United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim, alongside a Jordanian princess, a Brazilian writer and a Japanese-American violinist, as UN peace envoys. The new Messengers of Peace - Barenboim, equestrian expert Princess Haya, author Paulo Coelho, and violinist Midori Goto - will be honored at a ceremony on Friday, the International Day of Peace. They will join four other messengers of peace, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust scholar Elie Wiesel, actor Michael Douglas, primate expert Jane Goodall, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Italian opera singer Luciano Pavarotti was a messenger of peace for nearly a decade before his death on Sept. 6. Barenboim, a world renowned conductor and pianist who was born in Argentina and is an Israeli citizen, co-founded an orchestra that brings young musicians from Israel and Arab countries together. He recently initiated a music education project in the Palestinian territories.
Princess Haya, a daughter of Jordan's late King Hussein, is married to the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. She has promoted health, education and sports programs for Arab and Muslim youths. She was the first Arab woman to compete in equestrian events at the Olympics and is currently president of the International Equestrian Federation and a member of the International Olympic Committee. [AP]