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Nawa band performs composition of Palestinian composer Rawhi Al Khammash

By Ary Gotlib - November 21, 2018
Section: [Main News] [Culture] [IN PICTURES]
Tags: [culture]


The musicians of the Palestinian Association for Cultural Development, Nawa, performed in the new building of A.M Qattan Foundation on the evening of November 13. The Nawa band decided to play “Habayeb” (our beloved in Arabic), a late piece of the Palestinian composer Rawhi Al Khammash created in 1943. Some parts of this composition have not been played for 75 years.

Warm up time for musicians. There are twenty musicians on stage tonight, all are professional. Nawa band was created in 2010 in Ramallah by Nadir Jalal, head of band and manager.

The idea of Nawa is to collect music, pictures, documents and vinyls, from all over the world, which were produced before 1948 and the Nakba. “We remaster these pieces and fragments and give them a new life to keep our cultural memory,” Susa, a member of Nawa commented after the show. “It’s crucial to keep this heritage because it is a proof of our vitality during the first half of the 20th century, which is mostly unknown,” Nadir Jalal added.

One musician is playing a Qanun, an instrument of the zither family. The compositions of the forbidden Rawhi Al Khammash give to this instrument an important role. When Al Khammash turned 11, he played his first concert. In 1936 he joined the first Palestinian radio “Huna AlQuds” where he broadcasted his art before he became a part of the diaspora in Iraq in 1948 where he continued his career.

Diaspora crumbled for decades Palestinian cultural and intellectual fields. Nadir Jalal told Palestine Monitor; “We need to look for traces in tens of countries, it is hard to find documents but it’s necessary to rebuild this part of our history.”

Some people were nuanced about the concert. “I’m not used to listen to this,” said a young boy. Some others like Ghalia were thrilled; “listening to our old musical composer is not a basic experience!”

Nawa by remastering music and editing CDs want to destruct the old adage that Palestine “was a land without a people for a people without land.” Now the association also produce contemporary scenes with two bands from Ramallah “Sharms W Hawa” and “Quarter to midnight”.

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