ORPHANED LAND Frontman Says Education Programs Are Key To Building Resilience To Hate, Extremism And Disinformation

December 26, 2023

In a new interview with Jorge Botas of Portugal's Metal Global, vocalist Kobi Farhi of Israeli metallers ORPHANED LAND emphasized the need for education as a means of changing the way of thinking to end extremism, especially as hate and bigotry are now bigger than they have ever been in many parts around the world. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I have been thinking about it all my life, because it's what I think about when I write, when I create, when I want to send a message. And I always came to the conclusion that there is a way to change it. There is a way to change the world and there is a way to change the way people think or the way they follow politicians or media or anything else, like they follow like buffoons. And it's only through the education system, because when we are kids, we are like plastilina [a wax- and oil-base modeling material used by sculptors for modeling pieces]. You can shape us. It's like you educate your children, it's like your father and mother educate you or me, and we are shaped… Of course, we are also inspired by the environment, by our friends, but the basic core of education, which is our home and school, what are they teaching at school? I mean, if I will ask you, how many things did you take with you from all those years in school? So you learned mathematics, you learned about literature, you know how to read and write, but why don't they teach us about human behavior when we are kids? I mean, they teach us about trigonometry. Why did we need trigonometry? I mean, no disrespect to trigo, but why did we need it and we didn't need human behavior? How to behave, how to solve conflict, how to talk to each other, how to manage a dialogue, how to listen. One of the main problems is that people don't listen. Those things are not [part of] the education system, as if listening to someone's arguments, it's like a weakness or something. I don't know."

He continued: "I used to say in my past interviews that it's all education. I used to say to the people, imagine that, for example, we are educated. It's wrong in our minds and heads that we shouldn't have, let's say, sexual relationship with our siblings or parents. This is like a taboo. It's twisted in our mind. Why would killing other people or or fighting with other people, it's not twisting our mind? It's so bad to kill someone. It's a whole world. It's a universe. And I think it's because usually the male kids are playing… It begins with toy guns. They play with guns. Video games, they kill everyone, and then you move to the next level. So that education normalizes the fact of war and weapon in your mind. It makes it normal. If you would play that — I don't know — in twisted games of having sex with your siblings, it would be normal probably in some twisted fucked up mind, but it's a matter of education and what they put in our plate. And until that thing will not change, we are doomed in this circle forever."

ORPHANED LAND released its most recent studio album, "Unsung Prophets & Dead Messiahs", in 2018. A live album, "A Heaven You May Create", arrived on December 1. Celebrating ORPHANED LAND's 30th anniversary, the LP contains the recordings of a very special show that the band played in June 2021 with a symphony of 60 players.

ORPHANED LAND's music draws from Eastern, Western and Asian influences, and the band is known for its message of peace and unity among Jews, Arabs and Christians. The group's songs are written in Hebrew and English.

ORPHANED LAND opened for METALLICA in 2010 in Israel and toured Europe with Palestinian rock group KHALAS in 2013.

ORPHANED LAND is Farhi, Chen Balbus (guitars),Idan Amsalem (guitars),Uri Zelcha (bass),and Matan Shmuely (drums).

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