- Posted March 30, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What's next for Libya?
Libyan Rap Fuels Rebellion
First there were the critics of the Dictator Moammar Gaddafi, and then came the protesters and rebels. Among Libya Moammar Gaddafi’s early critics was the rap musician Ibn Thabit.
His rap songs, which were immediately critical of the dictatorship of Gaddafi, first appeared in 2008, when he posted a song called "Moammar – The Coward"on the Internet.
[Links to all songs mentioned are below.]
While his rap songs are signature Ibn Thabit in voice, which is versatile for rap and melody; lyric; and spirit, his identity remains anonymous for the protection of his family.
He is playful too. His song "العقيد الفاسق / Al'Aqeed al Faseeq / The Unbeliever who Leads People Astray", which is posted to YouTube, begins with a David Letterman clip which makes fun of Gaddafi for being a dictator for over 40 years, before Ibn Thabit rips into a long criticism of Gaddafi’s role in Libya set to Ibn Thabit's engaging music.
Ibn Thabit may be an anonymous Libyan from Tarhunah who posts his music on the Internet, but he is the voice of his people’s Revolution.
He sings for all Libyan peoples and recognizes his people’s diversity through his songs. After Ibn Thabit posted "Libya Hiya / Libya is ... ," which is a loving anthem to his people, he announced on Facebook that he was the first Libyan rapper to sing in "Amazigh" which is a North African Berber language.
One fan on Facebook wrote, "Keep it up Ibn Thabit. Your songs are fuel that energizes us and keeps us going, and reminders that we are on the right side of history."
A Tunisian resident of Second Life, Snipermdab Avro, 19, doesn’t normally listen to rap music. But as a fan of industrial music, he has been drawn to rap’s social message since the Arab Freedom Revolutions began in his country.
First, he listened to the music of El General, the Tunisian rap artist Hamada Ben Amor, who challenged Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in his song “Raïs el Bled / To the President of the Country” before the people there revolted.
Now Avro says he is also attracted to the music of Ibn Thabit. “First, he doesn’t tell lies,” Avro said with a big smile. “And he also doesn't speak for his own purpose. So he's good! When it comes to songs about social messages like this, I listen.”
For Avro this type of music serves the same purpose as the music soldiers listen to before battle. It feeds the soul.
On March 23, Ibn Thabit asked fans to submit names of Martyrs that they would like mentioned in his next song.
In his YouTube video, he makes reference to the many anonymous Libyans who died for their people’s freedom. Among the well known, Mohamed Nabous of Libya Al Hurra TV is shown prominently as a martyr. The journalist Nabous was killed by a sniper on Mar 19, 2011.
One fan, Anas Al-Dallal left a message on Ibn Thabit's Facebook page about the martyrdom of his cousin Ahmed Al-Dallal. (A link about his story is included at the end of this article.)
Music and Lyrics by Ibn Thabit
Lyrics translated by aimenessa10
May God accept our martyrs,
May God give victory to our country,
Libyans are known,
As the martyrs' grandsons,
But after what we witnessed
All say... martyrs' country, the martyrs' blood,
You saw on the screens...
Our youth standing in the face of automatic guns,
Without fear, although death is sure,
Each one of them wants to die Shaheed,
Not only to take revenge on the criminal Colonel,
But they also see the happy martyrs,
Subhan Allah, God gives martyrdom, to ever God wishes,
And gives patience & endurance to people,
Our country is full of heroes,
And our sons' blood is not cheap,
So many tears have been shed,
And plenty of blood has been spilled,
Congratulate the mothers,
Your sons are Shuhada,
I offer my condolence & congratulation, with the words I have,
Those who were martyred,
Don't call them dead,
They are asleep, the victims are smiling,
For us who are left behind,
God help us, and God's aid we seek,
The Lord will respond,
Patience, I swear is beautiful,
The proof is here, in sticking together,
Because our people are one, our blood as one,
If one of us drops, we all grieve, we link hands, our blood as one,
We stand together, in rows, against our enemy,
A mad one,
Not a human,
What do you call him?
PARDON ME... I spit in the faces of, those who cheer for him,
A true Libyan would never do, what was done,
To his own people,
This blood, is sacred as the Ka'aba,
I'm not gonna say anymore, about,
The STUPID TYRANT.
Only to say, that,
The glory only comes from the GLORIOUS,
O' Allah, we seek your aid for help.
Us Libyans are, your worshippers,
With six million Sajdah,
We seek of you,
The mercy for the martyrs,
We seek of you,
Harmony & togetherness for our country,
So many tears had been shed,
And plenty of blood has been spilled.
Fans leave him messages about the impact his music is having on them:
One said this on ibn Thabit’s website: "For 42 years political music was banned....it's about time we can express our feelings. Feels good to no longer fear him. Thank you Ibn Thabit."
An Algerian fan wrote, "un hero parmi les heros, lah irahmo et le peuple algérien est solidaire avec la Libye." / "a hero among heroes, lah irahmo and the Algerian people's solidarity with Libya."
On Facebook "Libyan Lioness" wrote, "I like how you're pushing the envelope musically speaking. Also interesting thing you did it around 1:05 a.m. with the rapping in Zuwari. I like it :)"
Another fan wrote: "Ibn Thabit you are a master of your craft brother. I don’t want jock you too much, but you really are a master of words."
IbnThabit provides his fans with at least three different ways to hear his music. Fans can go to his main artist’s website, download his music for free and donate to the effort, view posted videos, and post a message. Fans can also go to his two YouTube video channels (search "Ibn Thabit"). IbnThabit is also on Twitter and Facebook. From those, he reports his daily progress on recording his music.
Image: Ibn Thabit's logo
Artist’s Website: http://ibnthabit.net/
IbnThabitMedia on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ibnthabitmedia
Ibn Thabit’s Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ibnThabit
Songs:"Libya Hiya / Libya is ..." on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Axcbkzx2kIA
"Martyrs" on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_MHalNiTHQ&feature=related
العقيد الفاسق / Al'Aqeed al Faseeq/ The Unbeliever who Leads People Astray" on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcA-yk7uiJY&feature=channel_video_title
Nadia Lane, "Ahmed's Story of Martyrdom," CNN i-Report, April 2, 2011. <URL: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-583801 >
Nadia Lane, "A Tunisian Rap Song that Changed the World!" CNN i-Report, Jan. 17, 2011 <URL: