Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fairuz - Old Jerusalem
فيروز - القدس العتيقة
Quds al Atika

Updated media and translation

This song is off of Fairuz's album entitled "Al Quds fi al Bal (القدس في البال)" or "Jerusalem in My Heart," which was released in 1971 a few years after the Arab armies had suffered a crushing defeat to Israel in 1967 and Israel occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank. Fairuz is describing a scene of seeing Old Jerusalem, then envisioning what it must have been like before the Israelis came and took over many of the neighborhoods and uprooted many of the families.

Fairuz - Old Jerusalem

I passed through the streets
The streets of Old Jerusalem
In front of the shops
That remained of Palestine
We talked about what had happened together
And they gave me a vase
They said to me this is a gift
From the "waiting people"

And I walked the streets
The streets of Old Jerusalem
I stood at the doorways
We become companions
And their sad eyes of the city's energy
Take me and move me with the torment of feeling estranged

There was a land and there were hands building beneath the sun and the wind
And there were houses and windows
Blossoming, and there were children with books in their hands
And in one night rage flowed into the houses
And the black hands unhinged the doors
And the houses became ownerless
Between them and their houses barbed-wire fence
And fire and the black hands

I'm screaming in the streets
The streets of Old Jerusalem
Let the songs storm and rumble
O my voice continue to stir up a hurricane with these consciences
Now I know what happened to them
Perhaps my conscience will awaken

فيروز - القدس العتيقة

مريت بالشوارع
شوارع القدس العتيقة

قدام الدكاكين
البقيت من فلسطين

حكينا سوى الخبرية
وعطيوني مزهرية

قالوا لي هيدي هدية من الناس الناطرين

و مشيت بالشوارع
شوارع القدس العتيقة

اوقف عباب بواب
صارت و صرنا صحاب

وعينيهن الحزينة من طاقة المدينة
تاخدني و توديني بغربة العذاب
كان في أرض و كان في ايدين
عم بتعمر تحت الشمس و تحت الريح

و صار في بيوت و صار في شبابيك
عم بتزهر صار في ولاد و بايديهم في كتاب

بليل كلو ليل سال الحقد بفية البيوت
و الايدين السودا خلعت البواب
و صارت البيوت بلا صحاب

بينن و بين بيوتن فاصل الشوك
و النار و الايدين السودا

عم صرخ بالشوارع
شوارع القدس العتيقة

خلي الغنيي تصير عواصف و هدير
يا صوتي ضلك طاير زوبع بهالضماير
خبرهن عللي صاير بلكي بيوعى الضمير


WENARTO said...

tears, I love this song very very much

Rebecca Charlene said...

Wow. What a powerful song. I just heard it for the first time.

Rebecca Charlene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I think the correct translation for the last two verses is: Inform them about what is happening here so that maybe their conscience will awake... You are a very good translator!

Lucy said...

This is one of those things I just can't understand. If I'm not mistaken, the lyrics for this song was writen by Said Akl, who always seemed to be pro-Israel and VERY anti-palestinian...

And to be quite honest, the Arabs were the ones who uprooted the Jews from Jerusalem first. This was one of the few cities of Palestine who ALWAYS had a Jewish majority.
Even Marx, after a visit to the city wrote this fact in his article "Declaration of war – on the history of the Eastern Question". Then, Jordan occupied the city and uprooted the Jewish majority from Eastern Jerusalem.

Chris Gratien said...

aaa, the part about Said Akl is quite interesting and i was not aware of that fact

also, it is true that Jerusalem was one of the urban centers with the highest concentration of Jewish communities under Ottoman rule, and this community certainly had a big imprint on the life and appearance of the city, though I'm not sure it would have been a majority, at least not until very later in Ottoman rule. European Christian and Jewish travelers in the Ottoman Empire tended to over-represent the numbers of their coreligionists. Certainly in the British mandate period Jews came to be a majority in Jerusalem but this is also due to migration if i am not mistaken.

Lucy said...

Thanks for the reply.

Actually, Marx's numbers are consistent with Hadriani Relandi's numbers. In 1695, the Dutchman found an even bigger Jewish majority in the city. In fact, at the time - before massive Arab and Jewish influx - all of Palestine's cities (with the exception of Nablus) had a Jewish majority.

The tendency to over-represent their own population was not exclusive to them. The Ottoman empire and Muslims had the same bad habit (that's why I don't rely blindly in their or in Jewish numbers...). And on the article Marx claims he found the information in the Ottoman census.

And as far as I know (I'm still looking for the original quotations, but my almost non-existent Arabic is not really helping me), Muqaddasi and Ibn Khaldun also claim that Jerusalem always had a huge Jewish majority.

But the thing I really wanted to know is about Akl's politics. I've seen some extremely anti-Arab (with violent attacks on palestinians in particular) stuff by him.
You were not aware of his anti-palestinianism or about the fact that he wrote the song?

Lucy said...

I'm feel like I'm monopolizing this post, but if you find the time, could you translate two songs for me?