Tired of only hearing about the violence and suffering, I went looking for some goodness, for the beauty that can be found in humanity. And now, I am pleased to share my findings with you all — the lyrics and videos of a group of Israeli and Palestinians musicians called “Heartbeat.” They are “Engaging in a sustained music, dialogue, and empowerment process, Heartbeat youth musicians become agents of change; harnessing the tools of creativity to imagine possibilities, ask questions, and publicly address systemic problems such as violence, oppression, and inequality — partnering to create a safe, equitable future for all.” Check these out:
“If there’s hope, the power to work, and art, then there’s life…
We’ll break down the walls, and take down the ﬂags and then we’ll
discover a world where everything is possible.”- Bukra Fi Mishmish
“What’s the wall good for?
The wall is good to keep to out the poor
and the wall is good to keep in the fear
and to kill the idea of hope”- The Wall
you grow hatred all around
why not grow peaceful generations in this hopeless town. tell me why”- Hopeless Town
“You are my love. Please stay
I’m nothing without you.. I love you my music “- Ana Omrak
“Who can understand my plea for love;
except the king of beauty?”- Lama Bada
* * * * * * *
“All we see is what’s on TVand now we’ve got to make a soundStronger than the gun.”- City Rising
I struggle to write about this group, because they speak so well for themselves. They are a great example of why I searched for music when looking for some goodness from this war-torn region. They put to use the greatest gift of music, its gift of giving voice to our deepest yearnings, of sharing those deep aches and desires with others, which in turn allows us to enter into each other’s lives, into each other’s hearts.
Through a blend of rap, rock, blues, Middle-eastern, and folk, they show us the beauty of their inner turmoils and dreams. They speak of unity, frustration, peace, violence, and love. They plead for the chance to live side by side with their brothers and sisters across the wall. They express love in the midst of destruction. At times, their faces not only display a hope that has been grown in sorrow, but also a joviality that displays a true love for life, which may be the strongest resistance to the oppression they experience.
So, please, take some time. Hear theirvoices. See theirfaces. Allow yourself to enter into another’s world. Allow yourself to feel, at least a little, the pain and joy of a group of musicians searching to build peace. Allow yourself to know that life, even while looking at missiles, walls, and death in the face, can still inspire us to unity, and can create songs that give expression to that deep desire for love.
Cover Image: #219 Connected hearts, by Flickr User Yasmeen, available at https://flic.kr/p/nYywz7