Hussein Al-Mundhir: A revolutionary voice for Palestine dies

Hussein Al-Mundhir: A revolutionary voice for Palestine dies
The celebrated Lebanese artist Hussein Al-Mundhir, known for his dedication to the Palestinian cause, passed away on Sunday.
2 min read
20 September, 2023
Al-Mundhir died in Damascus following a lifetime of campaigning for Palestine through music [Getty]

Hussein Al-Mundhir, a famed Lebanese singer known for his revolutionary and patriotic songs about Palestine, has died leaving behind a rich musical legacy.

Al-Mundhir was the lead singer of Al-Ashiqin, a band formed in 1978 and renowned for their revolutionary and traditional ballads praising the Palestinian cause.

He died at Hisham Sinan Hospital in the Syrian capital, Damascus, following health complications.

Born in the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbek, Al-Mundhir was known for his passion for speaking about the Palestinian cause, including through music. 

He and his band recorded over 300 patriotic songs about Palestine including "Ishhad Ya Aalam Alaina wa Beirut", "Min Sijn Akka Tal'at Janaaza", and "Habat Al-Nar".

The music included the words of some of Palestine's most distinguished poets including Ahmad Dahbour, Mahmoud Darwish, Tawfiq Zayyad, and Samih Al-Qasim.

Al-Mundhir performed in Ramallah's Cultural Palace with Al-Ashiqin in November 2010, an event he described as a "dream".

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Al-Ashiqin grew in prominence during the Lebanese Civil War and was viewed as promoting Palestinian revolutionary work.

The band went on a hiatus in the early 1990s due to events in Lebanon, the Gulf War, and the Oslo Accords. They made a comeback in 2009, playing at theatres across the Arab world.

Their latest track, "Bullet of Dignity", was released several months before Al-Mundhir's death.

In 2018, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas honoured Al-Mundhir - known as Abu Ali - with the Culture, Science, and Arts "Innovation Level" medal for a lifetime of contributions to the Palestinian cultural scene.

After his death, Abbas mourned the artist's passing, highlighting his work for Palestine.

"Palestine lost a loyal son, who dedicated his life to serve the Palestinian revolution. His artistic journey will remain immortal in our national collective consciousness," he said.

The Fatah movement also paid tribute to Al-Mundhir, emphasising his continued commitment to the Palestinian cause and his unmatched ability to voice the concerns, struggles, and heroics of the Palestinian people.