As a child,
Palestinian Hannie was thrown in jail for petty theft. There
he passed his time making music before escaping to make a
new life with Behouin tribes in the Sinai Desert.
I came to this music
was born in Nazareth. I was in prison when I was eight-and-a-half,
nine years old for stealing an apple or something. We learned
to pick up the drums, to pick up instruments, to pick up everything.
But it was very hard for us. All the time I thought about
the hard way and the sweet way and I used to fit them to each
other and sing it. I was in prison for three years and they
wanted to keep me for more so I ran away.
went to the tribe and that's where I learned my music. I spent
my youth in the Sinai Desert and I picked up lots of drumming
beats from North Africa, East Africa, West Africa and Egyptian
rhythms - Nubian music. With the tribe, I learned the rhythm
of the camels, fire sounds, echos, bird sounds. Anything to
do with skin is a drum. I was brought up to play bongo and
tom tom which is a Moroccan drum. It's a double drum. Myself,
I used to do my own instruments from plastics and tied it
up to make it as a drum. My singing, it's like an instrument.
If people don't understand what I'm singing, they will understand
the melody and if they don't understand the melody, they will
understand the rhythms. What I'm doing doesn't exist anywhere
else. I call it desert techno because I carry it from the
tribe to the techno."
"I played with a few bands
in Palestine but it collapsed because of politics then I left
for Holland. In Holland I went out with a girl who was a salsa
dancer and was playing with Brazalian bands and Cuban bands.
I mixed my rhythms what I picked up from the tribes and I
make music with it - I played Brazilian Arabia music. I've
been in England for 19 years. Here I play at festivals. All
the band are from Leicester. We normally have percussion and
tabla, a rapper, sitar and flute and a belly dancer."
"The song we recorded is called
Ya Munira - The Bride. It's an Arabic love song about a girl.
I loved the girl and her family didn't agree with me to take
her you see and I end up in lots of hassle. But I don't want
to make trouble for her and her family so I travel to a different
country and I went across the sea. I still loved the girl
but I couldn't have her because I was very poor. I had to
make myself worthwhile. The love was still there - it's the
family refusing. But in the end we get married. It's happened
to me, that's why I sing this song."