Shlama | Bakhdida

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World: Middle East Contemporary World: Australian Moods: Type: Acoustic
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by Shlama

From Melbourne, Australia and for the people of Bakhdida - who fled invasion in 2014 and have sought refuge around the world, this song is a reminder of the gifts of peace and collaboration.
Genre: World: Middle East Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Bakhdida
4:56 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Bakhdida is an ancient city in Northern Iraq, near the more well-known Mosul. It was home to a 50,000 strong mostly indigenous Syriac population whose ancestors date back thousands of years in the same location. In 2014 it was invaded by ISIS, the city fell and the inhabitants fled. At the time of this single's release, several thousand of the refugees had settled in Melbourne, and many thousands more around Australia. Others are in North America and Western Europe. Many hadn't made it out of neighbouring Middle Eastern countries like Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. More still were in Iraqi Kurdistan. Many families were unable to escape together and have ended up in various parts of the world, still separated. The natives of Bakhdida have been routinely persecuted and lament the loss of their city - which for years lay desolate and destroyed before, in 2017 it was beginning to be rebuilt after liberation. The Bakhdida project is a gift to their diaspora and an opportunity to connect with their wonderful music and culture. It is a demonstration of the gifts of peace and collaboration.

Produced by Tony Pain

"Bakhdida" (Tammouz, Salvador, Pain, Babawey, Gagi)
Assyrian Lyrics by Alaa Tammouz based on a poem by Kamel Gagi
Translation by Catherine Sami
English version by Lorraine Salvador
Arranged by Tony Pain and Muayad Babawey

Performed by:

Alaa Tammouz - Voice
Lorraine Salvador - Voice
Ernie Gruner - Violin
Muayad Babawey - Bass guitar
Tony Pain - Guitar
Ariel Valent - Percussion
Simon Lewis - Djembe

Recorded live at Bakehouse Studios, Melbourne, Australia.

Audio Production - Melbourne Polytechnic

Michael Costa - Engineer
Ben Klein - Assistant
Alison Smith - Assistant
Aidan Ryan - Assistant


Josh Waddell - Far Flung Films

We wish to thank the following for their generous support:

Jesse Roberts from Melbourne Polytechnic, Quincy McLean and Helen Marcou from Bakehouse Studios.

A Word From the Producer:

I met two men from Bakhdida recently, Alaa and Muayad, initially thinking I could help them with some opportunities in the local music performance scene. Alaa showed us a song he'd written, a lament for their lost city and the scattering of their people - in Assyriac, their native tongue. It became obvious to me that this song was the most meaningful thing that we could collaborate on. I offered to support the production of a video clip and take it through to promotion and performance, with the aim of gifting it to the diaspora of Bakhdida people - to show them that their culture is not dead. that music can tell their story, connect their grieving people and show there is real hope in a future creative life in Australia through collaborations such as this.

It didn't take much to assemble a strong team. Josh Waddell (Far Flung Films and an excellent musician himself) has a keen interest in social justice and has produced the video. Melbourne Polytechnic, who are the principal providers of English Language training to recent immigrants in Melbourne, have provided an audio team. A brilliant singer, Lorraine Salvador, has compiled an English version of the lyrics; and with Muayad, I have developed an Assyriac/English version supported by professional musicians on hand drum, percussion and violin.

Alaa and Muayad know how important this project will be for the people of Bakhdida, in Melbourne and abroad. This is a compelling story and the interest that Melbournians have shown in this project has been heart-warming. People the world over are demonstrating their genuine care for the plight of refugees and this project gives us all an opportunity to see how deeply we can benefit from meaningful collaborations such as this.



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