Still from official video (courtesy of Mashrou’ Leila official YouTube channel)
CAIRO - 20 July 2017: Renowned Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila released a new feminist song demanding equality and solidarity called ‘Romans’ on July 18.
“I don't intend to swallow your lies; the words would sting my throat. I won’t dissect your intentions; leave your tongue in its cage. You can keep the time I gave you; strangle what self I was for you, but before you lay me to rest, tell me what cost I came at,” the band sings as women in the video dance freely refusing oppression.
The video depicts the strength of a coalition of Arab and Muslim women with various ethnic backgrounds who challenge how they are viewed in western media as weak victims.
“Worms sculpt my body now. The earth cradles my skin. Why'd you sell me to the Romans? Worms sculpt my body now. The earth cradles my skin. How'd I lose you to the Romans? Why'd you sell me to the Romans? How'd I lose you to the Romans?” the lyrics read.
Directed by Jessy Mousallem and choreographed by Tuixen Benet, the video seeks to relapse the position of the male musicians of the band as the heroes of the scene by subjecting them to the female gaze of the director and representing them as individuals who take the backseat as the women-led coalition moves forward, according to the band’s official YouTube page.
Written by band leader Hamed Sinno, the lyrics portrays betrayals, struggles and conflict. The word ‘Aleihm’ (Charge) that is mentioned repetitively in the middle of the lyrics, is meant to tackle oppression as a motive for women to formulate resistance as their sole weapon.