Music brings people together. It has the power to connect us, inspire us and allow us to express ourselves.
Calderdale is full of incredible musicians, and this Refugee Week 2020 we are delighted to share some of their talents with you.
Hind and the Jafa Cakes
This band was brought together by St Augustine’s Centre and is made up of volunteers, staff and centre users who are united by their passion for song.
In this video, Hind Merhi from Lebanon is singing with Hossein Sajedi from Iran and Nikki Clarke from Halifax. Saman Salehi, a Kurd from Iran, is playing the setar. The song is called Ben Chalabayit in Arabic. Worthy of note is that when Hind first introduced this Arabic song to the group, the Iranians immediately claimed it as an original Persian song, but all was amicably resolved by the simple expedient of singing one verse in Arabic, and one in Farsi! This was recorded shortly before lockdown, one of the last occasions that the band were able to meet properly.
In this clip Amir, a professional classical Iranian singer from Iran, practices classical Persian singing while teaching himself woodcarving. Amir is separated from his wife and children in Iran, something that causes immense distress and suffering, which he seeks to cope with by occupying himself as fully as he can while he waits for the virus to calm down to be reunited with his family. The woodcarving he has painstakingly produced is breathtakingly beautiful and in carving he invokes the spirit and words of the great Iranian poet Hafez, who lauded the joys of love and wine, and who detested religious hypocrisy as far back as the 14th century.
In this audio clip, Saman pours his grief about being separated for so long from his family into the song played on a Persian setar. Saman, a Kurd from Iran, recorded this on his phone.