Khhebez Dawle: Syrian Voice Politics Through Music

In 2011 the Arab Spring uprising that started in such a small spark in Tunisia spread vastly through the Arab world. In Syria when the civil war was occurring...

In 2011 the Arab Spring uprising that started in such a small spark in Tunisia spread vastly through the Arab world. In Syria when the civil war was occurring many Syrians had to flee their homes to find safety in the neighboring country of Lebanon. The demonstrators who didn’t support President Bashar al-Assad lives were threatened and many were killed with little hope of nonviolent outcomes. In this war torn country of Syria a band known as the “KHHEBEZ DAWLE” emerged and provided an influential catalyst for peaceful protesting through the use of Arabic music. The band mates, a group of Syrian refuges that were activists and went against the government are shaped immensely by this war.

Khhebez Dawle is a group of four Syrian male musicians whose names are Maghreb, Muhammad Bazz, Hickman Qassar and Bashar Darwish. The government at this time was suspicious of any formation of groups and made it hard for Khhebez Dawle to grow as a band and share its music with the people in Syria. It wasn’t until Maghreb was unable to play that he realized his artistic freedom was limited. The death of the band member, Rabia al-Ghazzi, inspired but also created a loss of hope in the band. They felt that they didn’t have power in the place that they lived. The band wanted to show the Syrian government and all oppressive regimes that the people don’t rely on the government, it is the government that relies on the people. Without them the country can’t be stable. Their music speaks the truth about the hardships of a people, not just Syrians but also all who are forced to leave their home behind. It gives the Syrians a voice that they didn’t have in their country.
Khebez Dawle faced many hardships through the war in Syria from 2011 to present day and the challenges they still face, seeking asylum in another country. Fordham shines light on who Khebez Dawle was as a band and how they evolved and became who they are now today. Larson describes their songs to be telling the story of what they went through and what it means to be a refugee. Niu shows how the power in their music speaks to thousands of Syrian refugees. Although the Arab spring uprising complicated their lives, without it they would of never been able to speak to a crowd of people. Prior to the uprising their voices were silenced but after it, they were heard.

Student Author: My name is Olivia Phillip, I am currently a senior at Champlain college in , Burlington Vt, studying to be an elementary educator.
Faculty Evaluator: Rob Williams, Ph.D., Champlain College Faculty Advisor


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