Posted by on April 01, 2011 in Blog
As an Iraqi American, Stephen Said has watched the recent events in Egypt and Tunisia with nervousness, wonder, and hope. Like many Arab Americans, he wondered what he could do to contribute to the cause, not simply for the ouster of President Mubarak from Egypt, but for “equality and freedom not just across the Arab world, but for the entire world.” His contribution, like that of Abdel Halim Hafez, Sam Cooke, or countless other socially-conscious musicians, comes in the form of song.
Aheb Aisht Al Huriyah (I Love the Life of Freedom), is Said’s latest piece. It was originally written as a poem by Poet Laureate Ahmed Shawqi, and put to music by the renowned Egyptian composer Abdel Mohamed Al-Wahhab. It has served as a freedom anthem for generations of Egyptians, and Said hopes it will once again inspire people to “lift the global movement for freedom spreading across the Middle East on our shoulders, out of Egypt and into the Tahrir Square deep in the heart of every living man and woman on earth.”
His video features Said standing on a rooftop while his song plays, using Dylan-esque cue cards to guide the viewer through the English translation of the lyrics. The song conveys a deep, fundamental yearning for liberation – “I love the life of freedom / like birds love being in trees” - that he hopes will help inspire us all to do our part for the global movement. “Please share it,” Said writes, “but more importantly, please write and sing your own freedom songs now.”
Watch Aheb Aisht Al Huriyah below, and click here to support Stephen Said’s work.