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Musharaka [ Cooperation ]  Calligraphy by Khaled Al-Saai

Popular Culture and the Performing Arts

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© 2003

Courtesy of Courtesy of Marcel Khalife & Nagam Cultural Project

This clip is 10.93 megabytes in size

Running time is 11 minutes and 9 seconds

This clip is a good indication of how much Khalife’s music means to his audience, as they sing along with this piece in which an exile longs for home and to see his mother again. The lyrics are a Mahmoud Darwish poem. Darwish wrote of Khalife's adaptation, "In Marcel Khalife’s song, lyrics are like bread; there is clear utilitarian aestheticism. For example, when I used to declare my love for my mother from prison, neither she nor I realized the effectiveness of this confession until the song of Marcel Khalife revealed this love to be more than just a personal relationship in a moment of confinement."
I yearn for my mother’s bread,
my mother’s coffee,
my mother’s touch.
And childhood grows within me
day upon breast of day,
and I love my life
for if I died,
I’d feel shame in my mothers tears!

Take me if one day I return,
as a veil for your lashes
Cover my bones with grass
baptized in the purity of your healing.
And tie me to you
with a lock of your hair
with a thread that trails
from the train of your dress.

Maybe I would become a god
a god I’d become
if I touched the depths of your heart.

Put me, if I return, as firewood in your stove,
as a clothesline on your rooftop, for I have lost resolve
without your daily prayer.
I have grown decrepit
so bring me back
the stars of my childhood
that I may share
with the young birds
the return route
to the nest of your waiting.

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