Syria: The Musical Revolution

Artist, writer, blogger, European. Following the Arab Spring since its breakout. Currently active supporter of the Syrian revolution. Glad to live in times never expected.

“Wo man singt, da laß’ dich ruhig nieder, böse Menschen haben keine Lieder.”

Take a rest where you hear chants, evil natures don’t have songs. The quote from the German poet and writer Johann Gottfried Seume has never lost his actuality regarding especially the revolutionary movement in Syria today.

Wherever we look at anti-regime protests in the crisis-shaken country we will remark chants, performances, dance and choreography. The musicality expressed during the rallies has to be pointed out and examined a little bit closer to understand the most powerful non-violent weapon against the tyrannical enemy: MUSIC. And it’s brilliant to listen and to watch the Syrians performing under such life threatening circumstances.

One if not the icon among the Syrian revolutionary musicians is the Hamwee Ibrahim Qashoosh whose dakbe ‘Yalla irhal ya Bashar’ (Get out Bashar) has become a hymn far over the land’s borders. The reply on Qashoosh’s not absolutely subtle verbal attacks on Assad was tragically to say as expected. Begin of July 2011 the security forces detained him and cut his throat. But instead of being intimidated the people spread the melody, the lyrics in all ways, singing it themselves or posting the legendary Hama appearance at a night protest.

Homs became last summer more and more the hotbed of the revolution. In this upload the Homsees are performing during a night protest in September another revolutionary classic, ‘Skaba’ (the refrain says translated: tears are running over my cheek when I’m thinking about the martyrs of the Syrian people).

Everywhere all over the country the musical rallies are the center pieces of the unarmed uprising like here in Northwestern town Idlib where the participants demand freedom and the end of the regime.

Bashar al-Assad might have denied the awareness level of Qashoosh during his interview with ABC correspondent Barbara Walters last fall but the popularity degree rises uninterrupted. A lot of remembrances and homage’s from other countries’ artists were dedicated to him. One remarkable tribute is from the African American poet J J Phillips: Throat Song.

Only a few weeks ago the Arab American rapper Omar Offendum released his powerful composition #SYRIA in solidarity with the Syrian revolutionary freedom movement. In the beginning images from the huge Hama protest last summer are going along with the Tahrir Place slogan ‘Ashab yureed isqat al-nizam’ (The people demand the removal of the regime). At the end of the song he cites one of the famous verses from ‘Yalla irhal ya Bashar’.

They call him the Qashoosh from Jarjanaz, a small village in the region of Idlib. Benefitted with a wonderful voice the young man spreads an overwhelming energy during his gig. What might appear at first shallow sight as Syrian Idol is facing the barbaric crimes the Syrian people have to endure an act of constructive defiance and the motivating, pushing each other always focussing on the community and the common goal.

And the offspring? Just listen to Amoura, a high talented child living actually in a Lebanese refugee camp. Qashoosh’s spirit affects the next generation and will still be reminded when memories of the regime leader are for a long time faded out.

While tanks are replaced like chess figures and monitors projecting an ambivalent impression of their mission the freedom striving Syrians have never abandoned to sing. And if they continue like that they will receive the deserved earnings in form of regaining freedom and dignity. Only with the power of their voices.

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