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Bizer Batteekh “Watermelon Seeds”: Carving Out a Space For Emerging Palestinian Artists.

Jerusalem24 – Sabreen Association for artistic development in occupied Jerusalem showcases the 1st edition of Bizer Batteekh or Watermelon Seeds, a project to support musical and visual production of five emerging Palestinians artists from occupied Jerusalem.

Under the Jerusalem Art and Production Consortium, Bizer Batteekh include five creative and extraordinary Palestinian artists.

Bashar Murad, Palestinian Pop artist, director and a member of Bizer Batteekh team shares with Jerusalem 24 more details about this project and how did it all begin.

The project started with an open call where any artist or musician specifically those who emerges from occupied Jerusalem can apply with an artistic idea like a song that they want to produce, “we would produce the song for them and also direct a visualizer to accompany the music.” Bashar explains.

“Palestinians are many different things”

5 different Palestinian [Amany, Margo Misleh, Silwadi, Ahmad Mizro & Karma] artists from several parts of Jerusalem were chosen for this project by a jury which was combined of 3 different Palestinian artists, in order to have “three different perspectives,” Saeed Murad founder of Sabreen band and association later, Abd Hathout and Samah Mustafa.

Murad also mentioned that it is very important to show that there is a lot of diversity in Palestinian artists, “there’s not one single image of what a Palestinian is.” And that is one of many things that the Sabreen associations is trying to shed light on in the project.

As mentioned before, this project focused on Jerusalemite artists, and aimed to put more light on Jerusalem itself. Due to many reasons such as the political situation and lack of freedom of movement that Palestinians face on daily basis, Murad feels like Jerusalem has been “left out and isolated”, and for that he believes that it was most important to provide such platform for these spectacular artists.

As Sabreen focuses its work in Competence BuildingTechnical Support, and Production it has become a strong hub for individuals and organizations from all artistic backgrounds and disciplines, and in Murad’s opinion it added a lot for the Palestinian artistic society.

for Murad, knowledge is necessary for every artist to thrive and survive,  Bizer Batteekh provided the necessary knowledge and resources for Palestinian artists, “it gave them hope, they can resort to Sabreen whenever they need to develop their career.” Murad asserts.

“Recharges people’s energy.”

This project as Murad explained have “an amazing impact” on both the older generation as well as for the younger generation, it motivated people – “recharges people’s energy” in ways which they believed that they can do important things “it makes them feel like oh there’s other people who are making important things, so we can too.” Murad says.

The older generation remembers Jerusalem differently “when it used to have live and spirits,” and to the [older people] launching this project inside Jerusalem gave them back some of these emotions and feelings.

“We hope we can do this for the older generation but as well for the younger generation.” Bashar Murad says.


listen to the full interview on Vibes.


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