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An arrangement of two songs which I recorded from a group of Palestinian refugee women, originally from the village of Sha’ab near Acre. The title song is sung at weddings; it is normally performed by the groom’s family as they approach the bride’s home. Once the groom’s party arrives, the women inside the house begin dabke dancing, before the bride is taken away by her future in–laws. This symbolises the start of her married life.

I learnt additional verses of the second song, ‘Aamaan Aamaan’, from a young man from my father’s hometown, Ya’abad, near Jenin. Most probably, these lines date from Ottoman times; it is believed that they were performed when the Sultan issued an edict. The song has since been performed at weddings in order to announce the ‘sealing’ of the marriage deal, with all the implied authority of the Sultan.


Let us in! Let us in!
Our loved ones, don’t you go upsetting us
Our tradition is to dress in finery
Our tradition is to marry well
Our generosity is unsurpassed!

We’ve received an edict from the Sultan, Aamaan Aamaan…
He who gives us his daughter’s hand in marriage,
Shall be made leader of all the Arab tribes, Aamaan Aamaan...
And he who doesn’t give us his daughter’s hand,
Shall be made to clean up after our cattle, Aamaan Aamaan...
Let us in! Let us in!
Aamaan Aamaan!


from Reem Kelani: Live at the Tabernacle, released March 11, 2016
Traditional Palestinian. Collated & arranged by: Reem Kelani (MCPS)

Reem Kelani - vocals, clapping, dabke dancing
Bruno Heinen - clapping
Tamer Abu Ghazaleh - clapping
Ryan Trebilcock - clapping
Antonio Fusco - clapping



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Reem Kelani London, UK

Reem Kelani is a Palestinian musician born in Britain & brought up in Kuwait. Her debut album “Sprinting Gazelle: Palestinian songs from the Motherland and the Diaspora” was released in 2006 to critical acclaim. Her next album "Reem Kelani: Live at the Tabernacle" will be released in March 2016. Reem wrote & presented “Songs for Tahrir” for BBC Radio 4 on the music of the Egyptian Revolution. ... more

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