Cellist Brings Music To Baghdad At The Site Of A Car Bomb Explosion

Karim Wasfi believes the answer to violence doesn't lie in a counterattack; it's in art.

In the wake of a recent series of Baghdad car bomb explosions and the deaths of more than 20 people, Wasfi picked up his cello and played for peace.

The acclaimed musician, formerly a director and conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, was photographed sitting in the center of the destruction left by an explosion in Baghdad's Mansour district.

Wasfi, who publicly advocates the importance of art in connection with peace, told BBC his cello's presence at the scene of an explosion was a message to those who rely on violence to get their points across.

The cellist believes art can be even more powerful than violence, saying,

It's directed at those who are considering [bombs] as the only way of proving their existence.

He continued, telling BBC music is a peaceful protest to those who restrict freedom.

Wasfi explained,

Obviously I cannot challenge the bombs with my's [an assurance] that life is worth living.

Images of Wasfi playing his cello at the blast site are real-life symbols of hope.


The art is in the midst of destruction.


Wasfi is leading the peace movement by example.


His image, shared around the world, is more notable than any blast.

Citations: The Cellist of Baghdad (BBC)