Pavarotti Tribute Concert on Sunday
This weekend, a memorial ceremony and tribute charity concert will be held in Petra, Jordan, in commemoration of the late Italian tenor, Luciano Pavarotti, who died a little over a year ago.
Under the patronage of HRH Princess Haya Bint al Hussein of Jordan, a UN Messenger of Peace, the concert at the renowned archaeological site at Petra will generate funds for projects in Afghanistan by UNHCR and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) as well as to the Petra National Trust.
Some of the world's biggest classical and pop music names - many of them veterans of the "Pavarotti & Friends" concerts - will take part in the Sunday event, coinciding with Pavarotti's birthday. They include Sting, Andrea Bocelli, Jovanotti, Laura Pausini, Zucchero, Angela Gheorghiu, Andrea Griminelli, Cynthia Lawrence, Roberto Alagna and José Carreras. U2 lead singer Bono will join through a video-link. The concert will be conducted by Eugene Kohn.
Since 2002, more than 5 million Afghans have returned to their country from Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere. The joint WFP/UNHCR projects will focus on the most vulnerable of them - especially women and children - and pay to construct schools, provide health, skills and literacy training, and build micro-hydropower and irrigation canals to bring electricity and improve agricultural production. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has so far announced a donation of 2.1 million Euros (about $2.9 million) to UNHCR and WFP projects in Afghanistan.
For over 10 years, until his death in September 2007, Pavarotti actively supported UNHCR projects in Kosovo, Pakistan, Zambia, and Iraq. For his continuous commitment to refugee causes, he received UNHCR's Nansen Refugee Award and was named a UN Messenger of Peace.