Censored Sounds: Abazar Hamid

by    /  June 29, 2016  / No comments

Sudanese musician Abazar Hamid. Image courtesy of the artist.

Sudanese musician Abazar Hamid. Image courtesy of the artist.

In Sudan, Abazar Hamid‘s songs spread messages of peace and unity at the risk of persecution and censorship. In 2007, his protest songs were banned from the radio under Sudan’s censorship laws. In Darfur, he encountered the Hakamat, women who accompanied Janjaweed militia on their plundering and sang war songs praising bravery and racial superiority to inspire men to fight. Working with the aid organization Care International, Hamid met with the women, listened to their songs, and recognized underlying folk traditions from both Arabic and African backgrounds. He proposed rehearsing with the women, using their African beats but changing the lyrics to his own. They agreed but rehearsals never had a chance to begin. Soon after the meeting, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant against Sudanese president Omar Hassan al-Bashir. Care International and 13 other aid organizations were expelled from the country and aid workers faced retaliation. Hamid had to leave the country — first spending six years in Cairo, where he continued to risk censorship and persecution, before finally arriving in Norway in 2014.

Sampsonia Way presents three of Hamid’s songs, representing his message of hope and peace. Abazar Hamid is the ICORN musician-in-residence of the Harstad City of Refuge in Norway.

Hello Juba


The North is not the limit
The sky is not the limit
And that what you proved it
You kept on going
You kept on trying
So freedom
You deserve it
Hello Juba
Hello Juba

The lesson is learned
You inspired the world
Keep on going
Keep on trying
Freedom you’ll get it
Hello Juba
Hello Juba

We’re brothers
How could be separated
We’ll keep going
We’ll keep on trying
‘Til freedom will share it
Hello Juba
Hello Juba

Nile Avenue



حبيبى عينو شارع النيل
من الكوبرى للجامعه…وايامو الديمه جامعه
للناس
من كل لون وأجناس
والحب جميل احساس يجمعنا بيهو النيل
بلقاو هناك بلقاهو
وتمشى فيهو معاهو
ولى تؤتى بنعدى
النسيم يجيب ويودى
واشواقى كل ما أقول بريدك
ألقى شوقى قليل

Syrian Dream


E SKABA JA DU MÅ ELAJIN
E SKABA
A LASJ SHO HA DA
SORIA SHABABA
SORIA SHABABA

The Syrian dream went into a nightmare
When they said it’s not fair
They get bombs
in Daraa and in Hums
They get bombs
everyday and everywhere

E SKABA JA DU MÅ ELAJIN
E SKABA
A LASJ SHO HA DA
SORIA SHABABA
SORIA SHABABA

And some extremes
With their swords
Came to steal Syrian dreams
Who cares? No one cares
A man came and lied
Another came and fled
The third came and said
Here is Geneva
Where talks for ever
But peace wasn’t there

E SKABA JA DU MÅ ELAJIN
E SKABA
A LASJ SHO HA DA
SORIA SHABABA
SORIA SHABABA

Some sacrificed
The rest survived
And they denied
It’s a genocide
To stop the Syrian dream
But dreams come true
Freedom dream
Freedom dream

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

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