June 4, 2020
15 years ago, on June 2, 2005, Cornerstone opened A LONG BRIDGE OVER DEEP WATERS, by James Still, onstage at the Ford Amphitheatre. This play had a gorgeous cast of 62 people and was culminating bridge show of Cornerstone’s Faith-based Cycle.
In marking the occasion today we also honor our dear friend and colleague, George Haddad, who left this earth last week. We first met Jiddu when he was 72. He performed in many projects with us and received a Cornerstone Bridge Award. Some notes from a program bio:
George Haddad was born in Suez, Egypt in 1921 from Lebanese parents. He worked for the British Royal Airforce during World War II. He taught English as a second language in public schools until 1969. He also acted and played music “Ud” with private clubs, churches, and schools. George moved to the USA in 1979. He first worked with Cornerstone in 1993 on Ghurba. Since then he performed in LA Building, the Bus pLAYs , Santa Monica Mall Festival, For Here or To Go?, The Festival of Faith, CROSSINGS, journeys of Catholic immigrants, the film Sharif Don’t Like It, You Can’t Take It With You: An American Muslim Remix, and a few others.
Through playing music in Ghurba, George joined the Kan Zaman Community Ensemble in 1994, presenting the Arabic classics and folkloric music to the American community. He is proud of being a member of the Cornerstone family all of whom call him “Jiddu”; i.e. Grandpa.
“His twinkle smile always let you know his spirit would be ever looking out for and acting with the young and old friends he’d made in his time with Cornerstone.”
– Ensemble member Shishir Kurup
We will miss you, George Haddad.