Palestinian music is topping the bill this season at the Institut du Monde Arab (The Institute of the Arab World) in Paris where the group Al-Quds is already busy rehearsing.
Nassim Aldogom, singer and songwriter says: “The Al-Quds group is trying to preserve and develop the identity of Palestinian culture. Our main aim is to safeguard the rich culture of a people who have suffered a lot and who are looking for life and that’s what we want to do with our music: preserve this heritage and enrich it. That’s part of our struggle.” Says Abeer Alrifai, singer: “Traditional music is always about love of the land, of Palestine, of Palestinian folklore, I mean they are songs that we always sing at weddings, at the harvest, in the villages, at all big events, as well as for the liberation of Palestine!” Says Nassim Aldogom, singer and songwriter: “The Palestinian diaspora has listened to music and read books from all over the world and we too are working on a fusion of cultures involving mixing European and International music with our music to show that we are part of the international community and that we – like other peoples – have the right to live.” Fusion of eastern and western music styles is a hallmark of Syrian composer and singer Abed Azrié, who appeared during last year’s season and this year is back with his own version of the ancient epic Song of Gilmamesh. Says Mohamed Métalsi, cultural events director: “There’s no such thing as Arab Music – that’s why we say music from the Arab World. There is music which is sung in Arab, other music sung in Berber, other music in Kurdish, in Noubian, Syrian, Aramaic, etc. The diversity of these populations, from the whole of the Arab world, is reflected in the different musical expressions.” Around 30 acts are due to appear during the musical season of the Institut du Monde Arab – which should ensure that this music reaches a wide audience. For more information see: