|Syrian American hip-hop artist Omar Offendum performs at a concert venue in Beirut, Lebanon.|
The music video to the song #SYRIA
opens up with 400,000 demonstrators flooding the streets in the largest-ever protest against Syrian ruler Bashar Al-Assad
in early July, 2011, just a few months after the revolution's outbreak. The masses chant, "al-shaab yureed isqat al-nitham," which translates to "the people want the regime to collapse." That slogan, coined in Tunisia, now echoes in protests across the rest of the Arab world, such as Syria. The chant turns into the chorus of the song, and the artist, Omar Offendum
raps the beginning lines, "Let's keep hope alive/Stand in solidarity with all of your fellow citizens/Peacefully protesting for an end to all the militance."
Offendum, born to Syrian parents and raised in Washington D.C., started his musical career as half of a hip-hop duo. He later went solo, and recently released his first album titled Syrian-AmericanA
with tracks in Arabic and English. Offendum uses his music and spoken word as a medium to bridge the gaps of misunderstanding between West and East. At the start of the Arab Spring, Offendum collaborated with other Arab and African-American artists on "#Jan25"
--a song inspired by the Egyptian revolution that went viral on the internet shortly after its release. In his latest track,
titled "#SYRIA," he raps about a less romantic uprising in his native Syria - where the country has been mired in a bloody,
brutal, year-and-some-weeks-long uprising.