Messages of solidarity in multilingual songs

Led by award-winning literary translator Katherine Halls

How are religion, race and language connected? The rich cultures of the Middle East and North Africa show us that these familiar concepts might be more complicated than we think. Students will get a glimpse of the region’s linguistic diversity by learning words from three languages, then put them into action to understand and translate two trailblazing popular songs from this century and the last. These multilingual, intertextual song lyrics are deeply embedded in the histories of Arab-Jewish coexistence. Students will consider the challenges of conveying this complexity in English, as well as reflecting on the questions of identity and solidarity so powerfully raised by this music.

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