I don’t think I’ve posted one of my own songs before, but here goes. If you’ve been following me, you’ll know that I am trying to understand the situation in the Middle East, especially as it applies to the relationship between the State of Israel and the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza.
One of the defining moments in the last 100 years was what Palestinians call Nakba – the time in 1948 when Palestinian families were forced to leave their homes. One of the accounts of that event is told by Sami Awad, and tells how his grandfather, living in Jerusalem with his family, lost his life to a bullet. The truth of what happened that day is disputed, but whatever that truth is, his death was caused by the actions of Israel.
I wrote a song that tries to capture something of those events. It’s just a home version, with me doing all the singing and playing, and it’s very rough round the edges, but it’s a story that I needed to tell. The last 72 years have seen the bitter fruit of those days in 1948, with the loss of access to water, expulsion from the ancestral lands, frequent loss of the olive trees that are a symbol of Palestinian life and the perils of losing the heritage seeds that tell the story of day to day life in the foods that are eaten.
Amos Trust is a small human rights organisation – find out more about the situation here
My song is actually work in progress. I need to do some more work on it, but I wanted to put it out there. I am a songwriter, who like many others, dreams of others seeing the value of their work and making it their own. So if anyone out there wants to take the song and do something with it, let me know.
Here it is: Catastrophe
Grace and peace
Every year for the past 20 years we have been to the Greenbelt Festival of Artistry, Belief and Activism over the August Bank Holiday. There is a different theme each year – this year’s theme was to be ‘Wild At Heart,’ but it’s being re-imagined as ‘Wild At Home.
We’re really disappointed that Greenbelt isn’t happening in the usual way, but excited that the Greenbelt spirit will be alive and well in spite of the pandemic.
So throughout the pandemic, Greenbelt have been creating online content, and this all comes together on 29th August when there is a whole day of Greenbelt offerings.
We’ve signed up to join in (at a minimal cost of £10), but in addition, we’re going to be doing our own ‘Wild At Home.’ We’ll be spending the Friday with our daughter and son-in-law and family (The Greens, appropriately!) and making our own mini festival.
On a ‘normal’ year, we would arrive at the festival site in the late morning, get the tent up, have a cuppa and a sandwich, and then pore over the programme for the weekend. (Which goes from Friday evening to late Monday evening). At about 5 pm Friday, things kick off on the Festival Village ….
So this is a rough programme for our ‘Green Belt’ (Kindly hosted by the Greens). We’ll be arriving at normal Greenbelt time on the Friday to put the tent up … etc etc.
Rachel, our daughter is working out the fine details, but it will include Greenbelt favourites including :
- Fischy Music, (by kind arrangement with Jon, and Bev).
- Food (Courtesy Mr and Mrs Green)
- Camping (In the garden)
- Toilets (proper ones)
- Sports (Trampolining)
- Tiny Tea Tent (Yes, really)
- Open Mic Session
- Family Twist (Hosted by the Greens)
- Make and Create (The Make and Create team)
Whatever you are missing this summer – even so, I hope you might find a way to do something fun and soul satisfying