Memories of a Palestinian Wound
I read a wonderful review of a new album, Baghani, by the Palestinian performer Amal Murkus that made me want to go right out and buy it–or at least listen to it. Unfortunately, you can’t–at least not easily, since no Israeli record company is yet distributing it (it figures). One of my Facebook Friends pointed me to this amazing YouTube video of the song, Memories of a Palestinian Wound, which is a song Murkus is well known for singing.
But based on hearing her version of this song and how different it is stylistically, I’m guessing that a comment in the Youtube video thread that the singer is named Omaimi, may be correct. At any rate, this is a slashing, powerful version of the song. Not knowing Arabic, I don’t know the words, but the pictures tell the entire story and they’re masterfully counterposed with the music.
The arrangement sounds like a combination of traditional Arabic music with almost a rock overlay of jangling electric guitars. No, it’s not pop music in any western sense, but it conveys its anger in a way that is somehow western, very direct, very modern, while remaining true to an Arabic musical idiom. To my readers who know Arabic, please fill in what I’ve left out. And please, if anyone has any of the music from Baghani, let me know. I’d love to feature it here.
If this song is the same as the Mahmoud Darwish poem, Diary of a Palestinian Wound, then you’ll find the lyrics here.
14 thoughts on “Memories of a Palestinian Wound – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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I think Samir alMaghribi who posted this video – and many others that I recommend – got something mixed up.
I’m pretty sure as Richard mentioned that this is the Lebanese singer Oumaima al-Khalîl and I don’t know the song.
“Diary of a Palestinian Wound” (Yawmiyyat jurh filastinî), the famous poem by Mahmoud Darwish is sung by Amal Murqus here:
The English translation is also hidden in the ‘plus’ beneath.
Another beautiful song by Amal Murqus:
Lâ ‘ahada ia’lim (No one knows)
I forgot. Be patient:-) She only starts singing around min 1:40 in ‘Diary of a Palestinian Wound’
I found that Amal Murqus in at myspace. There is at least another piece of music from the same album:
Ah, so the name of the song isn’t Memories of a Palestinian Wound?
The name of the song and the poem is diaries of a palestinian wound. I think they meant to say memoirs not memories.
Amal Murkus has two versions of the song, in two separate albums that she has recorded. Both the video posted above and the one added by Deïr Yassin feature renditions by her.
In fact I listened to the version posted by Richard once again, and you might be right though the voice sounds very much like Oumaima al-Khalil as someone mentioned.
On the Baghani album, Amal Murqus is singing the version that I posted and that’s in ‘myspace’ too. In that version she’s only singing the first part of the poem by Darwish.
The version posted by Richard contains another part of the poem starting out by:
“Oh, my intractable wound
My country is not a suitcase
I’m not a traveller
I’m the lover and the land is the beloved”
I’m not a very musical-minded peson, but I would say that it’s not the same melody, even rearranged. Rather two different extracts from the same poem, on different melodies.
“Ala hadhihi al-ard iastahiqu al-hayât” (On this earth is what makes life worth living), another famous poem by Darwich has also been put into music on various melodies.
I encourage everyone to read the poem by Darwish. Another great poem from the ‘national voice of Palestine’, and even translated into English, you still fully feel the love and sorrow of Darwish.
Now…now…let’s tone down the drama please. Indeed, Amal Murkus has been having a hard time signing up with a mainstream record company, as do many other Israeli musicians. She’s been a regular on stages and had aprogram on Israeli TV. This song appeared on her debut album from 1998 titled AMAL, was produced, indeed, by herself and her husband (Nizar Zreik) and came out in the mainstream market through the distribution of “Highlights” Want it? Two clicks and you purchase it from Amazon. Enjoy!
Amal has been singing since the 80s and the fact that her only album is from 1998 says much. If she were in any other country she would have been a very successful artist. This is true about many arabs in Israel even mahmoud darwish didn’t became really famous till they left the country back in 70-71.
Now…now, tz. Let’s tone down the drama! If you paid attention to what i wrote, you would have noticed the words “debut album”. But, hey, let’s not ruin our agenda with facts!
A video of baghani (live):
More from the a concert in Haifa:
and here she sings (same concert) an arabic version of Mercedes Sosa’s Gracias a la Vida where she used mahmoud’s darwish’s poem “on this earth there’s things deserve living for”
Thanks, this is wonderful. If you could send me more links to good Palestinian music, I’d appreciate that very much.
I guess you already know Rim Banna from Nazareth. If not, here’s is “Sârah” that she wrote in memory of a little girl who was killed by a settler close to Salfit some years back:
The text in Arabic, English and French at 00:15
Amal Murkus and Rim Banna are both ’48 Christian Palestinians but their attitudes to the State of Israel could hardly be more opposed. Murqus is ‘integrationist’ whereas Banna hardly, if ever, works with Jewish artists.