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A homage to Libya’s legendary artist

13 1 89
06.12.2018

A couple of years before the first Palestinian Intifada against the brutal Israeli occupation in 1987, Naji Al-Ali, a famous Palestinian cartoonist, produced one of his finest cartoons motivating Palestinian children to resist occupation by drawing. Accompanying the cartoon were couple of verses encouraging kids to reject occupation by drawing their little family groves, their homes and country. Naji Al-Ali was assassinated in London in August 1987, and this particular cartoon became A symbol of the Intifada.

In 1988 a Libyan artist turned Al-Ali’s few verses into finely a tuned song glorifying the Palestinian struggle giving the cartoon a new lease of life as a song that will be listened to for years to come. Decades later the new Palestinian star singer Mohamed Assaf performed the song a cappella n a Ramallah radio studio.

That Libyan artist is the late Mohamed Hassan who passed away on 17 December 2017 leaving behind over 500 songs including dozens of expressing hopes for Arab unity, liberation while celebrating Libya’s rich and diverse folkloric poetry.

Mohamed Hassan’s death marked an end of an era of music in Libya as it will be very long time before anyone could replace him. He was to Libyans what Umm Kulthum is to Arabs.

READ: Saif Gaddafi to take part in Libya’s settlement process

Hassan, born in the town of Khums, east of Tripoli, in the mid-1940s, to a poor Bedouin family went on to build his artistic career spanning over four decades of composing, singing and training dozens of younger singers. Hundreds of people attended his funeral last year to pay their respect to the man........

© Middle East Monitor