Give Us The Childhood – A Child Voice Through War’s Chaos

During the civil war that started in Lebanon on April 13th 1978, a little girl from a very famous Lebanese family: the Bandali family, a group of musicians that composed and sang many songs, has shined. This little girl was Remi Bandali, she was one year old when the war has started, when she turned 4 years old, she sang a very famous song about the war that didn’t end before 1990. (The main civil war because we had extra conflicts as well ).

She traveled abroad and sang it on many international stages. Any Lebanese that lived the war or any conflict, will cry when they hear this song! I know I do and I saw many others do!

Remi was a clever child, she sang the song in 3 languages and the song title was:
“A’touna El Tufoole” = “Give Us The Childhood”

I can assure you that the entire world applauded, but they kept applauding for the next 12 years at our great performance and pain!

The French and English translations sang by Remi in the video, were not a literal translation for the Arabic version, just some lines for some parts. I’m publishing below the Arabic version with also Latin words pronunciation and the English translation of the Arabic version. Then the French and English lines that were sang and were a bit different from the Arabic version.

You can watch the video first to hear the song and if it’s didn’t open please let me know. I mean if you really want to hear it of course 🙂

Arabic version + Latin words:

جينا نعيدكم… بالعيد منسألكم
Jeena N’ayedkon … Bel-Eid Mnes’alkon
ليش ما في عنا… لا أعياد ولا زينة
Lesh Ma Fee ‘Enna … La ‘Ayyad Wala Zeineh
يا عالم
Ya ‘Alam
أرضي محروقة
Ardhi Mahroo’a
أرضي حرية مسروقة
Ardhi Huriyyeh Masroo’a

سمانا عم تحلم… عم تسأل الأيام
Samana ‘Am Tehlam … ‘Am Tes’al El-Ayam
وين الشمس الحلوة… ورفوف الحمام
Wein Esh-Shames El-Helwe … W-Rfouf El-Hamam

Ya ‘Alam
أرضي محروقة
Ardhi Mahroo’a
أرضي حرية مسروقة
Ardhi Huriyyeh Masroo’a
أرضي زغيرة… متلي زغيرة
Ardhi Zgheere … Metli Zgheere
ردولها السلام… اعطونا الطفولة
Redoulha Es-Salam …. ‘Atouna Et-Tufoole
اعطونا الطفولة
A’touna Et-Tufoole
اعطونا الطفولة
A’touna Et-Tufoole
اعطونا… اعطونا… اعطونا السلام
A’touna … ‘Atouna … ‘Atouna Es-Salam

English Translation for the above Arabic version:

We’ve came to wish you happy holidays … and during the holidays we ask you
Why is that we do not have any holidays or decorations
Ye, World
My land is burned down
My land is stolen freedom

Our sky is dreaming, asking the days
Where is the beautiful sun … and where is the fluttering of the doves?
Ye, World
My land is burned down
My land is stolen freedom
My land is small … like me, it is small
Give the peace back to it, give us childhood
Give us the childhood
Give us the childhood
Give us … give us … give us peace

French version as sang by Remi:

A mon enfance A mes quatre ans
A I’innocence
Au beau jardin A ce Liban
Qu’appellent les enfants

Je vous demande vous prie de rendre
Toute I’innocence
De mon enfance De mon enfance

Sauvez I’enfance
Sauvez I’enfance
Sauvez I’enfance
Sauvez Sauvez
Sauves I’enfance

With Michel Drucker in France

English version as sang by Remi:

I am a child
With something to say
Please listen to me
I am a child
Who wants to play
Why don’t you let me

My doors are waiting
My friends are praying
Small hearts are begging
Give us a chance
Give us a chance

Give us a chance
Give us a chance
Give us a chance
Give us a chance

Love to hear your thoughts.

Photo credit featured image: Patrice Murciano – No War for our children

Huguette Antoun – April 4th 2019


  1. C’est triste.. Surtout quand on comprend les paroles d’origine “arabe” et aussi l’interprétation de la petite Rémi, avec toute son L’innocence de sa voix et de ses gestes, beaucoup d’émotions… Plus le partant partage et surtout pour perpétrés le souvenir…🍃

    • So Sorry! Wasn’t my intention 😦 It actually kept playing in my head all day and still! I really made myself miserable today! Thank you dear appreciate your words and kindness ❤

  2. Sad indeed, but poignant too in terms of the circumstance, what is so obviously striking is the innocence of Remi, but yet the passion, very moving.

  3. Good afternoon, she is very cute, but i can hear the sadness in her voice, why can’t we live in peace, for kids is so difficult to understand, made me cry, i’m sensitive at this point, specialy when she sang in french sauve enfant❤️

    • Hello Ilona, thank you so much for stopping by and sorry if this song made you cry 😢 we still cry until now when we hear it, too emotional for me!
      Yes the girl was too young but she knows the country is burning despite her smile and innocence she was so smart…
      Unfortunately nothing to be done when the war strikes, many still paying the prices until this moment especially children and women
      Appreciate your lovely interaction ❤️

  4. Thank you for sharing this song with the rest of the world and explaining about it, and reminding me again about it. Remi is from my hometown btw. Children are the primary victims of war, they are deprived from their childhood and innocence early on; living on constant terror and fear instead of playing outside and enjoying life; instead they watch their loved one die/suffer. This song also reminds me that the world turned blind eyes on what was going on here, instead they played a key part in fueling the war even more.

    • This song still makes me cry! Wow from your hometown? All children adored Remi back to then! Ma ba3ref shi 3anna basss kenna n7ebba
      We paid a huge price, we didn’t have time to live our best days…
      Yes I wanted to transmit the message how the world kept applauding on our performance ! Kellun kenu mshterkin w ne7na mhebil
      Nakkadet 3ala 7ali mn mbereh b hal ghinneyi
      Thank you for all your interactions dear ❤️😊

    • Thank you Jessica for stopping by, yes the translation is necessary but it’s hard not to feel the strong emotions ❤️ glad it did reached your heart

  5. Well really thanks to wordpress i got to read the post again and I felt the same emotions i had felt the first time. The pictures you showed are heart wrenching. And the girl! The way she sings at this age is commendable and the lyrics make this song touch our hearts. I was born long after the partition but I have heard and I still hear anecdotes of tears of the stories at the time of partition of India, it was kind of a civil war too.

    • Thank you Ramyani and sorry you had to read this twice! Just because it brings sadness and such emotions…We are always touched when wars happen in our country even if we didn’t live it so I understand your feelings and I wish you will never experience this because I know how awful it feels!
      Much love ❤

      • I am sorry that you faced this but everywhere there is some kind of war going on. I just hope that stops and people can finally live in peace

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