“Only music in this world understands me,” said Marcel Khalife in front of his audience at the Main Auditorium of American University of Sharjah (AUS) on Tuesday, March 12.
“Khalife came to speak about poetry and music,” said Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Writers Union president Mohammed Al Marzoui in an interview.
He was invited to the UAE’s Capital by the union and Albayyara Cultural Society to speak about his friendship with the late Mahmoud Darwish as well as his latest CD, The Fall of the Moon, noted Al Marzoui.
Khalife was then asked by the AUS Palestinian Cultural Club (PCC) to speak at the university, to which he duly agreed. “It was an amazing opportunity to meet him,” said the PCC’s Executive Assistant, Ekram Diab.
Khalife spoke about his longing to Darwish, and how life has become bland after his death.
“Amidst [Darwish’s] absence, I scream,” he said during the talk in Arabic. “Yet I hear no echo,” he added.
He also spoke about the first time he ever held the oud, and how allured he was by it.
After autographing CDs, whose sales proceeds will be donated to a Palestinian refugee camp, Khalife performed I Long For My Mother’s Bread, one of Darwish’s most popular poems.
He then received an honorary token of appreciation from the PCC, thanking him for his efforts.
Khalife emphasized the CD’s importance, in a talk backstage. He said that he has been working on it “since Mahmoud Darwish’s death.”
Through his music, Khalife has been linked to Palestinian resistance. He is also considered to be a revolutionary icon to many, which is why his talk at AUS was one of a kind.
Attendees were overwhelmed with emotion after his talk. Majdoline Jayoushe, daughter of a faculty, said that she was “nostalgic, and longed to a home I could not return to.”
“Marcel Khalife is such an inspiring person,” added Journalism Junior Reem Fakhri. “I loved the event, AUS should make more events like this in the coming future,” she noted.
“I didn’t expect him to be this way,” added Diab. “He is very humble and nice to all his fans,” she observed.
Watch a full HD video of Khalife's talk:
Article by Nour Al-Ali. Nour is an English Literature and Mass Communication double major junior at the American University of Sharjah.
For more information about American University of Sharjah, please visit www.aus.edu