Four new songs for Palestine by Egyptian, Arab artists

Ati Metwaly , Saturday 11 Nov 2023

The ongoing Israel's war on Gaza prompted numerous artists in Egypt and from across the Arab world to express their thoughts through music. Shaabi singers, rappers, The Choir Project, amateurs and professionals, are among dozens of artists who began uniting to support Palestine.



Israel's ongoing war on Gaza prompted numerous artists in Egypt and from across the Arab world to express their thoughts through music. Shaabi singers, rappers, The Choir Project, amateurs and professionals, are among dozens of artists who have united to support Palestine.

The newly released works are by musicians from all walks of life and are their creative testimony to the suffering of Gaza and a show of support for the Palestinian people.

While releasing their works, many artists pledged to donate proceeds from the songs to support the humanitarian relief efforts for Gaza.

Rise Gaza

Raise Gaza (Ya Ghaza Aoumi) is the most recent work, released yesterday on Sultan El-Shan's YouTube channel and social media platforms.

The song has already scored 140,000 views placing it in 7th position in 'Trending for Music'.

"The voice of truth is louder than the voice of weapons," are the opening lyrics of the song performed as a collaboration between three shaabi singers: Houda Bondok and two younger rising singers, Mohamed Osama and Khaled Agami.

The work is composed by Amr El-Shazly to lyrics by Omar Abdo Ali. The music arrangement is by Amr El-Khudari, and the music video was directed by Khaled Sami.

"We Are Awakened by You Palestine"

Among the first reactions to the war on Palestine was the song We Are Awakened by You Palestine by The Choir Project, a collective founded and managed by director, acting coach and visual artist Salam Yousry.

Released on 29 October on Instagram, the song is a result of a one-day workshop at Cairo's Rawabet Theatre on 23 October.

"I made a call and so many artists came," Yousry comments to Ahram Online. "Everyone added his or her thoughts to the composition, everyone contributed to this collective statement. It took us four hours of composing followed by a few days of mixing and mastering."

"This time around, it weighed heavily on me, no escape in sight," are the opening lyrics sung by a large number of Egyptian musicians and artists from other creative fields - amateur and professionals - singing together at the Rawabet Theatre.



A post shared by Salam Yousry (@salamyousry)

Rajieen (We Are Coming Back) 

The composition, described as "an anthem" is a collaboration of 25 artists from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). 

The video includes famous Arab singers like Saif Safadi, Dana Salah, Ghalia Chaker, Afroto, Nordo, Saif Shroof, Akhras, Issam Al-Najjar, Amir Eid, Balti, Wessam Qutub, Dina Wideidi, Bataineh, Omar Rammal, Alyoung, Randar, Vortex, Small X, ALA, Fuad Gritli, Donia Wael, Zeyne, Marwan Moussa, Marwan Pablo, and Dafencii. 

The powerful lyrics fuse many social, historical, and political threads into the composition, pointing to the decades of injustice and occupation of the Palestinian territories, the current events, and the world silence while Palestinian children are being killed fiercely on the streets.

The lyrics also address the Arab leaders, urging them to take action. 

"We are calling upon you Arab leaders. Our families in Gaza are today subject to extermination. We're given two choices: either death or victory. A Palestinian –condemned to death since birth ... Where are the Arab nations, it's time to rise up. How can we declare peace when the Balfour Declaration stands?" the lyrics sing.

 The song has scored 617,000 views since its release on 1 November, and is still trending on YouTube in Egypt, scoring the 3rd position in 'Trending for Music'.

Land of Canaan (Canaan) 

The Egyptian rapper El-Ganainy released a new song Land of Canaan (Canaan) on Youtube. In it, he presents Palestine's multi-cultural history, while challenging the current Western narrative that labels resistance to the Israeli occupation as terrorism.

“Welcome to Palestine. The land of the world. As Tamim al-Barghouti said 'You'll find [in Palestine] the Africans, the Europeans, the Kipchaks, the Slavs, the Bosniaks, the Tatar, the Turks, the believers, the disbelievers, the poor, the rich, the hermits, and the miscreants.' Here lie all sorts of people who ever walked the earth. I wish you to read history before you fabricate it. I wish you were part of the geography, but no you were outside!" read the lyrics written by El-Ganainy, an artistic pseudonym of rapper Omar Ahmed Zaghloul.

The song racked up 113,000 views since its release on 1 November, however, it is still trending on YouTube in Egypt, at the 16th position in 'Trending for Music'.

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