- Title: 'We'll scream our pain': Gaza's first rock band, Osprey V, takes wing
- Date: 4th August 2021
- Summary: COMPUTER SCREEN SHOWING MIXER
- Embargoed: 18th August 2021 10:16
- Keywords: Gaza Music Palestinians Rock Band
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA AND SPIEZ, SWITZERLAND
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA AND SPIEZ, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Middle East,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA004EOV8AXH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: 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 the Islamist Hamas group 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's El-Jaru's cousin, was the driving force behind the band's formation, calling it the realization 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 who have been displaced by war with Israel.
Speaking from Switzerland, the band's 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.
(Production: Mohammed Shana, Bassam Massoud, Mustafa Abu Ghaneyeh)
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