Julud is a deeply beautiful yet sad track from Western Saharan Aziza Brahim. She now lives and works from Barcelona from where she continues to speak for the Saharawi people who are left forgotten by the World. Having spent her childhood in the refugee camps and have fled Africa due to the regime of political oppression that followed Morocco’s 1975 invasion of Western Sahara. She moved to Cuba, where she experienced first hand the deep Cuban economic crisis of the 1990’s and the subsequent denial of her request to pursue a university degree in music.
Music had been Aziza’s passion since she was a small girl and despite this setback she returned to the Saharawi camps in Algeria and began singing and playing in different musical ensembles, a process that continued when she moved to Spain in the year 2000. There she founded the eclectic Saharawi/Spanish band Gulili Mankoo with whom she released two acclaimed self-produced recordings: the EP “Mi Canto” (2008) and an album “Mabruk” (2012) both on Reaktion, a French label specializing in Saharan music. (source: Glitterbeat’s bandcamp page for the album Soutak)
The song “Julud,” dedicated to Aziza’s mother, is possibly the most emblematic song on the album combining intimate and stark desert poetry with an unyielding faith in the Saharawi political struggle:
You are like the night and the stars / Your voice goes beyond the top of the clouds / You are the smiling breeze of today / You are an example of humanity and of fight / Resist, immortal, resist.