The closing of a music studio and the destruction of Palestinian Jerusalem

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The last day of July, Sabreenthe first Palestinian music studio, closed the doors of its headquarters in the Jerusalem neighborhood Sheikh Jarrah. Originally a music group, Sabreen expanded into a music development association in 1987.

Focusing on music and community projects, Sabreen has been an institutional home for many Palestinian artists. From recording albums to youth music projects, he has been a crucial player in the Palestinian art scene. Yet after years of financial struggle and deliberate policies by the Israeli regime aimed at to choke Palestinian cultural institutions in Jerusalem, Sabreen will no longer be able to operate from its original home.

“The association is closed due to various debts, which affects many cultural institutions in Jerusalem. The cost of running in Jerusalem is incredibly high…and the problem is that funding rarely covers these basic running costs…Currently we have lost our headquarters and are now trying to keep the association going, but it will be difficult” , said Murad, one of the founders of the group and association, told me.

This is happening in the context of the Israeli regime’s constant work to separate Jerusalem from the Palestinians, their identity and their national consciousness since the Nakbah in 1948. Almost two decades later, the entire city was brought under the control of the Israeli regime in what is commonly known as the 1967 Six Day War.

Those Palestinians who remained in the city were granted “permanent resident” status rather than citizenship by the Israeli government, leaving them stateless. This allowed the Israeli regime to deny them all their rights, including the right to vote, while forcing them to pay crippling taxes and other municipal fees.

Urban planning was also a key mechanism by which the Israeli authorities erased Palestinians of Jerusalem, particularly in their explicit efforts to maintain a Jewish demographic majority in the city.

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