Arab Spring's songbird brings "Liberty" to the West Bank

Wed Jul 6, 2011 10:24am EDT
 
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By Tom Perry

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - Three months after Algerian singer Souad Massi released her latest album "O Houria" (Liberty), revolution was sweeping the Arab world.

The songwriter and guitarist acclaimed for her extraordinary voice predicts no quick end to the popular uprisings that are reshaping the Middle East.

And she thinks it is only matter of time before the Arab Spring reaches Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank, where she performed at a sell-out concert on Tuesday.

"What would have been a miracle in the past, can today happen," said Massi, whose latest album, released in October, includes three songs on the theme of revolution. They include "Let Me Be In Peace," a duet with British star Paul Weller.

The track, she says, is dedicated to the Palestinians, who have waged two major Intifadas, or uprisings, against Israel in the last three decades.

"Things have changed. The people are now the force of renewal," Massi told a news conference packed with Palestinian journalists in Ramallah. "The winds of revolution will certainly reach you."

Addressing delighted fans under a starry West Bank sky, she reiterated that message on stage during her performance at the annual Palestine International Festival -- her second concert in Ramallah.

Blending sounds from north Africa, the broader Arab world, Flamenco, pop and American folk, her songs touch on themes including love, exile and her homeland and are mainly written in Algerian dialect and French.   Continued...

 
<p>Algerian singer Souad Massi performs at the Palestine International Festival in the West Bank city of Ramallah July 5, 2011. Three months after Massi released her latest album "O Houria" (Liberty), revolution was sweeping the Arab world. The songwriter and guitarist acclaimed for her extraordinary voice predicts no quick end to the popular uprisings that are reshaping the Middle East. And she thinks it is only matter of time before the Arab Spring reaches Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in the West Bank, where she performed at a sell-out concert on Tuesday. Picture taken July 5, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman</p>