I went to my first Marcel Khalifeh concert last night and I have to say, I enjoyed it immensely! I didn't get some of the jazzy bits he inserted every now and then but when he played some of the hits that he was known for, we would all go wild and sing along to every word. I'd been in an irritable mood recently, getting very angry at the slightest instigation from anyone, but sitting there in that concert hall, surrounded by all those people who cared deeply for the Palestinian cause and the struggle against injustice, for once I felt relaxed and calm. We all knew what was happening in Gaza and elsewhere and how terrible the situation had become. But Marcel, the crowd and the music, were all there for Palestine. All I had to do was sit back and enjoy the ride, enjoying the company of all those people and laughing together at Marcel's banter with the English translator. There was no need to say anything more. During the last song, Marcel's son, who had been playing along with his father throughout the concert called to the crowd and got first the Palestinian flag, then the Lebanese and finally..the Syrian. There was no bogus nationalism at work here, those flags were beautiful there not for representing nationhood and nationalism, but because in fact they represented the same people - wonderful, creative, explosively vibrant and talented. As one of his songs went, "We love life too, if we can get the chance!". That night it was not against anything that we cheered, it was for everything that we loved, for surely, what is the struggle for Palestine or Arabism except for something that we love? With Khalifeh like the Jesus of Arabism, we all proclaimed our faith in our cause. That night there were no moments of silence thankfully, for Gaza, Palestine or Lebanon. We have had enough silence from our governments and our people as it is.
I have to go catch my Oud class, I've been inspired to practice harder now :) Forward comrades!!