“My Name Is Palestine”

Posted on May 3, 2020

by Garth Hewitt (scroll down for song)

I was in Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem where there is a gallery for Palestinian artists, and saw a painting by the superb Palestinian artist Suleiman Mansour. I found the painting so powerful, I said that I would like to put together a song sparked off by this painting – I thought it could be a 12” vinyl single with the painting on the front cover. I told my good friend Wisam Salsaa, Manager of the Walled Off Hotel, and he phoned Suleiman for his permission, which was kindly given. I then wrote to various Palestinian friends showing them the painting, and asked them for their thoughts. Those thoughts I have reflected in the lyrics. It all came together as this song, My Name is Palestine.

I would like to thank those people who responded to me about what the content should be – they are: Naim Ateek, Mitri Raheb, Abdelfattah A Abusrour, Usama Nicola, Zoughbi Zoughbi, Susan Bahroum, and Rasha Salsaa – and special thanks to Wisam for all his help on this project. And of course special thanks also to Suleiman Mansour for allowing me to use his beautiful and striking painting – very grateful thanks.

The Palestinian Nakba, or Catastrophe, has gone on and on for years, with Palestinians treated always as of lesser value and as if they don’t matter. This project is to assert the equality of all people and is a call for justice to come to this community who have suffered so much racism.

My Name Is Palestine

A voice cries out in the wilderness
I hear her call – but I don’t know her name
The voice cries again in the wilderness
My name is Palestine – I will remain

She’s holding a flag – so very high
Raises her voice with such a strong cry
She’s a symbol of a people who refuse to die
Says “My name is Palestine, I will survive.”

Chorus –
I will survive – I will survive
My name is Palestine – I will survive
I will remain – I will remain
My name is Palestine – I will remain

The forces of darkness – can’t extinguish the flame
Of the freedom in your eyes and the love you retain
These are more powerful than the weapons of war
With their terror and lies – but you bring something more

All across Palestine they’ve had enough
Of killing and wounding from Israeli guns
They want no more occupation, no more siege,
No more brutality – they just want peace

Chorus – I will survive – I will survive
My name is Palestine – I will survive
I will remain – I will remain
My name is Palestine – I will remain

Make a road in the desert – for a new dawn to come
Make a road in the desert for equality to bloom
Make a road in the desert for human rights to come
Make a road in the desert… for freedom to come

It’s a place they’ve tried to make disappear
It’s a people they’ve tried to make you fear
But the welcome they give you – always means
Palestine gets under your skin

Chorus – I will survive – I will survive
My name is Palestine – I will survive
I will remain – I will remain
My name is Palestine – I will remain

Make a road in the desert – for a new dawn to come
Make a road in the desert for equality to bloom
Make a road in the desert for human rights to come
Make a road in the desert… for freedom to come

She’s holding the flag – so very hight
Raising her voice with such a strong cry
A symbol of a people who refuse to die
Says “My name is Palestine, I will survive.”
My name is Palestine, I will survive.”

Words & music by Garth Hewitt
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