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Gaza's first rock band, Osprey V, is stepping into the limelight to sing about Israeli oppression

Gaza's first rock band, Osprey V, is stepping into the limelight to sing about Israeli oppression

They sing in English so everyone will understand and be touched by the message, the band says.
05 Aug, 2021

An accountant, two lawyers, an agronomist and a Swiss humanitarian worker have formed Gaza’s first rock band, giving voice in English to the pain of war in the Palestinian territory.

The unlikely group got together more than two years ago to create Osprey V, posting video clips online and projecting an aura of mystery by keeping their faces hidden.

Now, the band is ready to step into the limelight, with songs steeped in the emotions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In April, a month before an 11-day war between Gaza militants and Israel, they performed in “Live for Gaza”, an online concert to raise funds for musicians in the Palestinian Territories. Pro-Palestinian activist Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame also took part.

The band’s songwriter, Moamin El-Jaru, said Osprey V wants to convey both a universal message and one unique to Gaza, run by Hamas since 2007.

“I try to address situations or problems that face everybody in the world, but because I came from a place that has been cursed with so many wars and conflicts, I try to say that from my perspective, from my place from Gaza,” said El-Jaru, a lawyer by profession.

“We’ll scream our pain — can you hear the call?” implores one of the band’s songs, 'Home'.

Lead singer Raji El-Jaru, an accountant and Moamin El-Jaru’s cousin, was the driving force behind the band’s formation, calling it the realisation of a childhood dream.

At a rehearsal, he told Reuters that Osprey sang in English “so everyone will understand and everyone will be touched by the message”, which he described as a “scream of anger against the injustice”.

And for Moamin El-Jaru, the song’s title 'Home' has a poignant meaning for Palestinians displaced by war with Israel.

“When I sing about home, I am singing (about) home for Palestinians and everybody in a difficult situation that doesn’t get to feel (at) home,” he said.

Speaking from Switzerland, drummer Thomas Kocherhans said he joined the band three years ago while doing humanitarian work in Gaza.

“When I heard them for the first time, I was really shocked, but in the very good sense. I just never thought such quality music would exist in Gaza,” said Kocherhans, who had to leave Gaza earlier this year after his mission ended.

Despite a lack of interest in Western music in conservative Gaza, the band, named after a bird of prey, has high hopes for success.

“I would love to become the Palestinian Metallica or Pink Floyd, Roger Waters,” Raji El-Jaru said.

Comments

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Rizwan Aug 05, 2021 03:58pm
Art, Music, and Sports indeed transcend borders. Best of luck, boys!
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FAZ Aug 05, 2021 04:11pm
Collateral damage..
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Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Aug 05, 2021 04:55pm
United we stand, divided we fall.
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Saida Aug 05, 2021 05:37pm
Great music with purpose! Viva Palestina!
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Ga Aug 05, 2021 06:04pm
Brilliant idea. They should bring in similar rap based in US to create awareness.
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well-wisher Aug 05, 2021 06:49pm
Best of luck to the band. May your message get to the world. There is much pain in the occupied home.
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Tari Aug 06, 2021 01:48am
You know they will be target by the Airstrike, while they have no Air force to protect.
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Musti Sheikh Aug 06, 2021 08:01am
A great future ahead of you. keep up the good work for innocent peoples against brutal regime dominated by inhumanity.
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