Singing for and about Palestine is one of the most popular genres in Arab music. Below are samples of three Arab singers – a Palestinian, a Lebanese, and an Egyptian – who defined the hopes and aspirations of three generations os Arabs.
Sun of Love – by Rim Banna
Rim Banna, who passed away on March 24, 2018 after a long battle with cancer, was born in the Palestinian city of Nazareth in 1966.
Palestinian journalist, Ramzy Baroud said of her: “Rim united the Palestinian people across political and geographic divides. When she sang for the Homeland, nothing mattered but Palestine. Christians and Muslims, Fatah and Hamas, Gaza and Ramallah, all became one.
“Through her soulful and warm voice, she imparted sorrow, yet celebrated life. Her songs ‘Fares Odeh’ and ‘Sarah’ were poetic interpretation of precious young Palestinian lives cut short by Israeli soldiers.”
Jawaaz al-Safer, Passport – by Marcel Khalife
One of the most recognizable voices of cultural resistance in the Arab world, Marcel Khalife sang for Palestine and Lebanon. He has taken the poetry of late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish to Arab audiences, in fact to the whole world for many years.
The song “Jawaaz al-Safer”, from Khalife’s album “Promises of the Storm”(1976) is taken from Darwish’s poem “Passport”, a veritable hymn to Palestinian identity.
O Palestinians – by Sheikh Imam
Sheikh Imam, the impoverished and blind Egyptian singer, who spent years of his life composing and singing in Egyptian regime prisons, sang for Palestine and about Palestine, words that have reached many millions of Arabs despite the numerous restrictions that were placed on him until his death in 1995.
(The Palestine Chronicle)