Robin Yassin-Kassab

Talbeeseh for Um Shurshouh

with 2 comments

Syrian revolutionary chants are as distinctive, creative, as powerful and sometimes as comical as their Egyptian equivalents. One of my favourites parodies Qaddafi’s threat to hunt down the Libyan opposition ‘alley by alley, house by house’:

zanga zanga dar dar                              alley by alley, house by house

bidna rasak ya bashaar                         we want your head, O Bashaar

In the film below, residents of Um Shurshouh in besieged Homs enjoy a talbeeseh, or bridegroom’s wedding party. The neighbourhood itself is the bridegroom. The leader calls out a verse, and the crowd repeats it.

Traditional calls of welcome to those arriving at the party:

ahla wa sahla billi jaie                         welcome to who has come

ya merhaba billi jaei                            your company entertains us

anastoona yilli jaie

The political context soon becomes apparent:

wal-talbeeseh li-um shurshouh            the party is for Um Shurshouh

walla aal-‘usr rah nrooh                         by God, we’re going to the (presidential) palace

and continues:

bidna nehki aal-makshoof                   we want to speak openly

ba’athiyeh ma bidna nshoof                 we don’t want to see a Ba’athist

bi-talbeeseh al-abiyeh                          in this dignified party

ma bidna nshoof hizbiyeh                     we don’t want to see a Party member

All sects are welcome at the party:

islam wa masihiyeh                             Muslims and Christians

druze wa alawiyeh                               Druze and Alawis

thawritna thawra sooriyeh               our revolution is a Syrian revolution

To reinforce the point they chant: la salafiyeh wa la irhab – Not Salafi Nor Terrorist

And they identify the nature of national unity:

min hasekeh lil-hawran                      from Hasekeh to the Hawran

ash-shaab as-soori mab yinhan        the Syrian people won’t be insulted


shoofoo shoo sar fi-Dara’a                 look what happened in Dara’a

kanat Dara’a sarat ’andna                   it started in Dara’a now it’s here

ya soori shoo amtastana?                   o Syrian, what are you waiting for?

kanat Dara’a sarat ’andna                  it started in Dara’a now it’s here

Up to a thousand have been killed so far. Up to ten thousand have been arrested.

Written by Robin Yassin-Kassab

May 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Resistance, Syria

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2 Responses

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  1. https://qunfuz.com/2011/05/15/talbeeseh-for-um-shurshouh/

    This says it all about Protest in Syria


    May 15, 2011 at 5:08 pm

  2. i made a page since the very beginning of the protests and added every new chant would come out so i wouldn’t forget


    May 21, 2011 at 8:31 pm

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