Translated by: Saed Bannoura, IMEMC

Amidst the atmosphere of boredom at an Israeli military checkpoint north of Nablus, sounds of a lute were heard among the crowd of detained workers. While the army confiscated the workers’ identity cards and ordered them to wait, one of the men started to play his lute. When the workers heard the lute, they started to sing along, relieving the frustration and the tension amidst the humiliation.

Everyday people suffer at Israeli military checkpoints throughout the West Bank, especially at this one near Nablus. Palestinians stand in long lines divided by concrete blocks where they sometimes wait for hours. The soldiers normally put students and teachers in one line and people over the age of thirty in another line.

When the soldiers recognized the workers were singing, they forced them to stop and separated the lute musician and the “singing choir” from the other Palestinians waiting at the checkpoint, creating a third line for musicians. Earlier in the day, soldiers detained a children’s scout group in a separate line and searched them thoroughly dehumanizing and humiliating them.

Although the suffering was still there on this day, it was mixed for once with music, which gave the people a new spirit to resist the humiliation and boredom imposed on them in a new wave of resistance…music.