top of page
hawa photo.jpg
Are'nas - logo white .png

"Just before the fall. Not here, not there, a temporary break between past and future, a vacuum. I found refuge in the transit camp "Arénas" in Marseille. The archival recordings from the 60s, the hums and mutterings of immigrant women, and melodies interrupted by a baby's cry, an embarrassed laugh, the clatter of pots... a trembling sentence and the voice of a woman continued to echo in my head, creating an avalanche of new words... This is how the Arénas music project was born."

Bridging Time, Distance and Distrust, With Music
By Aida Alami | March 26, 2021

"It is that work of bridging gaps, across time and nations  and in particular drawing attention to women artists"
Christopher Silver 

a historian at McGill University in Montreal and an expert on North African Jewish history.

“It’s only the music that connects the dots.”
omar Boum 

an anthropologist at the University of California Los Angeles, who specializes in Jewish-Muslim relations. 

Screen Shot 2021-03-26 at 16.19.10.png


איך אגד יעבוד_ RIVKA SABA7
00:00 / 01:21
לברזהghanili shi ghnaya mezyana
00:00 / 00:29
Camp of the Jews Resize.jpg

ilana salama ortar 
Reconstruction of a barrack of Le Grand Arénas in the exhibition at Herzliya Museum, 2005

yissachar ben ami .jpeg

Shrbil my love bought me
Arrived from Taza
The dove residing in exile
Refuses to return home
We began in G-d's name
Bismillah I began
To tell myself and tell the tale
I had imagined
And to again tell myself
As though it happened to me
A photo I found in your home
Comes to me as from the past
As the dove who was in exile
Still refuses to go home.


Timeless Tune: A Song That
Echoes Through Generations

Carrying Loss Through Music: A Song of Mourning

hawa hawa.jpg

Hawa Hawa

I gathered the hatred for you my love

As your absence grew long and the zealots ruined you

The same who separated you from me

And this separation, love, is hard on me

You are the vessel of perfection within which all prayers are received

One whose mother and sisters are blessed…

You are the soul which visits my dreams

My enemies sought you, but came up short

Bless his mother and bless his sisters

And bless the dove who carried his words

I wanted you, my love, and you wanted me

But we argued and you forsook me

I'll reunite with you in Paradise

Just come to me my love with the beautiful eyes

I've waited so long and still am

Shifting Perspectives: A Song's Transition from Male Admiration to Female Celebration

a lala ya ima.jpg

A Lala ya yma

Come home all those whose pain lies in their soul

Glasses of mahia and sticks of incense spread their scent

Come to our home all those in love

For all who wish are welcome

I'll distance all those who've betrayed me

He shall be as air, the one who did not want me

Who let you out, like a fish from the water?

To run among the trees until you find the fruit

Come you folk, behold this beauty

 The best of the women and the most charming

Here, she draws near, her hair in the wind

 If there were fifty more like her

Her cousins shall respect her

G-d keep evil from her home

Spreading  her wings in her sky

 A free woman needs no one to control her

Translating Love: From the Song of Songs to darija

A ha ya  lala You are two stars

A ha ya lala In a shining sky

A ha ya lala The Goddess of Joy

Who resides forever in you

Queen of the Garden

Open the door for me

I shall remove the seeds from its fruits

Tell me they are from Paradise

Oh, love of my youth

My head holds all the moments from it

While your image is with me

I remain unharmed

O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, 

in the hiding place of the cliff, 

Let me see your face, 

let me hear your voice 

For sweet is your voice, 

and your face is beautiful.


Ziyarah: Women's Liberation Through
the Worship of the Tzadikim

Connecting the Dots: New Lyrics from a Muslim Poet to an Old Jewish Tune

Screen Shot 2024-05-06 at 22.32.09.png
sara hazan amar1Artist Name
00:00 / 04:36

The Impact of Migration on Our Past and Future

hna jina.jpg

With trust and hope – we came

No belongings, not stability – we came

Strangers without a language – we came

With faith and thought – we came

With hands raised -we came

From the pains of exile – we came

Without our neighbours – we came

With G-d in our hearts – we came

What can we do?

What hope is left?

A home, some quiet, and safety

No more fear ever

Seeking God – we came

Our hands held by strangers – we came

From the land of our fathers – we came

From one desert to another – we came

What can we do?

What hope is left?

A home, some quiet, and safety

No more fear ever

Slaves to the authorities – we've become

Lost with no direction – we've become

Closed off from the world – we've become

To suffering and loneliness…

We came

bottom of page