A new generation of female artists from Palestine is stepping up in the wake of Rim Banna.
Seven young singers and groups are now presenting their work on a new CD called “Henna” (after the red colouring used for body decoration, in Palestine often used to embellish brides).
In an Arabian, acoustic and modern singer-songwriter style the seven perform newly written songs, one or two each, accompanied by qanoun (table harp), oud (Arabian lute), ney (Oriental flute), percussion, double bass, guitar and piano. These songs will captivate you, with their reflections on life during the occupation, but also on the powerful will to resist and an enduring hope:
“As long as I have a few inches of my land…. as long as I have a memory, a small library… as long as there are Arab words in my country… as long as I have my eyes, my lips, my hands… my words will remain bread and weapons …” Banat al Quds – Daughters of Jerusalem sing – 30 young women from East Jerusalem.
The other contributing artists are Haneen Alajleh from Gaza, Nour Fretiekh from Nablus, Henna Haj Hassan from Jenin, Miral Ayyad from Abu Dis, Ehsan Saadeh from Al Jib and Samira Kharoubi from East Jerusalem.
The CD has been produced by Suhail Khoury, director of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM), where some of these young artists have studied. The recordings were made at the ESNCM Studios in Ramallah, which have been developed over the last eight years in collaboration with KKV. This Norwegian record company has also released other important Palestinian artists, such as Rim Banna and Terez Sliman.
Photo Credits: (1) Daughters of Jerusalem, (2) Henna: Young Female Voices from Palestine (unknown/website).