46. Mawtini (My Homeland)
Written by Ibrahim Touqan
Music by Mohammed Fuleifil/Flaifel
Performed by Unknown



Before Biladi, Mawtini was, since 1936, the unofficial Palestinian national anthem. There are at least three versions of this song, all of which are credited to the poet Ibrahim Touqan.

My homeland, My homeland…
The highness and the beauty, The sublimity and the splendour
Are in your hills, Are in your hills
Life and deliverance, Contentment and hope
Are in your ambience, Are in your ambience

Will I see you? Will I see you
Safe and blessed, Triumphant and honoured?
Safe and blessed, Triumphant and honoured…
Will I see you in your eminence
Reaching the stars? Reaching the stars…
My homeland, My homeland
My homeland, My homeland…
The youth will not tire ’till your independence

Or they perish, Or they perish

We will imbibe from death,
And we will not be to our enemies
Like slaves, Like slaves
We do not want! … We do not want
Eternal humiliation, Nor a miserable life!
Eternal humiliation, Nor a miserable life…
We do not want (that);
Indeed, we will revive and relive
Our inherited glory, Our inherited glory…

My homeland, My homeland
My homeland, My homeland,
The sabre (valour) and the stylus (education & culture)
Not lip service nor quarrels
Are our symbols, Are our symbols

Our glory and our covenant
And a duty to be faithful
Arouse us, Arouse us
Our highest regard, Our highest regard
Is a noble cause (liberating and defending our land)
And a flailing pennon (the Palestinian flag),
Is a noble cause
And a flailing pennon …

O, the fulfilment
In your eminence,
Victorious over your foes,
Victorious over your foes…
My homeland, My homeland.


In 2008 Biladi and Mawtini were joined together in an arts project that found an interesting new use and a new medium for the songs, and which promises to keep them in the present in a very public way. This is the Break the Silence Mural Project, which Break the Silence are creating in collaboration with the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music; you can see the group at work, painting the mural on the walls of the Conservatory, on their websitewww.breakthesilencearts.typepad.com/

The idea of the mural is, the artists say, ‘for different Palestinian artists to fill in the silhouettes and international artists or those not able to participate on the ground, will contribute designs for the notes on the musical staffs which will be the musical notation for Biladi (‘My Country’) the National Anthem of Palestine and Mawtini (‘My Homeland’), another unofficial national ballad of Palestine.

About themselves, the artists say this: ‘Break the Silence Mural Project (BTS) was born 19 years ago when four Jewish American artists travelled to the West Bank city of Ramallah and worked on a series of community mural projects with Palestinian community members and artists. Upon returning from that first trip in 1989, the artists presented reflections on their experiences to over a 100 audiences in high schools, universities, art galleries and community centres across the United States. BTS has also produced an award winning videotape that was aired on cable TV and distributed at festivals. We have been published in several journals and books. Since our first mural was painted in Occupied Palestine in 1989, BTS has collaborated with Palestinian and North American communities to produce 13 more murals depicting community organising and grassroots political movement’s efforts.

For the past 20 years, our work has been made possible by grants from radical and progressive foundations and non-profits, individuals and community fundraising events.

Today, BTS continues to be an arts/activist group committed to using creative projects to facilitate social change and greater awareness of the complexities in Occupied Palestine. We have partnered with many amazing people over the years to produce art events aimed at raising awareness about the Palestinian struggle while making local connections with other indigenous populations and communities fighting for justice.


And here is some information on The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, courtesy of Birzeit University, in Ramallah:

The Conservatory is an affiliate of Birzeit University, and was established in 1993 to provide students interested in pursuing careers in music, an academic musical education that includes both theory and practice. Since its establishment, the Conservatory worked hard to build a musical institution of professional standards that as such has changed the musical life in Palestine dramatically.

Currently over 400 students are enrolled at the Conservatory, which has three branches in the West Bank and plans to develop two additional branches, one in the Gaza Strip. Upon completion of the eight-year academic programme, which includes training in a classical or an Arab instrument, theory, ear training, history and appreciation of Arab and foreign music, and after passing the compulsory exams, graduates are qualified to apply to any university or academy of music of their choice. The Conservatory intends to establish a university level programme that will further train graduates to become professional musicians. The Conservatory has a Scholarship programme to provide assistance to talented students that are financially disadvantaged and has established the Marcel Khalife Scholarship Fund with a gift given by the renowned Lebanese musician to the Conservatory.

In addition to its academic programme, the Conservatory provides lessons for amateurs and music lovers. Over the years various musical groups and choirs have been developed by talented students and teachers at the Conservatory. The Conservatory works to support the formulation of such groups and provides them the opportunity to perform during its spring and autumn musical concert series. The Conservatory also hosts workshops and conferences on music.

Largely through the work of the Conservatory, musically talented individuals and music lovers have found a place to express and develop their musical interests and the world of music has found an outlet to exhibit itself in Palestine.’

The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, Birzeit University

Discover more about the Conservatory at their website www.ncm.birzeit.edu/new/page.php



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