By Haidar Eid
In 1956 the dying colonial powers, Britain and France, in cahoots with apartheid Israel launched a tripartite aggression against Egypt after its heroic decision to nationalize the Suez Canal. England occupied the city of Suez and Israel invaded the Gaza Strip and Sinai.
The people of both cities put up fierce resistance to occupation. In Suez, music played a great role and impact in the popular resistance, a role that extended to the war period of attrition after the defeat of 1967. Songs of resistance instilled a spirit of determination and hope in the hearts of the displaced people of Suez.
One popular song was the Simsimiyya played using an instrument with the same name. As part of collecting songs of resistance from around the Arab World, Haidar Eid has performed the same song giving it a Gazan flavour using the same lyrics written by the Suez poet Captain Ghazzali and originally performed by the Suez based band, Sons of the Land.
The song celebrates the “heroism of refugees, students, workers,” and all other social strata of the population, promising to “replant the field of barley that were burnt by the bombs of the aggressors.”
(The Palestine Chronicle)
– Haidar Eid is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature at the Al-Aqsa University, in the Gaza Strip. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.