Bethlehem Cultural Festival


The Bethlehem Cultural Festival is delighted to share with you the release of a newly commissioned artwork. Following the performance of Faris Ishaq during last year’s festival edition in London, a music video was created with Faris’ music and inspired by Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry. 

Faris is a Palestinian Nay master and global jazz flutist originally from Bethlehem, he explains about the meaning of this piece:

“Human beings’ search for their roots and identity is inevitably linked to their homeland. In the Palestinian context, the connection to the land is intensely inherited through generations who have been subject to the threat of denying their existential being. Almost forty years have passed since Mahmoud Darwish wrote his poem The Earth is closing on us and it still is. The attachment to the land and hope for reconciliation with it is present.”

Watch the music video here: (scroll down for English translation)

Lawns | Faris Ishaq & Jacob Jezioro | featuring “The Earth is closing on us” by Mahmoud Darwish

Music by Faris Ishaq & Jacob Jezioro
Video by Sameer Qumsieh
Dancer Karma Barghothi
Presented with Bethlehem Cultural Festival

English translation of “The Earth is closing on us”:
The Earth is closing on us 
pushing us through the last passage, 
and we tear off our limbs to pass through. 
The Earth is squeezing us. 
I wish we were its wheat 
so that we could die and live again. 
I wish the Earth was our mother 
so she’d be kind to us. 
I wish we were pictures on the rocks 
for our dreams to carry as mirrors.
We saw the faces of those to be killed 
by the last of us in the last defense of the soul.
We cried over their children’s feast.
We saw the faces of those who will throw 
our children out of the window of this last space. 
Our star will hang up mirrors. 
Where should we go after the last frontiers? 
Where should the birds fly after the last sky? 
Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air? 
We will write our names with scarlet steam. 
We will cut off the hand of the song to be finished by our flesh. 
We will die, here in the last passage. 
Here and here our blood will plant its olive tree.