The Music of Palestine: Harmony & War 

These female musicians are campaigning for peace in Palestine through music. Mia Rose takes us through her favourites.

What’s happening in Palestine? 

Currently, Palestine is in an ongoing conflict with its neighbouring country, Israel. Tensions between the two have been ongoing for seven decades due to territorial, religious and political factors. For more information, read here. 

Conflict between the two was sparked in October 2023 when Israel declared war on the Gaza Strip after an unprecedented attack by the armed Palestinian group Hamas. Since then, the world has called for a ceasefire after seeing the destruction and suffering of Palestine, with many calling Israel’s actions towards Palestine a ‘Genocide’.  

1- “The Urgent Call of Palestine”: Zeinab Shaath

In 1972, Palestinian teenager Zeinab Shaath filmed this folk song, the first English-language song to lift up the Palestinian cause to the wider world. In 1982, the tape was seized by Israeli forces, and banned for viewing. In 2024, we are finally able to view this restored masterpiece, featuring a black and white tape of Shaath singing the lyrics “​Can’t you hear the urgent call of Palestine? Palestine — tormented, tortured, bruised and battered, and all her sons and daughters scattered.” to acoustic guitar. Hauntingly, these lyric’s are still relevant in today’s climate; and mark a turbulent time in Palestine’s history.  For more on this, you can read ‘In These Times’ article here.

2- Rajieen (Returning): By Empire Records

In response to the ongoing crisis in Gaza, 25 talented artists from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region united to create ‘Rajieen’. A mix of male and female singers and rappers merge to form this anthem of protest, defiance and solidarity for Palestine. The music video, featuring real-life footage from the conflict, is a powerful watch. 

Participating artists include Saif Safadi, Dana Salah, Ghalia Chaker, Afroto, Nordo, Saif Shroof, Akhras, Issam AlNajjar, Amir Eid, Balti, Wessam Qutub, Dina Wideidi, Bataineh, Omar Rammal, AlYung, Randar, Vortex, Small X, ALA, Fuad Gritli, Donia Wael, Zeyne, Marwan Moussa, Dafencii and, Marwan Pablo. 

3- Ghosn Zeytoun (Olive Branch): By Elyanna

This Chilean-Palestinian singer debuted her song ‘Olive Branch’ at Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival in May. This ballad pays tribute to Elyanna’s heritage in a haunting performance of pain and heartbreak for her home country. The artist sings “I am far away, but I’m praying for you. And I’m sending peace, on an olive branch”.

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Written by: Mia Rose
Mia Rose is a Final Year Journalism student at the University of Sheffield. She has experience in feature writing and broadcasting. Mia forms a part of the Website Team at 5678 Magazine.