This morning I had the chance to take a quick drive to my favorite spot of this time of the year. The village of Ein Sinya. Green meadows, blossoming almond trees of all shades of pink, and fresh clean air.
Being in the country side got me thinking about an important aspect of our heritage, oral heritage. More specifically, traditional songs with their melodies and lyrics. In my family, I grew up with these songs; especially the wedding songs. However, for most of the newer generations, these songs and accompanying traditions have already been lost. My cause of the day is to start a website to document this oral tradition.
I do not claim that this issue has been totally neglected, on the contrary, many wrote books and others brought some of these traditions back to life through live performances and recordings. What is missing, in my humble opinion, is a musical documentation of these songs. Their melodies along with their lyrics. Bahia Khalil a daughter of Ramallah who lived most of her life in California and died there in 2006 collected a comprehensive compilation of Ramallah traditional folklore songs in her book, Ramallah Folklore Songs and Traditions. For someone like me who grew up with this tradition I can recognize many of the songs and know their melodies, however, the rest for me are just dead words. I need to find a way to bring them back to life! Maybe sometime in the near future…
— Jack Rabah