On the streets of Amman I met ObAider

It seems that many Jordanians are Palestinians.
Half of all the Jordanians I met have personal roots to Palestine. My Arabic teacher-herself a Jordanian, proudly introduced herself “Ana min al-Quds”. Although it was what she added to me right after that struck me most: “When you are in al-Quds, please bring me back a bit of its soil”.

By Carl el-Cupel

I had the good fortune to meet two young men at the Jadal Center in Amman who were also Palestinians. Only after getting to know them better did I discover them to be exceptional musicians and composers.

In their compositions, Obai al-Bitar and Baider Manasrah write of their homeland and their identities; both shaped yet divided by the River Jordan. The pair entertain with their breath-taking display of talent on the guitar and have gone on to add the musicality of other instruments to their pieces.

They manage to mix Latin and Oriental music and the result is a perfect balance of the two genres. It is an amazing experience to be able to listen to an Arabic voice accompanied by Latin-American guitars and percussions. The effect is a heightened experience of pain derived from the longing of their lost land. And yet there is a blissful optimism in their music inspiring listeners to celebrate and just dance. Their unfamiliar style is embedded in their songs “Gaza”, “Taqaseem” or “Raitu al-bahr (I saw the sea)”.

Obai al-Bitar and Baider Manasrah. Jordanians. Palestinians. Obaider. A musical duo definitely worth a listen.

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