“Fida’i” was declared the anthem of Palestinians by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (an organization charged with the governance of Arab Palestinians) in 1972, in advance of their 1988 declaration of independence. The anthem, also known as the “Anthem of the Intifada” (or “Anthem of the Palestinian Revolution”) was written by Said Al Muzayin (also known as Fata Al Thawra (“The Rebel Boy”)), and its music was composed by Egyptian maestro Ali Ismael. While being the official national anthem for use in the areas currently controlled by the Palestinian government, “Mawtini” is considered an “unofficial Palestinian anthem”, popular with many Palestinians, and was considered the Palestinian anthem before “Fida’i” was adopted.

The word “فدائي” (fida’i), in addition to being the anthem’s title, appears several times in the anthem as well. The term is difficult to express in a single word or two in English; it refers to a man (the feminine form is “fida’iya”, plural is “fida’iyeen”) who is willing to sacrifice his life. The object that he will sacrifice to can be anything, his lover, tribe, religion, etc., but in the modern sense it is usually meant as a sacrifice to your country. It has been translated various ways in the anthem, depending on context, the terms “sacrificer”, “resistor”, “freedom fighter” or “revolutionary” could all express the intended meaning to an extent.

Special thanks to: Firas Al-Taher for some of the information about this anthem as well as the Romanized Arabic lyrics.

See also: Iraq