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|English: Guardians of the Homeland|
National anthem of Syria
|Lyrics||Khalil Mardam Bey, 1936|
|Music||Mohammed Flayfel, 1936|
"Ħumāt ad-Diyār" (Arabic: حُمَاةَ الدِّيَار, translated Guardians of the Homeland) is the national anthem of Syria, with lyrics written by Khalil Mardam Bey and the music by Mohammed Flayfel, who also composed the national anthem of the Palestinian National Authority, as well as many other Arab folk songs.
It was adopted in 1938 after a national competition was held by Hashim al-Atassi's nationalist government to choose an anthem for the new republic two years after the Franco–Syrian Treaty of Independence was signed which gave Syria limited autonomy and future independence. The anthem was initially set to lose the competition, but it later won the competition after the anthem gained rapid popularity amongst the Syrian populace which put pressure on the competition's committee to reconsider its decisions, and eventually the anthem won and was adopted by the government as Syria's national anthem.
The anthem temporarily fell from use when Syria joined the United Arab Republic with Egypt in 1958. It was decided that the national anthem of the UAR would be a combination of the then-Egyptian anthem and Ħumāt ad-Diyār. When Syria seceded from the union in 1961, the anthem was completely restored and has been used ever since.
The anthem is divided into four quatrain stanzas, each containing four lines. The rhyme scheme used is an Arabic form called "Ruba'i", where each stanza has the same final rhyme in its component lines, giving the following rhyme scheme in the anthem: AAAA, BBBB, CCCC, DDDD. All of the lines in the anthem consist each of 11 syllables, all of which have the same system of scansion, which is as follows: \ / ˘ \ / ˘ \ / ˘ \ / where \ is an intermediate stress, / is a strong stress, and ˘ is unstressed. Although for simplicity an alternative stress scheme is offered which does not recognize intermediate stresses, and that scheme is: / / ˘ / / ˘ / / ˘ / /. In either case you should note the aforementioned 11 syllables per line, and the ruba'i rhyme scheme.
The anthem is divided into four stanzas, each pertaining to a different and unique aspect of Syria from the remaining stanzas. Although the name of the anthem is "Guardians of the Homeland", which is a metaphor for the Syrian army, only the first stanza in fact talks about said army. The stanza breakdown is as follows: The first stanza is about Syria's army, and its role in defending the nation and in defending the citizens' integrity and Arabness. The second stanza is about Syria's scenery and terrain, where it talks about Syria's plains, mountains, and sunlit skies. The third stanza is about Syria's people, their hopes, martyrs, and flag. The fourth stanza talks about Syria's history, from its past and present to its future.
|Arabic lyrics||Transliteration||Literal English translation|
حُـماةَ الـدِّيارِ عليكمْ سـلامْ
Ħumāt ad-diyāri alaykum salām
Guardians of the homeland, upon you be peace,
Guardians of homeland, upon you be peace,
our ever-proud souls refuse to be seized.
The den of Arabism is our sacred home,
and the throne of our suns will never go down.
The mountains of Syria are towers in height,
which talk with the zenith of the highest skies.
A land that is splendid with brilliant sun,
turning to a sky or almost a sky.
The flutter of our hopes and the beats of our hearts,
depicted on the flag that united our land.
Did we not derive the black from every man's eye,
and from ink of martyr's blood wrote to the tall sky?
Spirits defiant and past so glorious,
and the martyrs' souls are our guardians.
"Walid" is from us and so is "Rashid",
so why won't we prosper and why wouldn't we build?
Artistic translation by: Muhaned Elhindi