A Palestinian Arab citizen of Israel, Rahib Haddad was born and studied in the old city of Acre (Akko). Now he lives in Shafa’amr, a small town in Galilee, Northern Israel. He studied music at Tel Aviv University where his conducting teacher was Professor Avner Itai, who is also a very close friend.
Rahib Haddad is a conductor, musical director, and pioneer of Arabic music in Israel, who has encouraged and established different choirs for children and young people in numerous towns in the Arabic sector. In Shafa’amr, Mr. Haddad established and conducted a wind band for Muslim, Christian and Druze youth for several years. Among numerous professional teaching engagements, he has been a lecturer in Arabic music at the Jerusalem Academy of Music.
Mr. Haddad is active in re-sculpting the Arabic music culture especially for the choral idiom. He has created a rich consciousness for Arab choral music especially in Shafa’amr. He is currently the conductor of three choirs:
Al Baath Choir, Sawa Choir, and Sawa Children’s Choir.
He believes in the power of music to change people and he works on encouraging Arab people to sing and participate in choirs. He is also building bridges between people in conflict by currently working on a new venture, Music as a Language of Dialogue. He has participated in many projects for co-existence: Voices for Peace, a unique vocal collaboration between Arabs and Jews, and Mosaic, another project between two Jewish and Arab youth choirs. Sawa is also a pioneer, multiculturally choral endeavor for children of different religions and languages.
Since 1997, Rahib Haddad has been the director of the Sawa Centre in the Sister of Nazareth Convent in Shafa’amr. This unique centre provides many cultural and sports activities for local people and it has become one of the most important cultural centres in the Arab sector in Galilee, hosting many different choirs, the first dance school in the Arab sector in Israel, a large studio for the arts, an annual music and theatre festival and musical master classes with musicians like Professor André de Quadros, who has became a close friend and patron.