Song of the Week!

This week’s song hails from my native Egypt. It’s called ‘Ethbat Makanak’, which means ‘Stand Your Ground’ by Cairokee.

As the country reflects on the tumultuous year it has been since the downfall of the autocratic Hosni Mubarak, it still feels the effects of a dictatorship that has existed for decades. Egyptians have tried to fight the oppressive regime, and have faced severe crackdowns over the past year for their efforts in doing so. Now, as they gear towards what could be another rough year, especially with a lopsided and Islamist-controlled parliament in power, this song seeks to re-inspire Egyptian youth with the vibrant and entrancing oriental sound of oud with the galvanizing and deep sounds of rock and roll.

To me, this song sounds a lot like a Coldplay song (which is probably why I love it so much). The lyrics are generally very inspiring, and I won’t go into full detail for their translations. But here’s one part that sent shivers down my spine:

اثبت مكانك…ده نور الشمس راجع. يا تموت وانت واقف يا تعيش وانت راكع

Which basically says ‘stand your ground: the sun will shine again. You either die while standing, or live while kneeling’.

The video features some of Egypt’s top political commentators right now. I’m not sure what sort of role they played in sponsoring this song or inspiring the lyrics, but I think it’s this kind of music that can really keep the liberals moving forward in their battle to bring Egypt to more stable ground. Hope you like it as much as I did!

Update: Some people have asked me to translate the song, so here’s a rough translation of it:

Stand your ground. This is your address

Fear is the one who fears you,

And your conscience has never betrayed you

Stand your ground. The sun will shine again

You either die while standing, or live while kneeling.

Stand your ground. Your eyes are witnessing the proof.

Distance yourself from them, leave the wall and lean on them.

Stand your ground. The nation’s heart is wounded.

And freedom’s voice is gone.

(Refrain)

Your words are not understood.

Your feelings are indescribable (2x)

You say ‘Respect’, and they respond with humiliation.

You say ‘Justice’, and they call you a traitor.

 

Stand your ground. This is your address

Fear is the one who fears you,

And your conscience has never betrayed you

Stand your ground. You’re the light of dawn!

Your calls are louder than the sounds of fear and treachery.

Stand your ground, and call out with the Athan (Muslim call for prayers).

You have a god called ‘the truth, the just, and the peace’.

Stand your ground. Stand shoulder-to-shoulder with your brother.

And no matter how many souls they take, the idea will stay.

 

(Refrain)

Your words are not understood.

Your feelings are indescribable (2x)

You say ‘Respect’, and they respond with humiliation.

You say ‘Justice’, and they call you a traitor.

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