Arts and Culture 12 November 2012
Abboud Hashem, aka MC Stormtrap Asifeh, a co-founder of the Ramallah Underground collective, has released a new video for his track “In this Prison.” The track is featured on Stormtrap Asifeh’s solo EP Iradeh that was released earlier this year (download the EP for free from Asifeh’s website).
In an email to The Electronic Intifada, Stormtrap Asifeh said that the track “deals with life under occupation, the price of freedom and the right to self-defense.”
The neoliberalization of Palestine at the expense of national liberation is sharply criticized with lyrics such as “imagine a whole nation on your land, fully armed and wanting you to leave/ and you’re just sitting on the couch, your only hope is your bank account.”
Stormtrap Asifeh ironically raps in Arabic: “do all you can to forget the occupation, the largest plate of knafeh and a model competition” — referring to Salam Fayyad’s 2009 stunt to claim the title for the “world’s biggest knafeh,” the traditional sweet.
The video, directed by Spanish/Austrian filmmaker and activist Fernando Romero-Fursthuber was recorded in the West Bank city of Hebron, which is being colonized by violent settlers who are protected by the Israeli army. Assifeh told EI:
We chose to film there to highlight the meaning of the words in a city like Hebron, which is still going through the worst effects of the occupation, and the situation there seems to be very neglected by many. With Ramallah trying to become a “perfect” example of a city, people seem to forget that in Hebron you can’t even walk your own street safely.
The track is in Arabic but an English-language translation is on the video’s YouTube page and copied below.
Check out more of Stormtrap Asifeh’s work on SoundCloud.
Fi hadal Habs (in this prison)
day after day i try to contemplate what freedom is worth
and how much time and effort is needed to realize our dreams
where’s the intention? they prefer foreign thoughts and products, colonization, colonialism, and bourgeois interests we won’t forget, we won’t forgive
all that has happened is recorded on notebooks we shall struggle
imagine a whole nation on your land, fully armed and wanting you to leave
and you’re just sitting on the couch, your only hope is your bank account
for such shitty people i won’t smile
walking on the street masked
with a little bit of hope that things will get better
if you don’t give peace, you don’t get peace
maybe tonight i’ll sleep in the grave as a consequence of believing in my dreams
nights without sleep, you’ll hear banging on the door and not a bell ring, or maybe you’ll even get the message through your ceiling- in that case you’ll be counting the pieces!
a whole family was murdered today
they aren’t my relatives, they aren’t the same “color”
i’ll stand with you, no matter how far you are
– chorus (x2) –-
i have the right to be armed, and not naked
im scarred, physically, psychologically / mentally
in this prison i have the right to self-defense
first, i move the division and corruption out of my way
so i can reach my real enemy
they try to silence me with a piece of food
after they dispossessed me, and then accused me
the ones who survived only saw more brainwashing, racism, and suffering
another day in palestine
a settler burned down a tree
a dirty civil war? the bullet goes to my head!
beg, beg as much as you want
as long as you dont mind the humiliation and occupation
i know you obey the shekel
that’s how it is nowadays
everyone’s living in a financial mentality, people are distracted financially
economic peace fayyad, netanyahu, it’s all bullshit
they want to force us to accept although we don’t want to
do all you can to forget the occupation, the largest plate of knafeh and a model competition