Media Type:

Songs


Title

Harb Kabira (A Big War)

Subject

Song

Description

This is a video of the band Bent al-Masarwa performing live. The band made their first album in 2015, after meeting at a creative writing workshop organized by feminist organization Nazra for Feminist Studies. Their songs are based on women's real life stories.
The band travels around Egypt, organizing workshops for women, where they are encouraged to write about their lives and the issues facing them, such as domestic violence, early marriage, FGM, and racism. According to a band member, “We work on documenting life experiences and present them in an artistic form as a way to resist the dominant culture, which perpetrates stereotypes of those communities … and reinforces masculinity, patriarchy and other systems of oppression,” she added (Aswat Masriya 2016).

Creator

Bent al-Masarwa

Publisher

YouTube

Date Published

02/06/2015

Rights

YouTube Standard Licence

Language

Arabic

Date Created

02/06/2015

Citation

Bent al-Masarwa, “Harb Kabira (A Big War),” Politics, Popular Culture and the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, accessed September 28, 2020, https://egyptrevolution2011.ac.uk/items/show/101.

Output Formats


Media

Harb Kabira.jpg

Translation

“My life is a big war
that I can’t see an end to
Every day I think it will end
And then it starts again
My life is a big war
that I can’t see an end to
Every day I think it will end
And then it starts again

Tell me why
Why turn it into a war?
Tell me why?
Why turn it into a war?

Tell me why?
Why make my existence a sin?

I’ll tell you a small story
That starts when I’m at home
I woke up one morning
Mum had made me breakfast
And then it starts
‘there’s no going out
and from today, there’s no singing’
No singing?

Singing is not allowed
And you can’t be upset

What will we say to people
About a grown-up girl
Without a veil?
Singing is not allowed
And you can’t be upset

What will we say to people
About a grown-up girl
Without a veil?

Mum, just hear me out
Try, maybe you’ll understand
This is my decision
My choice
You can’t force me

Mum, just hear me out
Try, maybe you’ll understand
This is my decision
My choice
You can’t force me

Come to your senses, girl
Your father and I are responsible for you
And we’re scared of Hell
And other people’s words

What sense or faith is this
That you’re judged on me?
What sense or faith
That you’re judged on me?

Discussion over
Discussion over

And that’s the simple things
I must be silent while I walk in the street
My voice is a sin
My body is a sin
Everything we dreamed
Needs a revolution!

And that’s the simple things
My voice is a sin
My body is a sin
Everything we dreamed
Needs a revolution!

My life is a big war
that I can’t see an end to
Every day I think it will end
And then it starts again

Tell me why
Why turn it into a war?
Tell me why?
Why make my existence a sin?
Tell me why
Why turn it into a war?

My voice is a sin
My body is a sin
Everything we dreamed
Needs a revolution!

My life is a big war
that I can’t see an end to
Every day I think it will end
And then it starts again

Tell me why
Why turn it into a war?
Tell me why?
Why make my existence a sin?
Tell me why
Why turn it into a war?”

Original Format

Live performance.

Duration

3 m 34 s