Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Ommi – Ummi (My Mother) أمي – مرسيل خليفة

Khalifé, MarcelMarcel Khalife: composer, singer, teacher, accomplished oud-player, UNESCO Artist for Peace and, through his music, advocate for Palestine. Here is his incomparable Ommi in which he sings movingly about his mother and the memory of her bread. I had the pleasure of hearing it live last year on one of Marcel Khalife’s many international tours: catch one if you are able.

In the meantime, if you are not already acquainted, you can also discover MK’s music on the web through video-sharing and music sites. You can hear Ommi set to heart-rending footage of Palestinian and Lebanese struggle, such as here, but I have embedded it here as simply the audio, to savour the music.

MK is an accomplished Lebanese-born musician and teacher. From 1970 to 1975, he taught at the conservatory in Beirut. In 1976, he created Al Mayadeen Ensemble which launched an international career and attracted fame for songs like Ummi (My Mother), Rita w’al-Bundaqiya (Rita and the Rifle) and Jawaz al-Safr (Passport), based on Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry. In 1999 he was granted the Palestine Award for Music and contributed the financial portion of the award to the National Conservatory of Music at Birzeit University in Palestine. In 2005 he was named a UNESCO Artist for Peace. In 2008 he was named the music director and the resident composer of the newly founded Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.


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This entry was posted on 19 January, 2009 by in Lebanon, Music, Palestine and tagged , , , , , .

Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"


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