Syrian/American hip-hop artist unleashes #Syria – By HASS DENNAOUI
Published: Apr 4, 2012 21:23 Updated: Apr 4, 2012 21:23
Finally Syrian-American hip-hop artist Omar Offendum broke his silence and unleashed a clear statement of rejection toward the Syrian regime. Known for his poise and patriotism, Offendum honors his fellow citizens with a striking song and an explicit video. He doesn’t hold back on criticizing the regime.
The chant for freedom “Ash’shaab yureed iskat al-nitham”, which means « The people want the fall of the regime », gives a strong appeal to the song: It increases the tempo and builds up an adrenaline rush in whoever listens to the song.
About his decision to release the track now, Offendum explains: « I have noticed that over the course of the year, people’s attention shortened with this particular issue. The more people started to talk about conspiracy theories, the politics behind everything, the more they lost sight on what was really happening on the ground, the human suffering that’s taking place. They allow politics to get in the way of their humanitarian standpoint.”
Through his song “#Syria”, Offendum wants to re-focus the minds of the people and shed light on what really matters: the never-ending conflict between the Syrian people and a 40-year-old oppressing regime. According to Offendum, “everything else is secondary.”
He aims to strengthen the faith of his co-citizens and chooses to enlighten Arabs in general to be more attentive on what is most important.
Offendum says the song has a powerful message, as it is personal, patriotic and by singing it, he feels he performs a duty toward his people. To accentuate this point, he refers to the track “#Jan25” he made with The Narcicyst, Amir Sulaiman, Freeway and Ayah. It was a track about the sense of solidarity with the Egyptian Revolution. After witnessing the suffering of his own people, Offendum says it is hard not to object, to feel enraged and to fight. Weapons come in many forms: His are words and it was time to let them lose and engage in a verbal battle in honor of those who are in distress because they demanded basic rights and freedom.
Inside Syria and out, a lot of people share Offendum’s need to strive for a better and safer country. « Even if the conflict ended now, that still would not change the fact that he [Assad] is an illegitimate leader who needs to go, » he says. The opposition may have been divided, but he one demand all parties agree on is Assad’s leaving.
« I believe in this issue, not just because I am Syrian, not just because I am Arab and not just because I am Muslim. I am a HUMAN BEING who believes in human rights and equality for all – FULL STOP.”
“Syrian Pride does not start or end with Assad , its longer and way deeper than him and it will continue way after he is gone. That’s what gives me faith that the Syrian people will make it through this, because they deserve better and they are better. »
Offendum’s passion towards his country is limitless. Clearly, the fate of a country doesn’t rely on one egocentric ruler. The people decide their fate and it will soon be reached as wished for.
If Offendum had the chance to speak to all Syrian people, he would say, « Unify, Unite, Understand that what is really happening here is that your people are suffering! Don’t let the propaganda of any news outlet get in the way of your humanity. We are all equal and one! »
Offendum believes that “killing people will not help you live in security » and that the transition from oppression to freedom takes time.
Once again, music prevails in shedding light on the political situation in the region. One should not underestimate the power of lyrics, the power of words. One of the most omnipresent personalities in the beginning of the Syrian revolution was a humble Syrian poet named Ibrahim Qashoush. His songs mocked Assad’s regime and became a national anthem to freedom. He was soon removed from the uprising scene, indefinitely. “If the regime did not see Qashoush as a threat, they wouldn’t have removed him, » says Offendum.
In 2012 another humble man chooses to speak, through the song “#Syria”.
“One song will not end the regime. I am not naive enough to think that. At the same time, it is naive to think that music and people chanting day and night is not keeping their moral up — of course it is — and that’s why they are getting shot.”
In honor of Qashoush, Offendum ends his song with the chants Qashoush repeated in the erupting squares of Syria. To complete this positive masterpiece, Syrian producer Sami Matar orchestrates the collision between audio and visual. “The Syrian people deserve nothing but the best. Every note was written by the struggles I saw, read and heard from my Syrian friends and families.” Cuts and edits from real footage, the video reflects the reality of the gruesome events. It holds credibility, strength and truth. Accompanied by a mesmerizing violin and a captivating cello, the music of the song embraces the lyrics and creates a moving effect.
The making of the song “#Syria” required faith, patience, talent and wit.
“I am an optimistic person. I have faith in Allah. I have faith in the Syrian people,” says Offendum. Patience paved his way until he released his song for a better tomorrow. His talent is undeniable and universal through his voice and lyrics. Intuition and intelligence forged his credibility as an activist, an artist and a patriotic. There is still much work to be done to reach the ultimate goal of freedom. One song cannot change the situation, as Offendum might say, but increasing the attempts to change and trying to dissolve the atrocious crimes could start up the light of freedom.
To view the song on YouTube, visit: http://bit.ly/GAjend
For Omar Offendum’s FB Fanpage, visit: https://www.facebook.com/offendum.