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Documenting the Palestinian desire to be free

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It is widely believed that culture, art, and music contribute directly to shaping the individual and collective consciousness. Songs are an organizing tool in the arduous work of overthrowing occupation and apartheid. They are permanently etched in the collective memory of the people of Palestine. I hope that these songs will document Palestinian desire to be free from the ravages of colonialism, occupation and apartheid.

Why Tyrants’ Fear of Songs?

Art in Gaza is itself under a horrific, medieval siege, a siege that is the literal antithesis of freedom. By singing, getting our voices heard, I am, in fact, using music as a tool of resistance. Two of my previous songs during the Israeli barbaric war on Gaza in 2014 were recorded on a cellphone and made into video clips, one of which is Lifeboat that documents the last moments in the life of a Palestinian youngster killed in Shijaiya by an Israeli sniper. Another video clip, titled Love in the Time of Genocide recorded some of the most horrific moments of the Shijaiya massacre. The song itself was recorded while the massacre was taking place.

Art, for me, is not a commodity to be bought and sold. Like what Bertolt Brecht had to say: “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.” And like the rest of Palestinian artists, and South African artists before us, we are pitting the power of culture against the culture of power, as Edward Said would have put it.

The title of the album, Tyrants’ Fear of Songs, is inspired by Mahmoud Darwish’s poem “On This Earth!” It consists of a revival of the songs of the first Intifada, and some Arabic songs of resistance of the second half of the 20th C. While the songs are tributes to the original singers, George Qurmuz (Jerusalem), Walid Abdussalam, Abdulahilm Hafez (Songs of Resistance), Marcel Khalife (Yemen), Ahmed Mounib (Speak Up) and those singers on the streets of Suez who fought against the Tripartite aggression of 1956 (Semsemiya), but also for BDS activists and the children of Yemen, two of them are original, “Fawadnak” and “Watany.” The album is dedicated to the wretched of the Earth! Hence, the title TYRANTS’ FEAR OF SONGS.

To buy the Album: https://haidareid.bandcamp.com/releases

To listen to  samples from the Album:

Haidar Eid

Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza's al-Aqsa University. He has written widely on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including articles published at Znet, Electronic Intifada, Palestine Chronicle, and Open Democracy. He has published papers on cultural Studies and literature in a number of journals, including Nebula, Journal of American Studies in Turkey, Cultural Logic, and the Journal of Comparative Literature.

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