Saturday, November 16, 2013

Muhammad Assaf, Raise The Kufiya

 Clearly I'm behind on my kufiyaspotting blogs. Just so no one who reads this and is trying to keep track thinks I've missed anything, it's important to note that Muhammad Assaf, the Arab Idol winner, performed the song "Raise The Kufiya" (‘Alay al-kufiya) as his final song.

It starts with a mawwal, for which Australians for Palestine has provided this translation.

And here's the Arabic for the song, plus translation (which I've adapted from a couple sources, here and here).

raise the kufiya raise it high, wave it in the air.
 علّي الكوفيّه علّي، ولولح فيها

sing the Ataba and Mijana enjoy it
وغنّي عتابا وميجانا، وسامر فيها

Shake your shoulder gently, Jafra, Ataba and Dahiyya [traditional dances]
هز الكتف بحنيّة، جفرا، عتابا، ودحيّة.

let the gun contribute and make it more fun
 خلّي البارود يهلل ويحلّيها

raise the flag in Ram-Allah and in the mountain of fire [Nablus, a nickname dating from the 1936-39 revolt]]
علّي الراية بِـ رام الله وبِـ جبال النار

your proud aqal [head band for the kufiya] is a symbol of determination and persistence
وعقال العزة عقالك، عزم وإصرار

the first shot is a tale of a journey
والطلقة الأولى فيها حكاية مشوار

when the time comes, we'll turn things upside down
وعند الحق نخلّي العالي واطيها

we planted orchards of figs and olives, we brought wheat seeds and lemons
احنا زرعنا البيارة تين وزيتون، وبذار القمح علينا وبيدر ليمون

When you call my country we'll be ready
رهن الإشارة يا وطن إحنا حنكون

Lighting the path of victory on the day of battle  
يوم العرك دروب النصر نضويها

The esteemed Palestinian singer Reem Kilani has penned a very interesting piece on Assaf (whose talent she greatly admires), in which she worries about how he might be put to use by the Palestinian Authority.

Assaf’s repertoire may be very versatile in terms of Arabic music, but he must ensure that his repertoire on stage encompasses all Palestinians, and that off-stage, he doesn’t allow himself to become the musical mouthpiece of the PA. Mohammed Assaf might have won the tarab of the Arabs, but he must keep the spirit of duende. For himself and for Palestine.

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