Borders: Song explores life under occupation as experienced by Palestinian children

Ahram Online , Thursday 21 Jul 2016

The song, produced by independent Palestinian producer Samer Jaradat, was released on YouTube on 19 July

(Photo: Fragment from the song's poster designed by Hossam Al-Shaer)

"The soldier and his stray bullets
as he sits there, pointing his machine gun towards you
entertaining the possibility of stealing your life away
those are the borders of Palestine

Your soul as it lets out a gleeful laugh
when the bullet passes by you
and the chortle that underpins your heart’s beat
when a hand tends to your wound
those are the borders of Palestine

The smell of your blood
on the flag that dances in your hand
the day you are martyred, or celebrated
and your trembling hand
those are the borders of Palestine"

Thus are the lyrics of a new Palestinian song titled Hedood (Borders), sung into life by young Palestinian star Reem Malki and the Nisan Children’s Choir, released on YouTube on 19 July.

Composed by Palestinian musician, oud and contrabass player Ibrahim Najem, to lyrics by Amer Badran, and music arrangement by Mohamed Najam, the song features Ibrahim Najem on the oud, Samer Jaradat on percussion, Mohamed Najam on clarinet, Dimitris Mikelis on contrabass and Khalil Khoury on qanoun.

The song tugs at the ugly manifestations of the Israeli Occupation with which Palestinian children must grapple on a daily basis. 

The choir, trained by professor George Ghattas, delivers a powerful performance which adds to the piercing poignancy, stressing the unceasing steadfastness of the Palestinian people. 

Behind this new release, which was recorded in Jafra music studio, stands Samer Jaradat, an established percussionist and one of the most celebrated independent music producers in Palestine today.

Jaradat studied at the Palestine-based Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) where he currently teaches. Jaradat also studied business administration at Palestine's Birzeit University. 

As a percussionist, Jaradat participated in an array of workshops in Turkey, India, Germany and Brazil. “His observations and openness to new cultures and sound theories helped him develop multiple perspectives explored through a unique approach,” reads the biography section of his official Facebook page.

Besides teaching at ESNCM, Jaradat also gives workshops in a number of schools and universities in Europe and throughout the world.

He has thus far collaborated with a huge array of international and local bands and musicians like Cheb Fudel, Sanaa Moussa, Bassel Zayed, Reem Talhami, Jamil Sayeh, Walid Abdul-Salam, Turab, Yalalan Group, First Ramallah Group, El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe and the Palestine Youth Orchestra. 

As a producer, Jaradat invests in "mixing and combining various and different musical genres from different regions in the world.”

As such, he has been conducting "a theoretical and practical research on world music and projects that are interested in mixing music from different cultures."

Moreover, Jaradat has been collaborating with an array of Palestinian and Arab musicians, and is a staunch believer in “the necessity of documenting the period Palestinian artists live in chronologically and historically through music, to create opportunities for younger generations to listen and build on previous musical experiences.”

Borders song

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