Euphrates 2015 Visionary of the Year at NPR with Ari Shapiro

The NPR news room, a bright and busy space bustling with ringing phones and many screens, whizzed by as we were led to the recording studio. The 2015 Visionary of the Year speaking tour had just arrived to Washington, DC, fresh from the International Day of Peace in New York City and Zuhal was on her way to be interviewed by Ari Shapiro. He whisked in to the studio, graciously shook our hands, and then Zuhal was ushered into the booth.Watching and listening through the glass I was impressed by Mr. Shapiro's thoughtful questions, how they made one another laugh, and how Zuhal articulated her story. The interview weaves together personal elements with the bigger milestones in the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq's journey. Zuhal listened intently to a recording of one of her favorite pieces, and, when asked about it, shared how music provides a sanctuary for young Iraqi musicians.

Listen to the interview!

NPR highlighted Zuhal's comment that "we need to be human." This is never more true than in moments when it seems like humanity is losing sight of basic common values. Let Zuhal's story inspire you to feel hopeful, to see that good does exist and hasn't been snuffed out by evil, and to continue to look for these stories in the Middle East.