Visit of the dove


President Sadat’s historic visit to Israel took place on November 19, 1977, and to capture this uniquely dramatic and deeply moving event Michael Graff, an immigrant from South Africa living in Jerusalem, soon after the visit wrote a beautiful heartfelt poem that reflected the feelings of Israelis everywhere. He called the poem “The Visit of the Dove” and he then set it to music, and the song was recorded and then put on Youtube with the original song recorded and arranged by the gifted Anglo Jerusalem singer-songwriter David Ben Reuven and with a striking video by Jerusalemite Larry Pfeffer. The song is also unique in that it is the only song ever written to commemorate the visit, and it is hoped that it will continue to inspire all peace-loving people in the Middle East with its powerful message of peace.

There was a man from Pharaoh’s land,
Who flew with wings and a prayer.
He came to visit the Holy Land,
We welcomed him with cheers.
We gladly shook his outstretched hand
He offered us in peace,
Great men met in the Promised Land
So hatred may one day cease.
Children cheered and called his name
As he passed them by,
Friend and foe both looked the same
To anybody’s eye.

The flags of our two countries
Were waving side by side,
Sights were seen and words were heard
That made even strong men cry.

Sadat left us at sunset
Into clear skies above,
History will not forget
The visit of the dove.

Copyright Michael Graff, Jerusalem

Back in 1977 the gifted South African born songwriter Michael Graff wrote a beautiful tribute to President Sadat following his momentous peace-making visit to Israel. The song, Visit of the Dove, sung by London-born David Ben Reuven, became a YouTube hit, and for many years Michael and David tried unsuccessfully to locate President Sadat’s wife, Jehan, in order to send her the song personally.
Finally, earlier this month they found the way to send her the song via the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, and very soon they received an acknowledgement that she had indeed received the song and that she enjoyed and appreciated it.
So for MichaEl and David too it was a wonderful and moving end to a search that, on and off, had taken almost 50 years.

About the Author
London-born David Herman came on aliyah in 1966 after graduating from Cambridge University. In the 1960s, he founded the Good Times Publishing Company specializing in publishing newspapers in simplified English, French and Arabic for the Israeli school system. David currenty works as a translator, and is also very active in the field of songwriting and performing under the musical name, David Ben Reuven.