New fantastic Hip Hop song from Gaza Camps Breakerz Crew 2014

We are artists who represent a country and have
no human or artist rights because we are Palestinians from Gaza.
We know that world can’t do anything about it, but
we believe that good people still exist.
Thank you
Bboy for freedom
CB crew

“Are your loved ones trapped behind the wall?” — New animation video by Marta Jelec of Samah Sabawi’s poem “Defying the Universe”.

While Sabawi’s poem expresses the guilt Palestinians in diaspora feel when thinking of loved ones back home, Jelec’s animation video tries to take the message further so it can resonate with a larger audience.

Video animation by Marta Jelec

Music: Bonobo- Recurring

Marta Jelec made this stop motion animation for a project she’s doing for a Digital and Cyberculture Studies module. She explains “Sabawi’s poem, originally written in English and published online, describes the internal struggles her husband faces when confronting the guilt of leaving his family behind in Palestine, while he lives his life of ‘liberty’. By creating an animation of the poem, I aim to make the poetry more accessible to an English speaking, non Palestinian audience, by using non-ethnicised characters and simple and symbolic imagery. I aim to increase the possibility of empathy within digital audiences outside of Palestine”.

Defying the Universe

Are your loved ones trapped behind the wall
Do they need the army’s permission
For their prayers to reach the sky
For their love to cross the ocean
And touch your thirsty heart
Are your loved ones trapped

Do you yearn to be in your family home
And when you call them
Do they always say

“we are well, alhamdollelah”
Does it surprise you

That they are whole

But you… you are broken
Must they always worry about you
Urge you to have faith in your exile
Must they pity you
For not breathing the air

Of your ancestors’ land
Must they always comfort you
Even when the bombs are falling
Do you ever wonder who is walled in
Is it you, or is it them
And when it finally dawns upon you
That their dignity sets them free
Do you feel ashamed of your liberty

Are your loved ones trapped behind the wall
Do they tell you stories
Of how they survive
The trees they’ve replanted
The homes they’ve rebuilt
Do they assure you life goes on
Old men still fiddle with their prayer beads
Mothers still bake mamoul on Eid
Families still gather under the canopies
With loaded bunches of grapes
Dangling above their heads
They nibble on watermelon seeds
They drink meramiah tea
Women perfect the art of match-making
Men talk of freedom and democracy
Children climb on a sycamore tree
Lovers woe in secrecy
And no matter how the conditions are adverse
Do your loved ones defy this universe
Your loved ones defy this universe

Samah Sabawi wrote Defying the Universe during the aftermath of Israel’s assault on Gaza in 2008-2009.

In a World of Chaos: Gaza’s Watar Band Seeking Love, Peace and Freedom

By Samah Sabawi
Palestine Chronicle
Gaza’s new music sensation Watar Band has just released their latest song and it is making a lot of noise!  The song Dawsha which literally translates to noise is a reminder to the world that creative rhythm and harmony still exist in Gaza despite the chaos and the depressive realities that prevail not only within the tiny strip but in the region as a whole.

I interviewed Watar Band’s lyricist Hassan Nigim about the song, the band and the triumphs and tribulations of making music in Gaza:

Samah Sabawi: Thanks Hassan for talking with me. I understand this is a very busy time for you as you prepare to release your video clip for Dawsha.  Tell me how important is this work for you?

Hassan Nigim: Thanks for the interview Samah, we appreciate your support. I believe this work is very important even though it started as a hobby, I have worked hard to improve my skills and have been blessed with the support of my friends especially the Egyptian poet ( lyricist) Khaled Tag Al Deen who wrote many songs for super star singers like Amr diab, samira saed, Nawal Alzoghbi, Hamaki, and others.  His support has been instrumental and we’d like to thank him for being the first to share our song on his FB fans page.

SS: What inspired you to write Dawsha?

HN: I got my inspiration from people’s experiences and from my own personal experiences as well.  I wrote the lyrics for Dawsha when I came home to Gaza this year after completing my university degree in Egypt. I wanted to describe how we live and what we feel and do in a few simple words. The song is not just about us in Gaza but it is also about how we in most of the Arab World live these days…

SS: I noticed the song express both hope and despair at the same time.  Was this contradiction deliberate?   

HN: Yes.  It’s important to give people hope that one day they can find love and freedom and that they can reach their dreams.

SS: There are no women in your band.  What is it like for female artists in Gaza especially within the music scene?

HN: True, there are no women in our band but there is a female artist who sang with our band at the Centre Culturel Français (CCF) concert, Sara abu Ramadan, she sang a French song.  We also had five young girls singing a part of the song Dawsha and you can see them in the video clip.  There are more and more talented girls in Gaza who have started to learn music, but for sure there are still some people who hold on to old traditions and who are not supportive of women in music.

SS: What would you say is the biggest obstacle that stands in your way of making music in Gaza?

HN: The biggest obstacles that stand in our way at a personal level as well as an artistic one are daily problems everyone else encounters in Gaza like electricity shortages…but on top of that, I would say we don’t have much support from the media and we need that in order to publicize our work.  As it stands, we do our own publicity. We also don’t have professional producers here, we don’t have enough instruments for our band, and we don’t have advanced studios to do the recordings in.

SS: Describe how an average week in your life looks like?

HN: All of us in Watar Band are well educated. I’m a Biomedical Engineer, we have 2 doctors, an IT engineer and music teachers. We all have jobs even though as you know in Gaza it is hard to find employment, but we are hard workers and most of us have lived in different countries and were educated outside Gaza. An average day in a week is usually full.  First we go to work, then we play sport and after that we meet for coffee and discuss our plans, projects and music.  We would like to practice daily, but unfortunately we often face hurdles that get in the way. Some are personal problems with work and family commitments …etc. But the biggest hurdle is usually finding a place to practice. So whenever we get a chance to practice at the music school here in Gaza we make sure we don’t miss that chance.  Sometimes we have to wait a long time for the opportunity to come.  For example, when we worked on Dawsha, the melody came to us while we were sitting in a restaurant but we waited a long time to get access to the studio before we could record it.

SS: What message does your band want to send to the world?

HN: We want to say to the world that love, peace and freedom are in our thoughts and in our dreams.  We want the world to see the positive side of our people the beautiful side of our country and culture. We want them to know that we have the right as human beings to live in peace, love and freedom.  We also want to give hope to our people and to the whole world that this dream is possible.

Dawsha was composed by Alaa Shuplaq and Khamis Abushaban, arranged by Anas Alnajar, with lead singer Alaa Shuplaq on vocals. Solo Classic Guitar was performed by Dr. Mohanad El Hadad, solo Electric Guitar performed by Mohammed Lomani with Eyad Abulila on drums. The video clip was directed by Ahmed Nasr. Photo by Fawzi Aljafarawi

Scroll down for English Translation of Lyrics 

English Translation Lyrics:

Chaos, chaos, chaos, … chaos everywhere
confusing the minds … people are lost,
chaos everywhere … safety is no where,
time has changed people … they are left wondering,

Chaos chaos chaos … turned my sweat dreams into nightmares and kept it inside my soul … dreaming of freedom,
chaos chaos chaos … when will peace prevail
i am choking and longing … for freedom and love

I am wondering, day and night when everything will be alright,i want to live
no matter how much i am tired … I pray for Allah to help i am counting on him … I have no one but Allah

Chaos chaos chaos … turned my sweat dreams into nightmares and kept it inside my soul … dreaming of freedom,
chaos chaos chaos … when will peace prevail
i am choking and longing … for freedom and love

I still have hope inside … and will grow by working hard
no matter how long it takes … will I give up?? no no no
chaos chaos chaos … this isn’t just a song think deeply…you will find the message.

Chaos chaos chaos … turned my sweat dreams into nightmares and kept it inside my soul … dreaming of freedom,
chaos chaos chaos … when will peace prevail
i am choking and longing … for freedom and love

Contact Watar Band Public Relations & Ads: Dr. Ahmed Nigim 00970595580845 dawsha2013@hotmail.com
Like Watar Band on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/WATAR-…
Subscribe to Watar Band SoundCloud : https://soundcloud.com/watar-band
Subscribe to Watar Band on Youtube :https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrLR..