Accompanied by only a computer-generated backing track run through a 12-track amplifier, Hosam Abu Abdu leads his band through its regular practice at a police station in Gaza City. Protectors of the Homeland, as they call themselves, aren’t the typical boy band. Abu Abdu is 40 years old, and his five bandmates don’t appear to be regular heartthrobs either. But Protectors of the Homeland do carry on the long tradition of singers providing inspiration in a time of need.
According to Britain’s Telegraph, the group pays homage to the party and its leaders with songs such as “Change” and “Reform”—and with lines like “By the shrouds of the dead we are inspired.” Abu Abdu and five others formed the group last summer as part of an arts initiative of Hamas’ domestic security service, the Executive Force. “It is our job to inspire the foot soldiers,” Abu Abdu told the Telegraph. “We want to urge the soldiers and officers to push on, to make the effort needed in the struggle to end the occupation.”
The group hopes to release an album, as well as build a theater and support public dancing. Successful or not, the band members said making music beats what they were doing in June: fighting rival faction Fatah in the streets.
Thanks, the Kicker! —Eric Kelsey