I was in Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel in Bethlehem where there is a gallery for Palestinian artists, and saw a painting by the superb Palestinian artist Suleiman Mansour. I found the painting so powerful, I said that I would like to put together a song sparked off by this painting – I thought it could be a 12” vinyl single with the painting on the front cover. I told my good friend Wisam Salsaa, Manager of the Walled Off Hotel, and he phoned Suleiman for his permission, which was kindly given. I then wrote to various Palestinian friends showing them the painting, and asked them for their thoughts. Those thoughts I have reflected in the lyrics. It all came together as this song, My Name is Palestine.
I would like to thank those people who responded to me about what the content should be – they are: Naim Ateek, Mitri Raheb, Abdelfattah A Abusrour, Usama Nicola, Zoughbi Zoughbi, Susan Bahroum, and Rasha Salsaa – and special thanks to Wisam for all his help on this project. And of course special thanks also to Suleiman Mansour for allowing me to use his beautiful and striking painting – very grateful thanks.
The Palestinian Nakba, or Catastrophe, has gone on and on for years, with Palestinians treated always as of lesser value and as if they don’t matter. This project is to assert the equality of all people and is a call for justice to come to this community who have suffered so much racism.