Music helps Palestinians remain steadfast, says teacher – Middle East Monitor


As a musician in his sixties, Khader Al-Bayed witnessed many stages of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, but he also saw how music was used as an instrument of resistance.

“I discovered my musical talent when I was young”, he says NOTE. “I struggled to find someone who could teach me and improve my talent in light of the marginalization of interest in art in Gaza.”

Today, one of the rooms in his house has been transformed into a music room, filled with lutes, violins, flutes, drums and other instruments.

It has not been easy being a musical while living under occupation, he explains, because “part of the occupier’s policy is to eradicate Palestinian art and culture” .

“We used to perform at weddings and turn them into national festivals that participants would use to boost morale and their steadfastness against the occupation.”

“In fact, in one case, one of the authors of revolutionary Palestinian songs was detained [by the occupation], so he would smuggle lyrics to us from his cell and we would make revolutionary songs out of it to boost people’s morale and increase their love for their nation, ”recalls Khader.

He has since transformed his music hall into an education center for the next generation of Gaza musicians.

READ: Meet Aya Halaf, a Palestinian singer and teacher who keeps her legacy alive

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