Iraqi superstar Kadim Al Sahir has released a new song in solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza, which calls for a ceasefire in the face of Israel’s genocidal war on the Strip.
Al Sahir, who is known as the “Caesar of Arabic Music”, collaborated with the UN Chamber Music Society on the English track titled ‘Hold Your Fire’, which was released on 24 November. The orchestral track is a rare occasion in which Al Sahir has performed in English.
Earlier that month, speaking at the Sharjah International Book Fair, the singer said he wrote the original lyrics for the song in Arabic. He explained that the song has been translated into English in a way “that was consistent with the message of the song”.
According to the National, ‘Hold Your Fire’ was composed by Al Sahir with lyrics provided by British songwriter Tom Lowe.
Al Sahir said his intention was to raise awareness about the increasing civilian death toll in Gaza, with more than 15,000 killed in the Palestinian enclave, the majority of whom are women and children.
#HoldYourFire is a new song, which aims to use music to support peace and humanitarian efforts in the world, and in Gaza in particular. Emerging from his collaboration with the UNCMS, @KadimAlSahirORG composed the song to send solidarity & support to those by war. pic.twitter.com/PgFc8PzUsd
— UN Chamber Music Society (@unchambermusic) November 25, 2023
Speaking of the new release, Al Sahir was quoted as saying: “This song is a heartfelt cry for peace and a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.”
“It is part of our continued quest to support our people with all the tools and abilities we have in the East and West.”
In late October, the star cancelled, indefinitely, concerts he had scheduled to hold in Oman and Qatar “due to the tragic circumstances in Gaza.”
He has previously recorded a song calling for peace, his 1998 ‘Tathakkar’ (Remember), which was dedicated to the children of Iraq and spoke of the “wounds of innocent angels” caught in conflict, earned him a UNICEF award. His 2000 song, ‘Ya Quds’ (O Jerusalem) was released in the same year as the Second Intifada.
A four-day humanitarian truce began in Gaza on Friday following Qatar-Egypt-US mediation, and was extended on Monday for an additional two days. Among its provisions were a temporary ceasefire, an exchange of prisoners and the entry of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. Talks are currently ongoing in Doha for a long-term ceasefire.