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.
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Rodney Foster – Ascot Media Group, Inc.


Singer/songwriter Ed Hale, who was engaged to be married to Nahal Mishel-Ghashghai in September of this year, announced this week that a date has been set, February 13th, 2010, creating a “Valentines Day Weekend in New York City for friends and family” and invitations have been mailed. The couple will hold two wedding ceremonies back to back, both in Manhattan. The first of which at 10 AM, will be a Traditional Persian Wedding, where Hale is said to be converting to Islam in order to travel with and be considered legally married to Mishel-Ghashghai in the Middle East, immediately followed by what is being called “an eclectic take on the traditional Christian Wedding,” where Mishel-Ghashghai is reportedly converting to Christianity. A reception will follow in the same location. The couple shared that they are foregoing the usual DJ and wedding band at the reception in favor of more personal group activities such as readings by different guests, a meditation on love candle ceremony, a blessing by a Tibetan Buddhist Monk from the Nechung Center, and of course several musical performances by friends of Hale’s in the rock ‘n’ roll world. In lieu of wedding cake the couple will be having the 200 year old New York Italian bakery Viniero’s provide over two-hundred and fifty fresh cannoli. The reception will also feature a string quintet with sitar performing both classical and standards, and a Traditional Persian Classical Trio. Honeymoon plans have not been announced, but the couple has set up a wedding website at that lists flight and accommodation information for guests. Hale commented “The only other time I’ll ever get to have this many of all my different friends from around the world gathered in one place will probably be my funeral, if I’m that lucky, so Nahal and I really wanted to have things be more personal and manageable so we could have the opportunity to spend quality time with people we don’t get to see very often. Introduce everyone to each other. You know, like that.” When asked about the “eclectic take” comment on the couple’s upcoming nuptials, Hale said “Well I think I’ve got her talked into doing a big group Stevie Wonder sing-a-long, but I’m pretty sure she’s nixed the idea of me walking in wearing a cape and top hat.”