Music and harraga. Another song. This time from Tunisia. The track is from 2010 and is sung by Samir Balti and Loussif. Balti, 29, is one of the strongest rappers on the Tunisian music scene. While Samir Loussif is a folk singer, particularly of mezoued music. From their collaboration came ‘Mchaou’, which means: ‘They've left’. The young men have left. The young men of Tunis. But not the children of the bourgeoisie and the middle class. Rather, the young people who ‘grew up in the working-class neighbourhoods’. Those who studied in these neighbourhoods, who got drunk there, and who had soon had enough with unemployment and poverty. Until ‘they saw friends of a lifetime return from Italy’. And they decided to ‘gamble it all’ too to become a ‘harqa’. Because burning the border is the only ‘solution’ to ‘fill their pockets’ and ‘make their mothers happy’. The same mothers who are now ‘waiting for them on the doorstep’. The same mothers who are ‘scared’ after seeing the news footage of the young men who have died at sea. ‘Too young to die’. And so you have it, the ‘deception’ of Europe. Which ‘makes you rich but you cannot buy life’. And so the myth of adventure and redemption gives way to tears. The tears of mothers who ‘cry thinking that her child has returned’ and fathers who ‘look for their children in hospitals and prisons’. Because ‘the sea takes you where you want to go, but the wave is a liar.’ It either takes you where you want or it takes you to the grave’. Lyrics such as this could not be more relevant. Because the most tragic year for the youth of Tunisia was 2011, when hundreds of young men lost their lives attempting to cross the Strait of Sicily to reach Europe. And so, in the name of their memory, enjoy the music. And enjoy the reading, because below you will find the English translation of the Arabic text. We want to put these notes and these words in circulation, so that they may let us help over 1,000 statistics understand the greater aspirations of youth in our beloved Mediterranean.
- Samir Loussif: Hezzit 3ini lisme ou bkit
- Balti: Illi bekkew il3in w tha3ou bin lamwej
- S.L. Medit idi el 5al9i ou mouleye, laou5atini ye dhnaia kif mchit
-B. Illi f9idnehoum mchaou meghir rjou3
- S.L. 7alitni madhmoum ou ketem deia , ye dhnaia golli fanna barr mchit
-B. Lemmima bkett w tgoul wlidi jech
- S.L. Farra7li gelbi ou metjinich
-B. Illi tsawirhoum thikrayet meghir dmou3...
- S.L. Min ghir enti hayeti matsewich.
- Balti: Mchaou 7arr9in b3add,
b3add 3al bou wel oum.
Mchaou rekbin fou9 flouka wel mouj sdoum.
M3a koul mouja il 9alib ydou9
wel 3inin tithlem,
mellouta b5ar w men fou9 s5abb wellil thlem.
5allew wrahoum 9loub ma7rou9a
w ness mefible2ech.
Elloum met5ayra 3la yousill lelbar weldha kle wella meklech,
mefiblhech illi weldha ilyoum bin le7ye wel moutt,
ama yeslik yousill lelbar wella yeklou il 7outt
7ouma w dar 9a3dou tsawir 9a3dou thikrayett.
Illi wsil b3ath le7wtou welli met.
Ba3ou rwe7houm ber5iss
w belghali ilmout chrew.
ghoussa fil 9alib chebeb 3la rwe7houm jneou.
Il oum met7ayra
wel bou ylawwij 3la wledou
win dar il7ouma w sbitaratt w bin il mesjin. Mefibelouch weldou ilyoum rekib fou9 lemwejj. Chaba3 btala w fa9er melli 5raj mel collège.
Fi 7wem cha3beya trabbew,
ghadi kibrou w 9raw, ghadi sikrou w s5aw,
ghadi mourthou w braw,
ghadika chefou wled 7oumtou habtou mettalyen:
illi rawwa7 expulsé welli rawa7 melyen.
7abb yjarrib 7athou,
7abb yjib kif mejebou,
7abb yfarra7 oummou,
7abb y3abbi jyebou.
Fibelou il 7arr9a 7all
w 3la 5atir2a koullou y2oun
itha wsill selemett istennew telifoun.
- Samir Loussif: Hezzit 5ini lisme ou bkit,
meddit idi l7al9i ou moulaia,
laou5atini ye dhnaia kif mchit,
5allitni madhmoum ou ketem deia.
Ye dhnaia golli fanna barr mchit
farra7li gelbi ou metjinich
min ghir enti hayeti matsewich.
- Balti: Omok testanna fik lyoum 9oddem beb dar.
Tfaja3at ki chefet har9in metou fi la7bar:
"Za3ma weldi meli metou wele meli njeou?"
9addech min dam3a 2abtet
ma3a koul eroue5 mchaou?
Barcha stress, barcha dmou3 habtou, barcha 3adheb!
Lb7ar waslik win t7abb ama el mouj keddheb.
Ama iwaslek win t7abb wele lil l9bar
welle 5abrek sa7bi wele meiouselchi 5bar.
T7abb teksi omok min l'europe
ou l'europe tghor.
Leuro yeghnik ama 5sara meiesrich lo3mor.
Lemmit flousek bilelef bich techri bha el mout. Mentesawerchi tardha tebki 3alik ness eli 7abbouk. Barcha wouslou,
ama mchaou meghir rjou3.
Elli ousel farra7 el oum
ou eli met meoselchi 5alla dmou3.
Tlawej 3al luxe,
t7abb tfarra7 ommok ou teksi lo5aien,
ama chey me2ou m9adder chey me2ou madhmoun.
B7ar bla3 ness ou fleiek
kima bla3 far3oun.
Ghodwa tahrra9 ama za3ma t5ot sa9ik fil bar
wele temchi fi neza ama li2 7out lb7ar.
Tsawwer bou tsawwer ommok sam7ou bil la5bar, tsawwer 3andek ouled mechi fi la5tar,
tawa t7ass bih kima weldik 7assou bik.
La7ye ou lmout fi ied rabbi
ou enti ro7ek bin inidih
- Samir Loussif: Kedhebt el koul el a5keou 3alik, gellou: "Dhneie dha3 bin lemwej".
Nefdik rou7i ou 3omri el koul lik
ou ken 7ad igoulli: "Ouldek jei".
Nsabbar fi ro7i ngoul "Inchallah i3oud".
7atta welleou mebinetne l7doud,
marrat gelbi toub fi la3dheb.
-Balti: Mchaou b3id lila5tar.
Mchaou ta7thom leb7ar ou min fou9 sme ou lardh
Houma mchaou win lmouj 5tar mchaou,
win lmout a7dhar,
mchaou win tense la7bar.
Mchaou mizelou ouled sghar,
mchaou fi flouka fil lab7ar,
mchaou win we9fat la3mar,
mchaou win el7out kle
mchaou win el oum bket
win famma el mout ou la7ye.
- Samir Loussif: I looked up to heaven and cried
- Balti: Those who made us cry are lost in the waves
- S.L. I reached out to my Creator and Lord, you pained me the way you left,
-B. We have lost them, they’ve left without returning
- S.L. You left me to suffer, my dear, tell me in which faraway place you’ve gone?
-B. The mother cries, thinking that the child has returned
- S.L. Make my heart happy, no need to return
-B. Imagine memories without tears
- S.L. Without you my life has no meaning.
- Balti: They went far away,
away from father and mother.
They left in a boat tossed by the waves
And with each wave my heart beats
and I am blinded,
with the sea underneath me and above the clouds and the dark night.
They’ve left behind broken hearts
and people have no news.
A mother worries if her child has eaten or not,
and does not know her son is now between life and death,
if he has touched the ground or if he’ll be eaten by fish.
The neighbourhood and the house are only photos and memories
There are those who have sent something back to their brothers and there are those who have died. They sold themselves for little and bought death at a high price.
She clutches her heart for the young people who are gone forever and have sacrificed themselves.
The mother worries
and the father looks for his children
in the neighbourhoods and the hospitals and the prisons.
He does not know his son is now carried by the waves,
Of unemployment and poverty he has had his fill since he left the school.
They were educated in the working-class neighbourhoods,
there they grew up, studied, got drunk,
there they fell ill and were treated,
and there they saw their neighbourhood friends return from Italy:
those who returned after being expelled those who returned full (of money).
They want to try their luck,
they want to bring back what others have brought back,
they want to make their mothers happy,
they want to line their pockets.
they’re convinced that harqua is the solution, they gamble everything and if they arrive, just wait for a phone call
- Samir Loussif: I looked up to heaven and cried,
I stretched out my hand to my lord creator,
you have hurt me my friend, the way you left,
you left me suffering, hiding my pain.
My dear, tell me in where you’ve gone?
Make my heart happy, no need to return
without you my life has no meaning.
- Balti: Your mother is waiting for you at the front door.
Since she saw the harraga dead on the news, she is afraid:
"Will my son will be among the dead or the survivors?"
How many tears have been shed
for every soul that has gone?
Too much stress, too many tears, too much suffering!
The sea takes you where you want but the wave lies.
It either takes you where you want or it takes you to the grave,
It either brings news of you or it doesn’t.
You want to dress your mother from Europe but Europe is misleading.
The Euro makes you rich but it cannot buy a life.
You gathered money from thousands to buy yourself death.
I do not think you'll be happy seeing those who loved you cry.
Many have arrived,
but others have left without returning.
Those who have arrived made their mothers happy but those who did not only brought tears.
You’re looking for luxury,
you want to make your mother happy and dress your brothers,
but nothing can change what you have written.
The sea has swallowed boats and people
the way it swallowed the Pharaoh.
Tomorrow you’re leaving but who knows if you will set foot on the ground
or if you’ll be in a funeral or food for the fish. Imagine that your parents learn of the news,
imagine you have a child that goes towards danger, and you will know what your parents feel.
Life and death are in the hands of God
and in his hands lies your soul too.
Samir Loussif: I contradicted those who spoke to me of you
saying: ‘Your son is lost in the waves’.
I would sacrifice my life for you
if only someone would tell me: ‘Your son is coming’.
I wait patiently and I say to myself ‘Inshallah he will return’.
Although between us there are borders,
sometimes my heart is full of suffering.
Balti-: They've gone away, in danger.
They left us with the sea below and sky and rain above.
They've gone where the wave decided they would go,
where death is present,
they went where news is lost.
They left when they were still young,
they left on a boat in the sea
they left where their lives stopped,
they went where they fish feed,
they went where mothers weep,
where life and death are found.