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All rise for the Palestinian anthem

A parody of a nationalistic Palestinian song ridicules the intractable dispute between Hamas and Fatah leaders.

Nasser al-Qudwa, a senior Fatah official and Yasser Arafat’s nephew, told the Al Jazeera presenter that broadcasting the song was “an unprecedented regression.”

A Palestinian student journalist in Nablus on Tuesday announced his intention to sue Al Jazeera for broadcasting the clip, which he characterized as a slur on Palestinian nationhood. Ghaith Ghazi, who works at the An-Najjah University radio station, told a Palestinian news site that the anthem has a “psychological and emotional impact on the Arab peoples, especially the Palestinians.”

Perhaps Ghazi is particularly sensitive about “Mawteni,” because its lyrics were written in 1934 by another Nablus resident, Ibrahim Touqan. A Lebanese composer added the music and for many years it was seen as the anthem of the Palestinians.

It was taken up by other Arab countries too and was for a time the anthem of Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. It’s also an official anthem in Syria and Algeria, which use it to show solidarity with the Palestinians.

It’s not to be confused with the official Palestinian national anthem “Biladi” (My Country).

"Biladi" was made the anthem in 1996, when it was adopted by the Palestinian National Council, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s main legislative body.

Here’s the first verse of "Biladi":

"With my determination, my fire and the volcano of my revenge

With the longing in my blood for my land and my home

I have climbed the mountains and fought the wars

I have conquered the impossible, and crossed the frontiers"

The current Palestinian leadership doesn’t exactly measure up to those lyrics, either. Watch out for a cruel internet spoof to the tune of “Biladi,” no doubt.

Meanwhile, Hamas rejected a deal brokered by Egypt to end the long civil conflict with Fatah, though Fatah had signed on to the agreement last week.

Officials from both sides said they expected soon to be called to Cairo for further negotiations. No doubt, they’ll both continue singing the same song.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/israel-and-palestine/091021/palestinian-anthem-hamas-fatah