Songs & Poems

Popular and Fusion Music

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 03.10.2006:

As the day-to-day experiences of Palestinians became more involved in the politics of resistance, so changed the musical output of the people. Artists began to sing about the day-to-day hardships of life under occupation and the dream of statehood. In the aftermath of the 1967 tragedy, a young Palestinian oud player and composer by the name of Mustafa al-Kurd inflamed peoples' (...)

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Palestinians Folk Music

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 16.09.2006:

Although such times as when a male villager would be inspired to sing after casting an admiring look at his girl when she came to fill her jar at the village spring are long gone, it is still possible to get a taste of the folk traditions of the people of Palestine. Palestinians never miss playing the tabla and dancing the dabke (a line dance with energetic leaps and spins) duri(...)

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Beit Dajan Wedding Song

Contributed by Turathuna Bethlehem University on 24.08.2006:

Safiyeh is a golden headdress

stamped by a jeweller

belssed is he who bought her

and compensated the loser!

Safiyeh is a golden headdress

the pride of her fahther

belssed is he who bought her

he compensated her father!

Safiyeh is beautiful

what more can we say?

Her elegant long neck

is adorned with necklaces

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Hanan Ashrawi: Metamorphosis

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 28.05.2006:

Ramallah, June 10, 1989

The Day Yasser was shot his mother turned

to stone; draped with the flag, his makeshift shroud,

she held her ground at the deserted town

square. Each chilly dawn she clutched a torch

of modest flowers - jasmine, daisies, and roses

from her garden - while bewildered soldiers

driving by, returning from their night shift, w(...)

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To Mar Saba: a poem

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 24.05.2006:

1. I long to see the shrines and graves

My soul journeys with the monks

Shrouded by the silence of the night

and the wonder of prayer!

2. The Monastery remains, the "towers"

remain, gracefully facing the sky.

Our eyes gaze, our memories go

back to the ancient history.

3. Ancient is your history, Mar Saba,

uniting the present with (...)

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Palestinian Rappers

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 25.02.2006:

Artist of the Month

This Week in Palestine

August 2005

Muhammad El-Farah

Three years ago, shortly after the Al-Aqsa Intifada began and the Gaza Strip was effectively sealed off from the rest of the world, a group of young men formed the first Gazan rap group. Inspired by Hip Hop artists making appearances on satellite TV and the growing success of Palestinian rap i(...)

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Olive Trees, Oum Kalthoum, and Jasmine Blossoms

Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 25.02.2006:

By Mike Odetalla

This Week in Palestine

July 2005

In my home, sitting in front of a picture window facing an easterly direction in order to catch the morning sun, I have two small Palestinian olive trees growing in gold and green ceramic planters. I will not go into the details of how I had managed to get these two small cuttings out of Palestine, but that is where they c(...)

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Contributed by This Week In Palestine on 25.02.2006:

This Week in Palestine

February 2005


Daughter and seedless orange

Curtain, musty and


old weathering lace on

withered lattice

Grey woman like rotting wood

woodlice infected

festering muttering

I am sick of life and

life is sick of me

Yaffa is a heroin bottle

Red roofs blanched perox(...)

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Song from Artas

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

"I love pears and I eat pears

And the girls of Artas are sweet, my Mother

I love pomegranates and I eat pomegranates

And the girls of Silwan are sweet, my Mother."

From: “Sahteen: Discover the Palestinian Culture by Eating”, published by the Freres School, Bethlehem, part of the Culture and Palestine series issued by the Arab Educational Institute-Open Windows, Bet(...)

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Olive Tree – poem from Beit Jala

Contributed by Toine Van Teeffelen on 18.02.2006:

Nice and generous you are

Giving us wood, oil, and olives

Your oil's color is golden

Your taste is wonderful

It makes us healthy

and gives us a long life

I enjoy the taste of olives

The sliced green and salted black

We are happy to eat you

There is nothing more delicious

Be sure to plant the trees

It is a great loss<(...)

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