SWANA Musicians Team Up in Moving Ode to Palestine “Rajieen”

The song is eight minutes long and combines hip-hop, rap, Arabic backbeats and soulful elements to create a powerful anthem of unity and solidarity.

SWANA Musicians Team Up in Moving Ode to Palestine “Rajieen”
The musical anthem of solidarity, uniting 25 SWANA musicians, transcends borders to call for justice in Palestine.

In a display of support for Palestine, 25 artists from Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA) have collaborated together to release the song “Rajieen” (2023). The song’s title translates to “we will return” in English. Executive produced by a Jordanian producer and multi-instrumentalist Nasir AlBashir, with additional production from Marwan Moussa and Amr Shomali, “Rajieen” is a border-transcending anthem that emphasizes resilience and resistance in response to the Gaza crisis and the Palestinian struggle. The track is poised to ignite a worldwide call for justice and unity.

The diverse group of participating artists includes Saif Safadi, Dana Salah, Ghaliaa Chaker, Afroto, Nordo, Saif Shroof, A5rass, Issam Alnajjar, Amir Eid, Balti, Wessam Qutob, Dina El Wedidi, Bataineh, Omar Rammal, Alyoung, Randar, Vortex, Smallx, ALA, Fuad Gritli, Donia Wael, Zeyne, Marwan Moussa, Marwan Pablo and Dafencii. The song is eight minutes long and combines hip-hop, rap, Arabic backbeats and soulful elements to create a powerful anthem of unity and solidarity.

"Rajieen" aims to raise awareness of the Palestinian struggle among a new generation. The song begins with a haunting piano and vocals expressing the pain of being in one's homeland yet feeling imprisoned. Each artist delivers verses describing the hardships faced by Palestinians, emphasizing their desire for freedom and justice. One-by-one, the performers deliver powerful verses detailing Palestine’s struggle for independence — and they don’t mince their words.

"All we asked for was the freedom to live,” Chaker sings. “But all we got in return was death and displacement.”

Afroto adds by asking, “What crime did the murdered child commit, who dreamt of only a modest future? And what of the child who survived, only to lose their family?”

“They tell me my patience is my weapon while our timer ticks towards death, while everyone watches,” Shroof sings, before A5rass adds, “The world is against me and I don’t fear it. They take my soul, only to claim my soil.” In his verse, Rammal calls the issue out even more directly. “Sorry that I’m not from Ukraine,” he raps. “Sorry that my skin is not white. Sorry to my children, that I brought you into a hypocritical and unfair world.”

Balti delivers a call to action in his verse. “We are calling upon you Arab leaders,” he raps. “Our families in Gaza today are subject to extermination. We’re given two choices: either death or victory. A Palestinian — condemned to death since birth.”

But the song ultimately holds a chorus of hope. In the chorus, Alnajjar sings, “The key to my home remains in my heart and I’m returning with my children in my arms. Even if the whole world stands against me, I am returning. O’my country, I am returning.”

The song concludes with all 25 artists singing together a powerful refrain — “Should I lose my voice, yours will remain.”

The music video contains actual footage of the ongoing war in Gaza, as well as upsetting historical footage of Palestine. Viewer discretion is advised.

Some artists from across the region gathered at Levant Studios in Amman, while others recorded and filmed remotely to craft their message of hope and perseverance. This collaborative effort represented Palestinian artists who, facing the imminent threat of repercussions from the Israeli occupation, could not lend their voices.

The project was organized by a creative team led by AlBashir and included figures like Palestinian Jordanian writer and actor Hayat Abu Samra, Jordanian creative director Farah Hourani, co-founder of Ego & East Talent Management Reem Kanj, Beirut Records founder Hiba Abou Haidar, Libyan director Ahmed Kwifiya, and Rammal, a Palestinian filmmaker who also performed in the song. “Rajieen” was released by U.S. record label Empire, which was founded by Palestinian producer Ghazi Shami.

The music video, directed by Rammal and Abu Samra with creative direction under Hourani, juxtaposes actual footage from Gaza and the history of the occupation in Palestine in order to raise awareness for a narrative that is often missing from Western media.

All proceeds from both the song and its music video will support the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

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