On one of those nights when a boat full of Syrian refugees reached the Greek island of Lesbos through the Mediterranean sea, three people from the boat, unexpectedly, started handing out music CDs. They were members of a Damascus-based indie band called “Khebez Dawle”. Before uploading their first track in November 2012, they called themselves Khebez Dawle—a title meaning “My Country’s Bread” in order to protect themselves from the regime, they told VICE.
The lyrics of their songs run lines like, “Who would remember me when I leave this world?” and “Don’t worry, there are 23 million more than you, just ready to take off.”
Little did they know that the Syrian civil war and its aftermath will make them an international icon. Travelling through Europe with bare essentials, the rock band performed using borrowed instruments as they weaved their way through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Austria, before ending in Berlin on October 4, they told Mashable.
The whole thing was made possible only because of the cooperation of the locals, who helped by arranging for instruments and setting up gigs. “My faith in humans has been strengthened by this journey. I was already losing faith in papers and passports and all this stupid stuff but it makes me know that people are all just people; they are not nationalities,” said Anas Maghrebi, lead vocalist, in the report.
Previously a five-member band, only two of them reached Lesbos to be eventually joined by two other Syrian friends. They hope to be reunited with their lead guitarist and one of the founding members who is still in Beirut.