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Sample Track 1:
"Caress" from Caress
Sample Track 2:
"Passport" from Caress (to Edward Said)
Sample Track 3:
"I Pass By Your Name (Poem by Mahmoud Darwish)" from Concerto Al Andalus
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Concerto Al Andalus
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Mahmoud Darwish on Marcel Khalifé

Marcel Khalifé was invited to perform at an event at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia on April 29th, 2002 to honor Mahmoud Darwish, the Arab world's most prominent contemporary poet. Khalifé is recognized for "popularizing" Darwish's poetry and making it accessible to the layperson in the Arab World by composing music to Darwish's poetry, among other contemporary Arab poets, and singing them. Mahmoud Darwish's poetry figures prominently in Marcel Khalifé's lyrical works.

Marcel Khalife’s song may be one of the few remaining songs of our spiritual enlightenment. By excluding cultural expression from the overall Arab decline, we in fact express a private wish to protect those parts of our spirits which have so far resisted the barrage of heavy artillery and isolation. So shut have our hearts become, the birds’ tolerance of their skies amazes us. Marcel’s song managed to lift our hearts from the wreck, creating a new reality in which we could freely roam. The simplicity of his song disassembles our mental complexity and opens a window to hope. Its delicate strength is that of life during a siege of reason. Its nerve is that of men singing while taken to their death.

In Khalife’s song there is useful beauty and clear purposefulness. When I wrote about my love for my mother from prison, neither she nor I realized the effectiveness of this declaration until Marcel’s song announced it and took it beyond the personal relationship and the moment of prison. Khalife narrowed the gap, ever made wider by poets, between poetry and song. He brought back the absent emotional space needed to reconcile poetry with its alienated audience. Thus, poetry developed Khalife’s song, while the latter mended people’s relationship with poetry. Now, the streets sing with Marcel and words need a podium no longer.

-- Mahmoud Darwish

Additional Info
Marcel Khalife Caresses the World with Depth & ...
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Edward Said Introduces Marcel Khalifé
Mahmoud Darwish on Marcel Khalifé

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