10 Songs and Videos of Palestinian Freedom
10 Songs and Videos of Palestinian Freedom
The campaign for freedom and self-determination by the people of Palestine has inspired some memorable music.
Many singers and musicians have wanted to tell their story.
Here is a mixture of both international and home-grown artistes who sing about the Palestinian struggle for freedom.
It is by no means a definitive list but reflects a wide spectrum of musical styles and influences.
1. Roger Waters - We Shall Overcome
An international star who is no stranger to political commentary both in his music and public life. His lyrics and concepts have dealt with important topics about society, war and injustice.
This cover version dedicates itself to the cause of the Palestinians and the video has images from their land including the infamous wall which resonates with Pink Floyd's classic album of 1979.
Roger is also a member of the Russell Tribunal which set up a body in 2009 to examine human rights issues and international law concerning Israel-Palestine.
2. Sabreen - A Patriotic Song
This group began in 1980 and come from Ramallah in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. They combine Western and Arab influences in their music and actually evolved into a community group for music and the expressive arts.
They sing about themes connected with the land and have become one of the most important and influential Palestinian groups
Their singer Kamilya Jubran left in 2002 to pursue a solo career but the group are still going strong.
3. Genocide - Free Palestine
Under the pseudonym of 'Genocide' the singer Jusuf sings a Hip-Hop song about the situation in Gaza. In particular he refers to the massacres of 2008/09 when the Israeli forces attacked the civilian population.
He was born in Bosnia in 1984 and as a child witnessed the ethnic cleansing of the Balkan War of the 1990s at first hand.
His family moved to Ireland and then he eventually settled in New Zealand.
4. George Qurmouz - My Name is Palestine's People
This singer comes from Lebanon and his songs were popular on Jerusalem radio in the 1980s
The song talks of the struggle of the Palestinians for their land and speaks out against Imperialism.
However his music is now quite rare to find and the internet offers an opportunity to hear his music.
5. Michael Heart - We Will Not Go Down
Born as Annas Allaf in his native Syria, Michael Heart now lives and works in the USA. He was raised as a child in Switzerland and then Austria before moving to America.
This popular 'Song for Gaza' has had a large following on the internet and as a downloadable song. He wrote it in January 2009 directly inspired by the Israeli attack on Gaza.
His songs are strongly influenced by humanitarian issues as reflected on his debut CD in 2008 called 'Unsolicited Material'. He has sung about the civil war in Syria, the revolutions of the Arab Spring and also the terrible Haitian earthquake of 2012.
6. Amal Murkus - Hkaye
A Palestinian female singer born in the Galilee in 1968 and based in Israel. Amal combines traditional and modern forms of Palestinian music and released her first album in 1998.
Her music is very focused on tradition, heritage and the folklore of the Arab people and the Palestinians in particular. Also as a feminist she has confronted Islamists in Israel on gender issues.
This song 'Hkaye' translates as 'The Tale'
7. Mic Righteous - Don't it Make You Wonder?
Another rapper with a pseudonym, this time from England. Mic Righteous is from the coastal town of Margate but his family fled their native Iran during the 1979 revolution. His real name is Rocky Takalbighashi.
The BBC caused a storm of controversy when they deleted the word 'Palestine' when he recorded a freestlye rap in one of their studios. It raised issues of free speech and censorship in the media.
He has enjoyed growing popularity and success by opening for mainstream Rap and Hip-Hop acts and also appeared at the Glastonbury Festival.
8. David Rovics - Jenin
Born in New York in 1967 David comes from a Jewish family and became politically active in his youth. His music covers subjects such as globalisation, the Iraq War and social issues.
His musical career started as a full-time busker in Boston but by the mid-1990s he had a serious career developing and was touring with his music.
This song is about the 2002 Israeli attack on the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin and also looks into the mind of a suicide bomber.
9. Marcel Khalif - Jawaz Al-Safar
Marcel was born in Amchit in Lebanon in 1950. He taught at the conservatory in Beirut and has been active musically since the 1970s.
His popularity extends beyond the Middle-East and he has performed in Europe and North America. He sings protest songs on themes of nationalism and revolution.
This song is based on the words of the late Mahmoud Darwish, a famous Palestinian poet and author.
It translates into English as 'Passport' and refers to the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians during the Nakba of 1948 which created the world's largest population of refugees.
10. Oneworld - Freedom for Palestine
A collection of international musicians released this song in 2011. Proceeds went to the charity 'War on Want' for their projects in Palestine.
The aim was to raise awareness of the Israeli occupation and the poverty and human rights abuses resulting from it.
If featured Maxi Jazz and Dave Randall from Faithless, singer/producer LSK and choirs from Durban and London amongst many others.
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