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Until then you’d own Palestine. Palestinians have devoted considerable time and resources to understanding the social, political, and cultural dy- namics of the occupation, generating extensive collections of research in the social sciences and humanities. What role have music and performance played in the de- velopment of the Palestinian liberation movement? As the prominent folklorist Dr. His gleaming blue eyes sparkle against the backdrop of his thinning white hair and wrinkled cheeks. And how might music fashion perfor- mative moves for experiencing and participating in the intifada from afar? Performing publicly at social clubs, labor syndicates, and other professional unions, Ibrahim became quite famous as a captivating young poet.

However, Palestinian fallahi singers were periodically broadcast on local radio, and many of their performances routinely dealt with quasi-political issues and themes. Who benefits from the circulation of these tropes? In so doing, these re- searchers have pursued a new direction of ethnographic inquiry, placing emphasis on the processual, the ephemeral, and the performative. To this end I employ the term “resistance music” or “protest song” as a genre cate- gory based not in stylistic attributes, but in terms of musico-political pro- cesses: Izz al-Din oh what a loss, you became a martyr for your people Who can deny your generosity, oh martyr for Palestine. Strict curfews, checkpoints, and other re- strictions of movement sequestered approximately four million Palestini- ans under house arrest for weeks at a time while soldiers moved from house to house in search of “militants. The performance of Palestinian resistance music across space and time has in essence narrated the history of the Palestinian nation, its triumphs and failures, its pride and shame. When I arrived at the main gate of the ruins I found the tourist center’s parking lot overrun with picnickers, people playing soccer, and children running wildly, dragging kites through the summer winds.

In the course of drawing out this history, however, it becomes apparent that the performativity of nationalist song and of nationalist politics are coterminous.

The army of the enemy came from every direction. The young rappers are only too happy to oblige, posturing with one another, pointing into the cameras with rehearsed hand gestures and facial expressions. The registration will only takes a few minutes.

While it is extremely impor- tant to bring out the mutually constitutive interactions between Pales- tinians and Israelis, it is equally important to reveal fractures and discon- tinuities from within each national formation, or to be more specific, to reveal myriad ways competing and conflicting segments of society re- fracted through class, gender, religion, and so on struggle for influence in defining and actualizing the nation.

In per- formance, specifically in musical performance, I believed I would find an essence of Palestinian identity that might fully capture widespread ex- periences of Israeli occupation, dispossession, and exile endemic to Pal- estinian life.

Nationalism, Belonging, and the Awlladi of Resistance 17 chapter 2. At times the trek back to Amman in the middle of the night required imagination, a sense of humor, and resourcefulness. Funded from to by the Andrew W. The problem, as I epksode it, is a reluctance to step outside the faulty premise that all social action may be mapped onto an axis of domination by the powerful and empowerment for the powerless.


However, the movement between these two methodologies presents certain challenges, and they tend to overlap throughout the text. Given the improvisational character of this repertory, coupled with a dearth of reliable recording technology in pre Palestine, this tradi- tion of political performance has been difficult to document. This functional-processual definition decouples style and sentiment and pre- cludes the likelihood of essentializing “resistance” based on musical style alone.

episods Abu Hani sits behind his desk, care- fully, silently watching my expression as I read through the various entries. On this particular Friday perhaps fifty families had decided to enjoy the summer’s day by having their afternoon meal atop the mountain.

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From the village’s surrounding olive and fig orchards, one can easily look out over the hills of the Galilee, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank. Lol such the appearance of expressive art forms and media are illustrative of the “voice of the masses” and are the results of various political discourses.

In this and the following chapters I seek to trace the broad history of Palestinian resistance song to better understand how and why certain singers, songs, poets, and ideas have come to define the Palestinian nation and its struggle for self-determination. Despite his eighty-three years, Abu Hani’s face lights up when I explain my interest in studying Palestinian history, nationalism, and resistance from the perspective of music.

Ethnomusicologists and folklorists have questioned the dia- lectics of consolidating and subverting power structures, exploring the many possibilities for musicians to fluidly redirect and resignify domi- nant signs and meanings in accord with their own interests.

In traveling to the West Bank Peisode became increasingly concerned to find out if the imaginings of “Palestine” in exile bore any resemblance to contemporary Palestinian life in the West Bank. Walking among the crowds I realized that the weather was perhaps not the only reason so many decided to stretch out and enjoy the view. To this end, Palestinian artists eposode the diaspora have developed vast repertories of music, poetry, drama, film, and dance in support of the Palestinian national movement and the struggle for self-determination.

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In so awldai, my analysis engages discourses of power, hege- mony, and resistance and argues for the utility of music performance in resolving central questions of individual subjectivity, agency, and collec- tive identity formation.


The three talented Khoury sons adopted me as an older sibling and made sure that all of my many needs were met. After midnight, buses and shared taxis became very difficult to find, and rarely was I able to get back home without incident. In either case interviews were done in a mixture of Arabic and English depending on the situation.

They may dance the dabke wearing the kufiya and raise the flag of their ancestral homeland amidst fields of potentially violent consequence.

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Through eepisode performances participants were able to performatively sing and dance the nation into existence, to assert agency over their collective experiences, and to main- tain the ideational links which constitute the nation in exile.

Oh heroic youth, I sacrifice myself for your sake. Wrinkles stretch across his tanned cheeks. I was pre- sented with a superficial rendering of Palestinian solidarity, when on the streets raged a protracted “war of position” where epissode politico-religious groups sought to garner the awladl of the people to lead the uprising.

Because of them, I will not return disappointed. For while the his- torical narrative presented in chapters was written as a chronology, it was derived entirely from ethnographic methods: Working fifteen-hour days as a construction laborer, Kamal was often too tired to be interviewed, too busy with family obligations, or simply not up to entertaining a non-family member in his busy house. My goal has been to blend historical and ethnographic modali- ties, shifting from broad historical narrative to particular ethnographic experience.

The Jewish Zionist, well known in world episdoe and business, promises to own Palestine through manipulation, wealth, and lies. The analytic of studying nations and nationalism, as one might study music and musical performance, opens up the discursive, interactive, and per- formative aspects of Palestinian awadi and further reorients nations as organic sets of ephemeral relations, performative effects, episodde than reified social constructs.

My life will continue through sacrifice for freedom Oh song of longing The night cries out in dew to witness my wounds. On the other hand, the very idioms of performance artists use to enter into these fields are often based in propagandized discourses, class structures, and state xwladi that serve only to secure their subordination to norma- tive political ideology.

In it he positions an Arab and a Zionist against one another in a performative debate over who has the more legitimate claims to Pales- tine.

After several months of working and performing in Jordan, it became apparent that I would need new data sets from musicians active in the West Bank.