detour 102_via Thawraaa!
“Qoum Ithadda” video on YouTube, 2019
The recent happenings in Lebanon have their roots in unresolved injustices brought about by the civil war and continued French colonialism that is not shy to act. The latter can be seen in Emmanuel Marcon’s intervention in November 2017 to free then hostage Prime Minister of Lebanon Sa’ed alHariri from the dungeons of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia; or in his visit to Beirut right after the port explosion in 2020. Lebanon is one of many other countries of systemic fragility and corporeal precarity created by successive eras of colonialism, imperialism and (civil, proxy) wars.
Lebanon is cursed in many ways but at the same time, it boasts a very dynamic cultural sector. Across generations Lebanon remains a launching deck of transnational revolutionary music that voices the agonies and determination of peoples seeking liberation and justice, from Marcel Khalifé, to Julia Boutros, to Mashrou’ Leila and many more across generations. A classical song that returned as the anthem calling Thawra! (revolution!) in 2020 is Majida El Roumi’s “Qoum Ithadda” (Stand up and Challenge), poem and composition by Elie Shwayri, released in 1994. The here linked video on YouTube overlaps part of the song with footage from several of the protests that took place recently. The stanza of the poem is “Where are you, it is calling you. Stand up and challenge injustice, revolt, break the silence within you!”
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