Reflecting culture through music

According to Ahmaro, it is important to have such songs to document the Palestinian heritage through music. (Photo: Jordan News)
Luai Ahmaro is a singer who discovered his talent at a relatively old age and made his way into the oriental music scene. اضافة اعلان

As a child, Ahmaro was curious about musical tracks, their origins, and the beauty they embrace. In his first years of university, he wanted to get more involved in the music scene, especially the oriental one. At the time, the flute caught his attention, but he could not distinguish between it and the shababa (reed pipe), as they both look alike.

According to Ahmaro, it is important to have such songs to document the Palestinian heritage through music. (Photo: Handout from Luai Ahmaro)

“When I bought my first shababa, around 2009, I used to go to Bethlehem villages, specifically to Nahalin village, which is known for playing the shababa. To me, oriental musical is magical,” Ahmaro said in an interview with Jordan News.

Ahmaro is from Hebron, but has Kurdish origins. Therefore, he was interested in discovering the Kurd culture through music. He started practicing the saz (long-neck lute), which is used in Kurdish music.

He plays four different musical instruments with different levels of skill, the singer said. He plays the saz, the shababa, the flute, and the daf (drum). He likes these instruments because they are part of the oriental culture and reflect Levantine music. They also “give traditional music unique vibes”, he said.

“Shababa is very dear to my heart as it makes me imagine the mountains of Palestine,” the singer said.

In 2020, Ahmaro released his first song, which was a Palestinian mashup, with Natalie Saman; it reached around 12 million views on YouTube. He released several other songs, such as Ya Leli and Mahma Kan.

His vocal capabilities have grown since the first mashup because he kept on practising, trying to develop himself, he said.

He said he decided to make his first song a Palestinian mashup because he wanted to pay tribute to Palestine, where he formed his musical and intellectual identity.

Ahmaro listens to diverse music from around the world; he used to search for mashups of traditional songs, and since she could not find one of Palestinian traditional songs, he wanted to be among the first musicians to release such mashup.

According to Ahmaro, it is important to have such songs to document the Palestinian heritage through music.

Due to the success of his first Palestinian mashup, people started asking him to release a second one, which motivated him. The Palestinian heritage is rich with traditional songs, but he found it challenging to find a suitable sequence of songs to create a smooth transition between them. For his second Palestinian mashup he decided to go with the traditional Palestinian wedding theme to ensure a smooth transition, he said. In December 2021, he released his second Palestinian mashup with Saman.

(Photo: Handout from Luai Ahmaro)

“The second mashup gives people the feeling that they are attending a Palestinian wedding. When I wrote the script, I wanted to focus on a dramatic idea that we do not feel at weddings, which is the feelings of the bride’s father,” the singer said.

Ahmaro translated the first and second Palestinian mashups in order to reach non-Arab listeners and to deliver the feelings these traditional songs embrace, he said.

His musical activities are not limited to singing Palestinian songs; he also sings in Kurdish and Turkish languages. He believes that Kurdish and Turkish music expresses a huge amount of feelings, he said.

The competition in the field motivates musicians to create new and appealing music. On the negative side there is criticism by other musicians, without beneficial advice that would help them improve themselves, he said.

Ahmaro likes to encourage people to make the sort of music they want; music, and art in general, enable people to express themselves, he said. He also tries to promote oriental music.

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