- Title: WEST BANK: Egypt's uprising songs kick off Palestine Festival
- Date: 7th July 2011
- Summary: PALESTINIAN FLAG 'WAST EL BALAD' BAND PERFORMING VARIOUS OF AUDIENCE CHANTING AND SINGING WITH BAND BAND PLAYING A SONG DEDICATED TO EGYPTIAN REVOLUTION BAND MEMBER, ASAAD NESSIM, PLAYING ON GUITAR BAND MEMBER, ADHAM EL SAID, SINGING MOHAMMED GAMAL EL-DIN PLAYING ON PERCUSSION SAID SINGING AUDIENCE MORE OF 'WAST EL BALAD' PLAYING MUSIC
- Embargoed: 22nd July 2011 13:00
- Location: West bank, West bank
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA4HGSP5C02MK17307MZVFMXS30
- Story Text: Popular Egyptian band Wast el Balad set the tone for the annual Palestine International Festival with an energetic performance in front of an enthusiastic crowd in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Through their lyrics, the band paid tribute to the "Arab Spring" revolutions and the role of youths in the uprisings throughout the region.
"The festival this year is unique because it brings a taste of the Arab revolutions. Whoever looks at the schedule can find that this year we host many renowned male and female artists and troupes," Director Of Palestine Festival Iman Hamouri said.
The festival brings international and local performers to a number of venues in various Palestinian West Bank cities and towns, giving local audiences a chance to interact with the world arts and culture scene.
Hundreds of music fans danced, cheered and sang along as Wast el Balad opened the festival with their songs about the Egyptian revolution earlier this year.
Wast el Balad band member Hany Adel is one of the band's original founders. He collaborated with Egyptian singer Amir Eid on the song "Sout el Horeya," which paid tribute to the Egyptian revolution and become an internet sensation.
"None of them (the band members) have had the opportunity or honour before now to visit Palestine in order to see the reality of the situation with their own eyes. We've been here for two days but we already have enough stories to tell people (in Egypt). I expect our songs in future will be influenced (by trip to the West Bank), and I hope Palestinian poets will contact us to give us lyrics, as I am sure that a writer from Palestine can illustrate the issue in a better way," Adel told journalists at a news conference.
Wast el Balad means "town centre" in Arabic. The eight-member band was formed in 1999.
The festival will host Arab and international music and dance groups from countries such as Spain, Chile, Egypt, Jordan and Algeria in addition to local talent.
For the past 13 years, the festival has attracted large numbers of people from Palestinian villages and cities as well as Arabs and Israelis.
The festival closes on Saturday (July 9).
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