As I mentioned before, I accidentally learned about Mashrou Leila while in Qatar, and it’s perhaps one of the best surprise discoveries I made over there. I had the pleasure of seeing them live, and Hamad Sinno’s voice is one of the most beautiful I’ve heard ever.
Randomly found myself researching the translation of their songs right now (I know, should’ve done this before) and realized how absolutely beautiful their song Shim el Yasmine is. It’s been one of my favourite tracks (obviously solely audio-wise), but now it’s just taken on a totally different depth. Seriously, I am emotional right now.
Shim el Yasmine (Smell the Jasmine)
Smell the jasmine
Taste the molasses
Remember, remember, remember to mention me
Brother, just don’t forget me
My lover, my prize
I would have liked to keep you beside me
Introduce you to my parents, have you crown my heart
Cook your food, clean your house
Pamper your children, be your homemaker
But you’re in your house, and I’m in another
I wish you never left
And smell the jasmine
And remember to forget me
An excerpt from Culturing Media explains what sensitivity was lost in the English translation:
“It poses a dilemma in which the singer is in love with another man and wants to have a relationship with him, yet society will not allow for this. He says he wanted to’’arfak ‘a ahli’ or ‘introduce you to my family’, but ‘inta bi beitak o ana shi beit’ or ‘you’re in your house, and I’m in another’. Finally, he ends the song with ‘o tzakkar tinsani’ or ‘remember to forget me’.”
Hamed Sinno, you are one amazing man.