Abir Kopty's Blog مدوّنة عبير قبطي

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A tribute to Rim Banna: The voice of freedom and revolution

This article was first published on Middle East Eye

Fifty-one years might seem too short of a life for anyone, but for an exceptional artist like Rim Banna it is a thousand splendid years. With a proud smile, Rim left this ugly world leaving our hearts aching so hard.

I remember Rim from her early days when she used to perform in political events in Nazareth, our city, and I remember her performing in the evenings of Nazareth Voluntary Camps in the late 1980s.

These were political volunteering camps that gathered Palestinians from across historic Palestine. They were an alternative to the Israeli government policies of discrimination and oppression. Rim was there. I was a kid, but she was then already a legend to me.

Right from the beginning Rim chose her own way. She chose to be an artist of principles and set an example of inspiration. She chose values over profit and authenticity over fame. A humble and modest musician and singer, who dedicated her life to what she believed in, her voice was rare in a world of “celebrities” and stardom.

She was an active musician with 13 albums. She wrote, composed and sang, but also sang poems for prominent Palestinian poets like Tawfik Zayyad, Samih Alqassem, Mahmoud Darwish and others, including poems for her mother, Zahira Sabbag. Continue reading