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Music: A Language Of Protest Too

The Israeli forces recently destroyed a five-storey building in Gaza, claiming that the members of the Palestinian Hamas movement had stored arms and ammunitions there. The Israelis also killed a pregnant lady and her two-year-old daughter on that day! The killing of innocent civilians in the name of anti-terror operation has angered the Gazans. And they have chosen songs as the language of protest!
The destroyed building housed the main office of the Said al-Mishal Cultural Centre that has become popular in recent times. al-Mishal is one of the famous cultural centres in war-torn Gaza. The building also housed an auditorium, a theatre stage and a library. The Centre organises a number of music conferences each year, apart from hosting meetings of artists and culturally rich people. They used to gather at the Centre, shared their views and planned the next event.

Many believe that the Israelis destroyed the cultural centre with a specific intention! The 23-year-old theatre artist, Hanin al-Holi, said: “The centre was very important for us as it helped maintain our existence. So, the Israelis destroyed the centre intentionally.
Still, the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israeli forces is going on and both the parties lose more than one member every day. While the Israelis fire missiles and bullets, the Palestinians pelt burning tires and acid-filled bottles at their enemies. However, members of the cultural centre are staging protests in a different way!

They gather at the ruins of the centre at least once a week with guitars and other instruments, and perform in open air. The solo performances or the band programmes attract thousands of common Gazans to the ruins. Also, the al-Mishal members have staged a couple of dramas there.
Art can become a very important medium of protest. Perhaps, the Israelis realised this. So, they launched an attack on the centre. But, we will not stop our activities. Music should be answer to the machine guns!” stressed teenage female singer Ala Khudey.

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