A time to cry - A lament over Jerusalem
Under this headline the Norwegian record label in collaboration with Yabous release a CD, recorded in April this year in a home in East Jerusalem, threatened by expelling.
The record is being released at the same time as Israeli authorities in Jerusalem is deciding a big plan of changing the neighbourhood of Silwan, east of the Old City, making many Palestinian families homeless. This is a sad backdrop to the release, but at the same time it shows the actuality of the album.
On the CD four Palestinian voices, Rim Banna, Nai Barghouti, Wissam Murad and Jawaher Shofani give a live concert together with an international band to a packed audience. They all strive to find enough space in the small rooms in the house where 90 years old Rafiq Al-Kurd and her family still live in Sheikh Jarrah. Israeli settlers have supported by Israeli police done some nocturnal raids in the neighbourhood and thrown out several families, some of whom temporarily live in Al-Kurd's house. Some of the songs on the CD are written especially for the occasion, some are traditional songs from Palestine, mostly about Jesrusalem. Under the headline "A time to cry" they add to a 3000 years old tradition in Jerusalem: To cry and lament the city whose children so often have suffered.
There are two targets for the CD. The first is the pure artistic need of expressing the deep sadness about the situation through songs and poetry. The second is to reach out to the greater world with a message, a sentiment brought about by artistic means to all the people who for so long time have allowed Israel to divide Palestinian land into pieces. The last years this fragmentizing has become a pattern of ethnic discrimination in Jerusalem, and Israeli settlers are being allowed by the Israeli authorities to perform criminal acts towards the Palestinian families. The agenda seems to be to prevent the Palestinians to in the future be able to regard Jerusalem as their capitol.
The CD is supported by The Norwegian Church Aid and the World Council of Churches.
The musicians taking part in the album are Hallgrim Bratberg (guitar), Kenneth Ekornes (tdrums and percussion) and Gjermund Silset (double bass and electric bass). Steve Gorn from USA plays Oriental flute and klarinett.