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Abnaa El-Balad - Ajrass Al Intisar

Twenty years ago, it was rather easier to be an advocate for the Palestinian cause than it is today. It was the height of the first intifada, an uprising that relied more on civil disobedience and general strikes than it did on Qassam rockets. By most accounts it was a grassroots movement, rather than one orchestrated by religious zealots who feel that when children get murdered with axes, it's all part of the "the framework of the resistance".

Also, in those days the Palestinians had the better music.

A record that has stayed with me since then is the 1989 compilation Music of the Intifada. I have no idea what the lyrics of Ajrass Al Intisar are saying, and can only hope they're not too dodgy. Any Arabic-speaking readers out there who can help me out? Anyway, this has an amazing lo-fi protest song vibe going for it. It sounds like it's being sung by amateurs, caught up in the moment and riding a wave of spontaneous creativity. This is real roots music and I love it. Please don't let it be about Armalites and AK47s.

Abnaa El-Balad - Ajrass Al Intisar
(alternate download)