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Update: Assaf’s first video as global star affirms role as voice for the voiceless

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“Ya Hal Arab,” Mohammed Assaf’s much anticipated first video since winning Arab Idol, has been released by MBC Platinum Records and it succeeds beyond the wildest expectations, gloriously showing him as the full fledged artist-star he has become. A coming-out for Assaf on the world stage, it shows the adoration that people of all walks of life feel for this singer from Gaza and for his message of Palestinian freedom.

The announcer’s words in English remind you that he is a global phenomenon. Then out comes Assaf, with his incredible sincerity and talent, and the video imagery is of ordinary Arabs and people from around the world thrilling to his success. This is his role: singing and inspiring the millions who are voiceless, the people’s choice.

The words are by the Lebanese lyricist Nizar Francis. Francis is also the lyricist of Assaf’s ‘winner’s song’ (lyrics here) the night of his victory. We’ll be updating when we have a translation, so check back. (Masterfully directed by Waleed Nassif , composed by Rawad Raad.)

Update with Nizar Francis’s lyrics and translation from Arabic by Enass Tinah:

نار قهوتكم ولعاني
The fire under your coffee is lit
مدخل خيمتكن مفتوح
the entrance to your tent is open
تايه ومضيع عنواني
I am lost, can’t find my destination
دلوني وين بدي روح
Guide me , where to go
وين رحتو يا هالعرب
Where have you gone O Arabs
في لي بديرتكن طلب
I have a request in your land
مجروح وانتو السبب
I am wounded , and you are the reason
قاصدكم ع اخر روح
your are my destination with my last soul (meaning last breath)
بنية منكم صابتني
A girl from you (your land) caught me
بسهام عيونا رمتني
with the arrows of her eyes she slayed me
جوه بقلبي جرحتني
she wounded me inside my heart
تركتني وحدي مجروح
and she left me alone and wounded
وين رحتو يا هالعرب
where have you gone O Arabs

في لي بديرتكن طلب
I have a request in your land
مجروح وانتو السبب
I am wounded and you are the reason
قاصدكم ع اخر روح
you are my destination with my last soul (meaning last breath)
جاي واللي بيصير بيصر
I am coming (to your land) and what happens will happen
ذنبي والله ما هو كبير
My fault is not big
سر العاشق ما هوبير
The lover’s secret is in a well
وعيونو بالسر تبوح
But his eyes tells the secret

where have you gone O Arabs

I have a request in your land

I am wounded and you are the reason

you are my destination with my last soul (meaning last breath)

 

Next Saturday night I will be attending the Arabian Nights Extravaganza XXVII starring Nancy Ajram, Wael Jassar, Farah Youssef and Mohammed Assaf at the Paris Grand Ballroom in Las Vegas . If you live in the Bay Area and are interested in driving down and attending the show as my guest please contact [email protected]. Tell me something about yourself and how much you love Mohammed Assaf.

Enjoy Assaf’s new video. He’s causing an earthquake, it’s just the beginning.

(Previous Mohammed Assaf coverage on Mondoweiss available here)

 

 

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Mabruk Ya-Assaf!!!!

نار قهوتكم ولعاني The fire under you coffee is let مدخل خيمتكن مفتوح the entrance to your tent is open تايه ومضيع عنواني I am lost , can’t find my destination دلوني وين بدي روح Guide me , where to go وين رحتو يا هالعرب Where have you gone O… Read more »

The song is the light Bedouin accent. The beauty of the Arabic lyrics is that it has double meaning, it could be understood as a love song , but also as a call for unity.

I’m not a pan Arabist but I love the calls for Arab unity.

I’m not really feeling this video. Too cutesy for me at times. His vocal performance is phenomenal as usual.

(I’m pretty fussy about music videos in general. But his art deserves better than this.)