• Khan Younis

  • Tuesday, May 14, 2024 at 8:04 AM
    Last Update : Friday, May 17, 2024 at 5:18 AM

Young Palestinians Sing ‘Gaza Ciao’ on Khan Younis Camp Ruins

(AWP) - A singing group born out of the war in the Gaza Strip has chosen a very poignant site to shoot a music video for their new song ‘Gaza Ciao’ in an attempt to document “months of destruction and displacement” they, along with hundreds of thousands of citizens in the embattled enclave, have been through.

Singers Ismail al-Nimr and Akram Hamdouneh stood atop the debris of houses levelled by Israeli shelling in the Khan Younis camp and sang their song, hoping it will remind the world of Gaza and its ongoing struggles.

As young director Dalia al-Afifi adjusted the filming sites and selected the location where the duo should perform, Hamdouneh said, in statements to the Arab World Press (AWP), “Perhaps the world has grown accustomed to the scenes in Gaza and the death and devastation that befell the people and just decided to get on with their lives. I think most people around the world are just getting on with their lives.”

“We were keen to document the suffering, tragedy, death and the bitter experience that Gaza and the Palestinian people are going through. We documented all this with a music video for a song to send as a message to the world at large,” he added.

Al-Afifi said the band was born in the war and started its artistic work during the months of displacement in which they moved from Gaza to Khan Younis, then on to Rafah and later back to Khan Younis again.

“We decided to do a new thing, which is the song through which we are going to make our voices heard,” she said.

For Al-Afifi, there is always a place for art.

“We are depicting the reality we live in and translating the suffering and the war. Based on this reality, we are shooting the music video,” she indicated.

The director said shooting the video did not cost much money, but it required a lot of effort to move around the devastated camp and avoid Israeli shelling raids.

The youngest band member is 15-year-old Ghayda al-Rawagh, who sings parts of the song in English. For her, Gaza Ciao is a way to alleviate the despair she feels for the suffering of Palestinians in recent months.

“I felt despair when I saw what has become of our house, our land and its people. The people are suffering a lot. I am singing this song because I felt great sadness about my homeland and country where I was born, where I studied, and did everything beautiful that I loved. It was a very sad feeling.”