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A Video of Palestine as You’ve Never Seen it Before

Each country has it’s own beauties and the people of these countries will always see the perfection of it in their eyes. Hamza Dado shows us how Palestine is different. He takes us on a journey and teaches us how to see Palestine with our hearts. This video starts out with lines of the famous poem ‘على هذه الأرض’ (On This Earth) by Mahmoud Darwish, the most famous Palestinian writer and poet. ‘Filasteen….’, spoken by the tongue of Darwish himself along with a backdrop of the lands of Jerusalem, the city of peace, touches viewers deep into their souls.

The video continues on its journey through the streets of Jerusalem, which takes up the main focus of the video, and then through the hillsides of the Christian/Muslim capital. We are then flown over the streets of Gaza before the war, leaving us in awe at it’s beauty. Then we are introduced to another poem of Mahmoud Darwish called ‘Jidariyya’ (Mural) also sung by Darwish. His voice embraces us at the Mediterranean shores of Caesaria and lulls us into a mesmerization of the beautiful buildings of the town. Our journey continues into the sea side city of Jaffa with Darwish telling us that it will always be his. Our hearts swell at the thought of the lush banks of the Jordanian River being too far to touch. Through Tiberias we are taken to visit Capernaum, the City of Jesus and then on to the ancient buildings of the Church of the Beatitudes. The music pulls us into Jerusalem’s stolen Mosque of Nabi Samuel. With a change in tune, we are then drawn through the salty reflections of the Dead Sea and up the mountains to Masada, Herod’s Palace.

Viewers familiar with the tune are already anticipating Hani Mitwasi’s voice singing the famous song called ‘Mawtini’ written by Ibrahim Touqan. The rest of this video focuses on the beauty of pre-occupied Jerusalem. Hani plants the feeling of homesickness and nostalgia into the hearts of the Palestinians accompanied with scenes of the valleys of Bethlehem and the Mar Saba Monastery. From high above we are treated with views of the Damascus and Lions Gates of Jerusalem. Following views of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre we are taken into the yards of Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock and then on to Al Qibly Mosque and the yards of Al-Haram Al-Sharif.

‘Mawtini’ sings Hani, meaning my homeland. The choice of using these three pieces of amazing Palestinian art along with the selected scenes of the Palestinian lands is an excellent portrayal of talent that should be embraced. Only a Palestinian would have been able to use these scenes from National Geographic and tie them with the perfect lyrics.

Hamza Dado, from Tulkarem, Palestine shows us his love for his land through this well saturated cohesion of music and video. The viewers feel what he feels, a love for a home that has been occupied and a heritage that is slowly being wiped out. Palestine is a beauty like no other, felt in the heart and soul, rarely seen with the naked eye. Palestinians will always have their country in their hearts and it’s montages like these that allow them to witness this beauty.

The full poems of Darwish with translations can be found here and here.
Hani Metwasi’s full song can also be found here

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Israa Elkhatib

I was born in Palestine but raised with the fireflies in Georgia. My teenage years were spent being the Muslim nerd who was known as the bookworm of the school. That followed me back to Palestine, to develop into being the girl with the big vocabulary. I spent most of my high-school days cursing Newton for not eating that apple. My English Literature Bachelor's degree was only obtained because I'm a nerd for literature and my minor in Translation pretty much pays the bills, thank you Birzeit University.Creative writing is my passion and reading is my escape from reality into a world where everything is the way you imagine it to be.

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