غُرْبَة – Take me home

غُرْبَة – Take me home

غُرْبَة / تَغَرُّب

Pronounced ghorba/ tagharob 

Emigration; leaving one’s country to live abroad; estrangement; loneliness; being far away from one’s country

غُرْبَة: وَحْشَة

alienation; desolation ; dreariness ; estrangement ; forlornness ; loneliness

With a history of emigration due to various reasons, political instability being the most frequent one, the people who left their Middle Eastern homes could all relate in one way: we felt غربة (pronounced ghorba).

I’m sure this applies to anyone who’s had to face similar situations though, not just Arabs, especially the first generation of immigrants.

Arabic music largely focuses on the feeling of estrangement and loneliness one gets once he leaves his home country. Not entirely of course, but it’s a much more common theme in our music and poetry. The dull ache in their hearts for their families, the good old times when things were alright. Artists describe the unique pain of immigration and the loss their people feel, and as sad as it sounds, if provided us with something in common. We connected to this feeling. Anyone who has left their country for another and still held to his roots can connect to it.

Sometimes the lyrics describe the breeze over on a mountain in Beirut, or the crisp spring air in Baghdad, or the laughter heard in a market in Palestine. Others, the love and longing for their country shining through even when describing a loved one.

“حضنك حضن بغداد”

Your embrace, as though it’s that of Baghdad’s.

It sounds patriotic, but the way I’d describe it is literal longing for home. It’s pure love towards it more than pride. And this goes on for years, so long as the people aren’t home. No matter how far, how comfortable, there’s that glimmer of hope that we’ll one day return, and so will the good old days. And maybe we won’t be plagued by this deep sadness for what was or what could be. 

Maybe one day that feeling of غربة will leave us all.



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