Mustafa al-Kurd Praises His Native City Jerusalem with Song
al-Kurd dedicates his newly released CD Al-Madah (The Troubadour) to his native
city Jerusalem. The lyrics for six of the songs, which were written by Mustafa
(as well as the lyrics of the two remaining songs, which were written by Izz
el-Din al-Manasra and Yaqub Ismain), create an image of Jerusalem in word and
music: a painting in music, lovingly detailed sketches of places and people in
the city, intermingled with historical memories and religious allegory, but
above all and throughout with an overwhelming love for this unique city.
is an almost nostalgic, painful longing for the past, combined with bitter
criticism of the present, but never without the hope - despite everything - for
a different future.
chansons are sung by Mustafa al-Kurd, who accompanies himself on the oud,
enticing the listener with some fascinating oud solos. Hani Assad’s percussion
falls in perfectly with the atmosphere of the songs.
CD overwhelms the attentive listener through Mustafa’s almost Sufi-style
singing, the minimal instrumentation, and the perfect balance that is achieved
between rhythm, melody, and artistic performance. The end-result is a unique
declaration of love to a city which today is more embattled than ever.
Obsessed with love
Obsessed with love for you
Oh Jerusalem, my love is like madness
in these love songs for Jerusalem are scenes of love and courtship inside the
walls of the Old City.
Over the archway there are two windows
With curtains of tulle
Embroidered with beads,
Blue, to ward off envious eyes,
Seeing her illuminates the universe
And she teases you with her secrets…
of the songs were already presented by Mustafa al-Kurd in a number of concerts
in Jerusalem and Amman. A series of concerts, both in Palestine and abroad, is
planned for the next few months.
CD was recorded by Darwish at the Jerusalem Center for Arabic Music in
Jerusalem, who also did the mixing at Sabreen, Jerusalem. Mastering was done by
Mazen Murad at Metropolis Group Studios in London. Hani Sharaf, together with
Christopher H. Bourke and Darwish, contributed the artwork. The introduction to
the songs on this new CD was written by Mahmud Shqeir.
original Arabic lyrics for the songs are reproduced in a booklet that comes
with the CD. Translations into English (by Anita Vitullo-Khoury) and German
(Magda Barakat and Anis Hamadeh) are also included.
CD is distributed (for the time being) in all specialised shops in Jerusalem
and the West Bank and can also be found at the Jerusalem Center for Arabic
Music in Jerusalem.