Music from the Syrian revolution:
We’ve been saying that things are heating up in Syria for quite some time now, but with the official designation of the conflict as a civil war by the Red Cross, and with all the events of yesterday (most of which I am still catching up on, due to inclement weather and power outage), it seems we’ve turned yet another corner in the way we are talking about the ongoing war. For a little retrospective of the Syrian conflict, instead of a timeline or something of that nature, here are a collection some of Syria’s revolutionary songs from this time.
- The first is the most famous internationally, sung by murdered cement-layer-turned-bard Ibrahim Qashoush: “Yalla Irhal Ya Bashar! Go On, Leave, Bashar!”
- “Ya Heif/For Shame” by Samih Choukeir (alternately spelled Shuqeir).
- “Bayan Raqm Wahid/Communiqué Number 1” - Anonymous rappers who posted the song to YouTube without credit for fear of Assad’s retribution. “Bayan Raqm Wahid” is an Arabic cliché indicating a military coup.
- “#Syria” - Omar Offendum. Offendum is a Syrian-American rapper (and one of my favorite artists) and this song is a powerful, and chilling solidarity piece. (Lyrics made available here.)
[I provided translations/background information for the first three songs to the McSweeney’s/Byliner ebook Now That We Have Tasted Hope, which was published this May. Another translation of “Bayan Raqm Wahid” is available at my friend’s site, Revolutionary Arab Rap.]
“The Free Syrian Army carried out this attack in retaliation for the massacres committed by the regime and because of the international silence. We promised that we are going to hit the regime in its most sensitive axis. This was necessary for us.”—
COL. MALIK KURDI, deputy commander of the Free Syrian Army, which claimed responsibility for an attack in Damascus that killed Syria’s defense and deputy defense ministers.