Written and recorded by Esther Sparks. www.esthersparks.com
When I was 19 I spent a summer in the Middle East. It was the most incredible time; I saw the pyramids, sailed on the Nile, snorkeled in the Red Sea, saw Beirut and the cedars of Lebanon, looked across the river Jordan to Jericho in the distance. I only wish I had been older, I would have appreciated it all so much more!
My most distinct memory of those countries was the wonderful people. The friends I made. Open, loving, always laughing. Ridiculously good at staying awake all night eating, singing, dancing ... and laughing! Just such good, honest, friendly folk who were so kind to me. I wanted to stay there forever.
I wrote this song Al Jazeera TV a few weeks ago in tribute to the beautiful, ordinary folk of the Middle East as they struggle against political injustice in some countries, exile from home in others, and in the worst cases: unthinkable violence.
After I wrote and recorded the song I found this wonderful footage of an Egyptian girl dancing at a family party and it just happened to be in perfect time to my song. I just love her beauty and down-to-earth loveliness! And what a dancer. She's amazing.
Here's to the mothers and father, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters of the Middle East. Here's to safety for families, an end to violence and a hope for peace.