Friday, February 08, 2008

Friday anthem - Mawtini

Mawtini (Arabic - "My Homeland") is currently the national anthem of Iraq, but the anthem has its roots in Palestine. The anthem was written at a time of anti-British fervor in the Palestine Mandate, 1934, just before the Arab revolt against the British mandatory government erupted in 1936. Since then, it has become a song used in many Arab countries, and is in its second stint as national anthem of Iraq. There's a clear anger in the song, a sense that there's a fight on against external enemies who are denying security to the homeland--common in national anthems, certainly true of the Palestine in 1934 as well as today, and true in Iraq as well.

Best lines (from the first verse, referring to the homeland): Will I see you? / Safe and comfortable / sound and honored / Will I see you in your eminence / reaching the stars?

See Wiki for the full lyrics and a good Latin transliteration.

The Youtube I post here is a beautiful rendition from Iraqi singer Ilham al-Madfa'i along with pictures of Iraq. Note that he changes two lines in the second stanza--to what end, I don't know.

There is also a good version here which posts the Arabic lyrics along with a chorus singing the song. I don't have any clue what the rest of the site is about, but it's a good rendition of the anthem.

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