By Haidar Eid – Gaza
“Exile is strangely compelling to think about but terrible to experience. It is the unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and its true home: its essential sadness can never be surmounted. And while it is true that literature and history contain heroic, romantic, glorious, even triumphant episodes in an exile’s life, these are no more than efforts meant to overcome the crippling sorrow of estrangement.” — Edward Said
This amateur album, Zarnouqa, is about EXILE. Zarnouqa was one of the 531 Palestinian villages ethnically cleansed by Zionist gangs before 1948. Almost all Zarnouqa villagers moved to the Gaza Strip holding their keys waiting for the implementation of UN resolution 194 which grants them their right of return. All proceeds from sales of the song will be donated to the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Like the previous album, Gaza Blues, recorded under the shells of Israel war machine, I hope that this one will be a fresh examination of the ravages of the crimes of ethnic cleansing committed by Apartheid Israel, as well as a reflection of the range of human emotions under these circumstances, from fierce resistance and commitment to freedom to nostalgia, Ghurba, exodus and exile!
Our Mahmoud Darwish’s verse sums it up so eloquently:
We shall meet awhile
After a year
After two years
And a generation
Tellingly, some renowned activists and artists reacted to the first album thus:
“Cultural expression for the oppressed, then, serves a dual purpose: self-therapy and expansion of the “free zone” in our collective mind, where progressive transformation can thrive. In response to all the attempts to circumscribe our aspirations, we must push on, dreaming and being creative, boundlessly.
Haidar Eid exemplifies this cultural resistance praxis. As a leading activist in the global, Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement, as an educator, and as an artist of resistance, he shows us the organic nature of resistance. And he does all this while languishing in the world’s largest open-air prison, Gaza. ” — #BDS Co-founder Omar Barghouti
“The portrait defines a story of love, compassion, strife, struggle and hope…stunning. Jeremy Karodia (Musician and anti-apartheid activist from South Africa). Haunting, moving, inspirational.” — Samah Sabaawi (Palestinian activist and poet)
The album ZARNOUQA is available to purchase through Indiepush.com.
The songs are dedicated to the courage and resistance of the Palestinian refugees, the victims of the Nakba.
– Haidar Eid is a member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel and a Policy Advisor with Al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network. His first amateur album Gaza Blues: Hymns of Love, Death and Resistance was recorded on his cellphone during the 2014 Israeli war on Gaza. He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.