My lovely, my lovely [Habibi, habibi]

Writing this song was an experience of language exchange. Sarah had written a line from a poem by a refugee student in the UK: I know what it is to be in between. It was very challenging to try to explain this concept. Sarah had asked a resident who spoke Arabic if he could help us to translate the phrase into Arabic. We tried using words and gesticulations, as well as even placing our bodies beside one another to the person “between” in the middle. It turned out that this concept, like many, did not translate all that well from English to Arabic. We needed to add the word “places” to provide context.

To read more about the writing of this song, visit Guiding Song: My lovely, My lovely

This recording offers glimpses into the writing of the song. I spent a lot of time learning how to pronounce the Arabic words, which were very challenging to pronounce correctly: