Music and lyrics: Shadi Zaqtan
Video: Yazid Abu Laban
Voice: Randy Abbasi

Shadi Zaqtan is a pioneering Palestinian musician renowned for his unique blend of traditional blues with Arabic tones and lyrics, crafting what is now recognized as the Palestinian blues genre. As a guitarist, composer, singer, and songwriter, Zaqtan’s work poignantly captures the socio-economic realities and the everyday life of Palestinians, channeling his experiences and cultural heritage into his music. His innovative approach not only enriches the Palestinian musical landscape but also serves as a powerful form of artistic expression that voices the struggles and resilience of his people. Through his melodies and lyrics, Zaqtan continues to inspire and influence both local and international audiences, bridging cultural gaps and bringing attention to the nuanced experiences of Palestinians.

Connect with Shadi as part of the 21-days of events for the film Where Olive Trees Weep

Like The Little Stream

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A Wave-Particle Certainty Principle

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The sun rises in merciless contemplation / Silvering a still-sleeping Mediterranean Sea

Rumi’s Desert

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A new take and translation on the classic poem by Rumi


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At first the gods pitied the tortoise, known in Yoruba folklore as ‘Ijapa’, when he rudely declared before their divine council that he could know ‘everything’ there was to know about the world

Shrapnel Looking For Laughter

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Magic Died When Art and Science Split

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Renée Bergland’s 3 greatest revelations while writing Natural Magic: Emily Dickinson, Charles Darwin, and the Dawn of Modern Science

A Female Cry

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A poem from imprisoned Palestinian poet


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Last night I dreamed / ten thousand grandmothers / from the twelve hundred corners of /the earth walked out into the gap

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