68 years ago today, many from the generation of my parents and grandparents were ethnically cleansed from their ancestral homeland. We refer to this date as the Nakba, the Catastrophe, of our expulsion from our roots and our collective memory.
Years later, this classic “The Flower of all Cities” [Jerusalem] was released by Lebanese legend Fairouz. I remember my paternal grandmother Miriam Jamileh crying aloud when this haunting premier was aired on Kuwait TV. Thus, this song became the first song that I ever performed on stage, aged four.
Fairouz is not just a sublime voice with a soprano range that makes it accessible to Western ears. Fairouz is also a Liberation singer (as in Liberation Theology). It is this very non-aggressive soprano voice that warns of the “blazing anger” that will erupt due to this state of injustice.
Wishing all of you who commemorate Nakba Day a steadfast existence. One day we shall all return, Insha-Allah!

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