Belonging to The Land: Chai For All in Palestine

by David Mowat in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 24th April 2018 we successfully raised £2,458 with 54 supporters in 56 days

To co-create tour & record a new show about Human-Land relationship via a band study tour of Occupied Palestine, working with Palestinians.

by David Mowat in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

AlissarAmali, a Palestinian poet in Bristol

Had it not been for Alissar Amali, someone I had met but not really known when Longing Belonging and Balfour was conceived, it might not have come to fruition.

Alissar is a Palestinian woman from Syria whose parents came from Al Ja'Una village near Safed in the Galillee region of Palestine, driven out by Jewish forces in 1947. Alissar came to Bristol to study just before the civil war and settled here. 

I had been trying to find a Palestinian writer to collaborate with as I researched Chaim Weizmann and Arthur Balfour, to give me a steer on the Palestinian narrative about that 1917 history. Reaching out all over the the world of diaspora Palestine, one artist after another, for various reasons, was unavailable. In May 2017 a mutual friend told me about a Nakba day event she had witnessed organised by Alissar right here in my home town of Bristol. It was a  serendipitous moment and the rest is history.

Quickly I made contact and over coffee Alissar hearing about the longing theme offered the poem below which she recorded and we used in the show and in the forthcoming album. As the album promo, a sort of bridge between last year's project and the new piece we'll create in April and June, featured on this site, only has an extract, the full version is here.  

Thank you Alissar!

I come from by Alissar Amali

I come from there: from a mother, a father, lots of siblings and memories. 

I come from depressed smiles, hopeful cries, resistance, despair, disappointment, bitter dreams and great attempts by a refugee to live in dignity. 

I come from a poet's metaphor of a homeland, a grandmother's endless tales of a house whose key dangled from her neck, and the pain of being displaced from one's own land. I come from roads lit up by martyrs' souls, many prayers for peace, and a dream of justice.

I come from so much nostalgia to an olive tree, to stones of a house, to a little town, and to a homeland I have never seen. But I never stop using all my senses and skills to depict its details. I come from a people exposed to catastrophes, to massacres, and to displacement. To obliteration of their very identity; and to a lot of grief...

I come from refugee aid relief; from the exhaustion and determination of generations; and from sixty nine years of looking for an identity and a homeland. I come from rejection of an unjust history, written by people of power and by those who manipulate.

I come from a nation who will exist as long as the spirit of the homeland remains alive inside them. And they shall forget neither yesterday nor tomorrow. I come from a song longing for salvation. I come from Palestine.

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Longing Belonging and Balfour album

We are recording the album and aim to finish it by end of March. We can let you have a free download in May after our travels.

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free show entry and album download

As well as the free download of our first album Longing Belonging and Balfour you can have free entry to a show of your choice in June 2018, probably in York Leeds Reading Bristol and Taunton

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