feelings on world issues?

I feel that my work directly relates to the world issues that I care the most about. I am a firm believer that peace will one day come to my troubled part of the world. I feel that each time I step on stage, whether in Amman, Paris or Los Angeles, I am sharing the dream of peace in the Middle East, a dream, which remains elusive up to this day. thanks Zade for taking the time to talk to us.

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