Still from 'The Last Song' music video on YouTube.
“There’s a war against freedom,
Freedom is forbidden,
People with retrograded minds have the loudest words
We’ve been raised to be careful because anyone can hear you.
Ok put this music down let them hear clearly:
If this is my last song, I’ll be singing about freedom.
Sing with me loudly 'freedom'"
So go the lyrics of “Akher Oghneyya” (The Last Song), a new single by Egyptian band Cairokee which was released on YouTube yesterday, 12 March, taking social media by storm.
The almost five-minute long music video, written by the band’s vocalist and songwriter Amir Eid, has been viewed over 745,000 times on Facebook, and over 50, 000 times on YouTube, in less than 24 hours.
The song opens with a black screen, and the words "freedom and fear do not go together” adorn the background in Arabic, before we see Cairokee’s band members walking down a street, as they sing the lyrics to the camera.
The lyrics denounce the regime's stance on freedoms, criticise society’s norms and especially its culture of fear, and speak of a current clash of generations where many youth who have incessantly worked towards the consolidation of freedom are currently in prison.
Scenes of the band members walking down the street are juxtaposed with footage documenting important moments since the 2011 uprising, which flicker throughout the video: A close-up of hands holding prison bars, a protestor waving Egypt’s flag in the heart of Cairo’s Tahrir Square, a framed copy of Al-Ahram’s newspaper the night following 11 February with the headline “The people have brought down the regime”, riot police clashing with Egyptian protestors, and political graffiti across Cairo's streets.
We also see pictures of Shaimaa El-Sabbagh who was shot dead during a peaceful march last year in downtown Cairo ahead of the fourth anniversary of the January 25 uprising; Egyptian political activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah who is serving a five-year sentence on convictions relating to the "Shura Council case"; Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma who was sentenced to life-in-prison in 2015 for his alleged involvement in the December 2011 cabinet clashes case; Egyptian activist and human rights lawyer Mahinour El-Masry who is currently serving a one year and three months sentence in prison over “storming” a police station in 2013; and Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef whose weekly show on Egyptian television was cancelled in 2014, and who has since moved to the United States.
Founded in 2003, Cairokee rose to prominence in 2011 after their hit single Sawt El Horriya (The Voice of Freedom) -- written during the first 18 days of the 2011 uprising and released before former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down -- took the country by storm.
The band line-up comprises Amir Eid (vocals, guitar), Sherif Hawary (lead guitar), Tamer Hashem (drums), Sherif Mostafa (keyboard), and Adam El-Alfy (bass guitar).
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