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Ashira Prem Rachana Sufi Whirling Palestine
Ashira Prem Rachana Faltatajallah

Sufi Whirling & Music

In a small, discreet room inside Jalal Al-Deen Rumi's shrine in Konya, Turkey, Ashira whirled and meditated for hours. After years of witnessing her people's pain and suffering, she went in search of God for divine mercy. In the place where whirling was born, it has now become forbidden. It was a forbidden dance that opened her soul. And the words and melody for her song, Falatajallah فلتتجلى, came to her.

Ashira's relationship with Sufi Whirling and music was fundamental to her personal development. Growing up, music filled her mom's house. Ashira would hang around as they played music and danced into the night. She would memorize the tunes so she could join them in song. She learned to play different instruments, from the piano and guitar to the recorder and Qanoun.

Most of all, Ashira loved to sing. She would record herself singing on tapes and play them back to herself. As her confidence started to grow, she joined every choir in town. In 2001, as the second Palestinian Intifada broke out, her focus switched from singing to chanting political chants and slogans at protests and rallies.

After the neck injury she sustained from an Israeli soldier at the village of Nabi Saleh and the six-hour surgery that followed, the moment she opened her eyes, she removed the tape on her mouth to make sure she still had her voice. She started singing all the time. She transformed her chants back into songs that expressed her soul's heartbeat.

She wrote her first song, Falatjallah
, about the search for the love of God and meaning. She combined her music with the Sufi practice of whirling as a performance act on stage.

Ashira finally recorded Falatajallah with her dear friend Shadi Zaqtan, the famous musician and guitarist, at Frontier Studios in Ghent, Belgium. Shadi also arranged a Europe-wide tour that followed later that year.

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