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Can you tell us about how being a Metalhead in Syria is like? Interview with Sam Al Maary

geilWährend der 2. Ausgabe des Osnabrücker Rumpelfest (Charity- Grind Improvisationsfestival) hatte ich die Ehre, Sam Al Maary kennen zu lernen, der an dem Abend bei einer der Bands, Gitarre spielte. Die Besonderheit hierbei ist, das Sam einen langen Weg hinter sich hat, um an diesem Abend auf der Bühne stehen zu können: Er ist nach Ausbruch des Krieges aus Syrien geflohen, mit dem Boot über das Mittelmeer, und lebt nun in Leipzig. Mehr dazu und zu seiner Sicht  auf das Thema „Metal-Kultur, Rebellion und Freiheit“ gibt es nun von ihm selbst.

Hi Sam, could you introduce yourself to the readers? Who you are, where you are from,
where you are now, how did you get there, etc.?
I am Sam Al maary i am coming from Syria, Damascous  and now i am living in Germany, Leipzig as refugee and it was long trip start it from Lebanon, Turkey, Greece until germany ..

What brought you into Metal music? Is it easy to come in contact with Rock/Hardcore/Metal in Syria?
Actually i start to listen to heavy metal because my big brother, he was listing some bands like METALLICA, GUNSN ROSES, IRON MAIDEN, SCORPIONS then when i was at 13 age a friend of my brother showed me some bands like DEATH, MORBID ANGEL …  i cant really remember all the bands but they were some death trash metal bands. Then by accident i found a shop for music and videos which was selling metal music . The Funny thing ism he was the only one who is selling metal CDs in underground way because it was forbidden music at that time and no one from society was knew anything what that kind of music. and the metalheads they only a few people so it’s not easy to find one

For us Germans, or actually most people from ‚western‘ countries, the concept of a
metal szene in Syria seems pretty unthinkable – but still it exists. Can you tell
us about how being a Metalhead in Syria is like?
It was forbidden music,so that mean not accepted from the people and the government and if you want to have long hair that mean some fight in the street because everyone will thing that you are gay, and they want to attack you with talking or by hitting  then the government Syrian Intelligence start to take the metal heads from the street ,home or schools. because as they said metal head are satanic,they are helping Israel and they are gays and they makes sex parties… and they toke me 5 times every time for different part of the Intelligence and every time they cut my hair … and they family side, for me i have some kind of open mind family . but i know some metal heads friends, theirs family not accept that the have metal head son so, some tried to cut hair of his son while he was sleeping or destroy the CDs or kick him out the house  and in 2009 the government start to be more nice with us because of the internet it was like fashion to be metal or Rap or EMO  but still they wont gave permit to make concert that easy they need to know the lyrics and it is not permitted to sing growl-style.

Have you played in a band in Syria? If so, have you played shows ther
yes even more than one but always we have a lot of problems… like place to rehearsal and not everyone was having good musical instruments but we manage it for concert and we did it but after that we went to Syrian Intelligence and we had to star there for 2 weeks ,and we were knew that before but we did it it was funny 😉 even some bands did it and the had the same shit

Have you every thought about quitting the whole „Metal – lifestyle“ and simply forget about it?
I grow up into metal …it is my life and i had to fight for it always like this…it is not just lifestyle it is my life …you can say, to be or not to be

Any bands from Syria or the surrounding area that you can recommend?
Yes we had many bands ….
Buried by the Last Tragedy
Crescent Moon
Dark Promise
Despond Womb
Ecliptic Dawn
Slumpark Correctional
The Hourglass

In Germany, there is quite a debate around the whole topic of refugees. Since you are one yourself, what is your impression of the people you escaped with, and of the people you met here?  What do you have to say to those who oppose the refugee-policy, those who want to kick out all immigrants?
i don’t understand this people, i mean come on , there is war people dying and suffers, even on the way coming to here…  they are escaping from this and still there is someone saying we have to get them back and bla bla bla ….. (fuck you open your fucking mind….)

In how far is there a cultural exchange between Syria and other nations? How many music/ TV/  fashion/ food/ … influences from other countries are there in Syria?

About the life there in general: What are the biggest differences to living here now?
Here,i can be free… i understand what mean to be free

Your 5 favourite albums ever:
Soulfly – dark ages
Ancient wisdom – the calling
Death – symbolic
Dissection – live Legacy
Mayhem – grand declaration of war

Room for you: If you want to say anything, here you go!

Autor: T

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