New York, NY, February 22, 2010 – Ed Hale, singer/songwriter and social and political activist, whose latest solo album Ballad on Third Avenue was recently voted one of the best albums of 2009, has possibly started a trend in creating a little peace between the U.S. and the Middle East – by doing it his way in his one-of-a-kind wedding last weekend!  East meets West and judging from the comments of the over one hundred and fifty guests from all walks of life and religious denominations, they were deeply moved and had never experienced such a depth of love and peace within a wedding ceremony before!
On February 13, at a church in Manhattan, Hale (who took the Muslim name of Hafez in order to be legally married to his bride in the country of Iran) and Iranian-born Nahal Mishel-Ghashghai began their new life together by first being joined in a formal Islamic ceremony at a traditional Persian wedding known as Sofreh Aghd that dates back nearly four thousand years.  This service was followed by a traditional Christian wedding where the bride and groom’s own vows were integrated into the formal ceremony, followed by a few minutes of candle-lit darkness and silence for world peace.
The enlightened couple did not stop there though.  The newlyweds then “jumped the broom,” a centuries-old African American wedding tradition, to express their solidarity with people around the world who are still victims of human trafficking and slavery today. Hale then surprised his new bride by releasing two white doves into the air, and then at the reception a traditional Native American wedding blessing Deer Dance was performed for the couple and their guests by ancient Persian Sufi musicians.  Hale’s initial concern that it might have been ‘too much’ for their guests was assuaged after hearing feedback that everyone felt humbled and inspired by the love and spirituality they felt that day, many expressing that their lives were changed forever by the experience.
Hale ’walks the talk’ once more when it comes to his nickname ‘the Ambassador,’ even bringing the idea into his own nuptials. Not content simply working with Habitat for Humanity in providing homes and a new beginning for those less fortunate, he strives daily to make the world a better place in his honored role as a civilian diplomat for the United States.  In fact, it was in this role that he first visited Iran in 2008 to discuss peace between the US and Iran. Six months later he met directly with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations in an effort to promote world peace.  Contrary to what many believe, Hale did not meet his future bride during this visit – they had, in fact, been best friends for almost a decade prior to becoming engaged.
As the rocker-activist couple began their first day as husband and wife in a suite at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, they found it both sad and ironic when Nahal read aloud from the New York Times Hillary Clinton’s plan to impose more economic sanctions on Iran, where much of her family still lives. One wonders that If Ed Hale and Nahal could cross multiple cultural and religious barriers and achieve peace on a small scale for one day with hundreds of guests from countries all over the world, couldn’t we imagine what the whole world could accomplish if we worked together in similar fashion and made peace our ultimate goal. Peace between the United States and Iran was possible, at least for one day, through true love in action by these two beautifully inspired love birds.
Find out more about the artist at or connect with Ed Hale personally on Facebook at:
Rodney Foster – Ascot Media Group, Inc.

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