Jesus is risen: a moving Arabic flash mob from Beirut

After all the flash mobs we’ve seen over the last several months, this may top them all.

I have no idea what they’re saying — click on the arrow under the screen for “CC” to get the translation — but what happens below is potent and poignant.

YouTube Preview Image


  1. Elizabeth Scalia says:

    You are such a sucker for a flash mob!

    But I DO like hearing this song sung in this location at this time! :-)

  2. Thanks, Deacon Greg.

    I have just forwarded this link to my nephew, a young journalist in Lebanon.

  3. Deacon Bill says:

    Interesting if you look at the translation. Now, I’m a Hebrew linguist, not Arabic, but if you listen carefully, you’ll hear that almost every stanza begins with “Messiah” (pronounced “mess-see-ach” — and the translation renders this as “Jesus”.

    I just think that it’s interesting that whoever did the subtitles connected “Jesus” with “Messiah” instead of a more literal translation. I’m NOT complaining, just finding it interesting.

    If there are any Arabic-speakers who would like to comment? Perhaps my connection isn’t a good one.

    God bless,

    Deacon Bill

  4. Dev Thakur says:

    Wow, awesome! And brave.

  5. Deacon Bill,

    I forwarded your comment to my nephew in Beirut, who is fluent in Arabic (and, what makes me even prouder, a passionate advocate for peace and justice in the Middle East).

    Here is his response:
    I cannot understand all the words for a precise translation, but I can confirm use of the word, Messiah as opposed to the name, Jesus.

    In Arabic a person who is Christian is called a messeehee, which is related to the English word, messiah.

    The Arabic word for Jesus is Eissa, which is likely what he was called when he was alive, but many Lebanese Christians prefer to use the word Yessuah.

  6. Katherine says:

    The melody is close to one burned into my memory from years of Pascha celebrations with Melkite Catholics when I was a graduate student at Berkeley long ago. The Greek version uses neither ‘Messiah’ nor ‘Jesus’, but ‘Christ’ (Christos anesti …)

    At the Paschal liturgy, in the wee hours of Easter morning, over and over and over, we sang, in English, Greek, and Arabic:
    “Christ is risen from the dead
    by death he has trampled upon death
    and thereby granted life to those who lay in the grave”

    Wonderful to hear this joyous version, on Easter Monday!

  7. Bryan Amore says:

    Al-Masih qam min bain’il-amwat,
    wa wati al mowt bil mowt,
    wa wahab’l hayah lil ladhina fi’l qubur,

    Hristos Anesti ek nekron,
    thanato thanaton patisas,
    ke tis en tis mnimassi zoin harisamenos,

    Haza hoa al yoom Allazi sanaho al rabe,
    falnafrah w lenatahell behi,
    English Translation

    English translation
    Christ is risen from the dead,
    and by His death, He had trampled upon death,
    and given life to those who are in tombs,

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    and by His death, He had trampled upon death,
    and given life to those who are in tombs,

    This day is the day that God has made,
    lets be happy and celebrate in it,

  8. Fr Christopher says:

    Just yesterday I was teaching the people at Mass to say,

    Al-MasiH qam! (Arabic: Christ is risen!) and the answer:
    HAKAN QAM!!! (HE is risen indeed!!!)

    I told of St George’s Anglican Church in Baghdad, which had 93 members killed in 2010; and before the end of March this
    year, over 100 had been killed. Yet in one week, 400 Muslim
    families came forward to join the Church!
    At St George’s Clinic, founded by the parish, certifiable resurrections have taken place. Fr White tells the Muslims who come to him, “You must talk to Jesus! Keep talking to JESUS!” Miracles occur!

    The crowd sings the traditional Arabic Resurrection Hymn of the Orthodox Church, then sing it in Greek.

  9. Bird Watcher says:

    Impressive flash mob and good participation, too! There is a small issue, however. Coming from Lebanon, the lovely and evenly-divided country between Christians and Muslims, this mob will most likely produce a side effect in the coming days. Expect a similar act on the Muslim side soon. Not a bad way to compete, especially if you know how religious competition has historically been there!

  10. Deacon Bill,
    I speak Arabic and am now learning Greek. المسيح قام or Christ is Risen, or Χριστοσ Ανιστη is a greeting that early Christians used to give each other. One would start the greeting with “Christ is Risen,” the other would respond, “Truly, He is Risen.” The hymn sung in this video is a common Easter song and Christ in Arabic is translated to Maseeh. Therefore, the translator here instead of using Christ, he simply uses Jesus, since both denote the same person. Jesus is the Christ, and Christ is Risen!

  11. The video opens with “This is the Day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” And then goes into the Paschal Troparion, sung by Orthodox Christians and Byzantine Catholics almost constantly from Pascha to Pentecost, it goes “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life”. It’s all present tense, and all a witness to the ever-present reality of the resurrection.

    At the end, when they hold out “Maseeh qam!” for long periods of time, you can hear tenors and basses taking turns singing “Hakkan qam!” or “Indeed/Truly, He is risen!” And yes, the one gentleman sings the Troparion in Greek.

  12. Linda Savadian says:

    Fr Christopher — hey, that’s MY parish priest, and YES, he was teaching the congregation how to say it in Christ is Risen in Arabic … especially after Fr White told the Moslem father of the dying girl “SPEAK TO JESUS, just keep speaking to Jesus.”

    Hi Fr Kelley… I just saw this and was going to email to you. :-)))

    Linda S

  13. Remember when Americans used to believe in Christ…

    Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored!

  14. Dear all,
    I appear in this clip and if u have anything to ask, I can answer :)

    about the Muslim, Christian issue you tackled, it’s not quite true… should you look closely, you can notice that there is a Muslim girl among the crowd and she was smiling… this is a token of harmony amongst all Lebanese
    thank you for posting it :) it makes us proud

  15. Simone Romanos says:

    This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad!!! “Christ is risen, truly risen”! Yes, as descendants of the early Christians, we still greet each other with these words as we meet each other during the Easter Season. It is actually the way we wish each other “Happy Easter”; Christ’s resurrection becomes the most essential for us and the reason we meet and greet and even eat and drink and breath…His giving us life takes over our being and becomes the title and the “cause of our Joy”, our identity!
    As lebanese I am proud to see this flash mob video, and I rejoice to repeat with our beloved Pope John Paul II:Lebanon is a mission!
    Just a little comment, the 4 men who sang the solos used to sing individually until they decided to get together and name themselves “the cavaliers” and now sing together, as a group, beautiful lebanese folkloric music and most importantly, the praises of our Lord…Very refreshing.
    CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY RISEN! Let the Good News fill the Earth!

  16. Johnny Cherabie says:

    As an American of Lebanese descent, now living in Lebanon, I couldn’t be more proud of our fellow Lebanese who are truly passionate about their faith, and what Easter really means. This video is done with professionalism and style.

    With regards to the linguistics, just a quick correction on one of the earlier comments. In Arabic, Jesus has always been know as Yesuah, which is similar in the Aramaic (Yeshuah). Eisa or Issa is a name given for Jesus in the Koran. There are many different explanations for this, but it’s not a substitute for the name Jesus.

    We in Lebanon hope and pray for unity, and we believe in Mother Teresa’s famous saying…”if you’re a Muslim, be a good Muslim”, “if you’re a Christian, be a good Christian”, and so on….Easter Blessings to all!! Al Massih Kam!!!!

  17. Gehad Homsey says:

    ‘Massih’ in arabic is ‘Messiah’, so the song is : “The Messiah has risen from the dead and he has conquered death with death, and he has given life to all those in the tombs”.
    It is sung in arabic then in greek…
    It is the most wonderful song of the resurrection.
    Deacon Gehad Homsey

  18. Christos (Χριστός) is also Greek for Messiah, and where the English “Christ” comes from. So, translating it as either Messiah or Christ is fine. Jesus is a little different as Jesus was His name, Messiah His title.

  19. Michael Joseph Bodtmann says:

    If it be at all possible, may someone please leave or post the original script both in Arabic and Greek for the lyrics in the song in this video? I would be able to read both. This is an amazing post; my mother had found it a while ago and brought it to my attention. I’ve shared this post on my Facebook Profile. Thank you.

  20. This post regarding the Easter Message from Beirut has been quite amazing. I believe I have found all the answers to the question I had presented on Response # 19. I have posted my findings on my profile on FB and have copied it to my mom’s profile. Much gratitude with regards to this very friendly message from the Middle East. We have a very good friend in Lebanon that we had met here in the U.S., who surprisingly speaks both Greek & Arabic, although I have found the answers to my question on my own. Thank you for this posting!

  21. Michael Joseph Bodtmann says:

    My interpretation of the video:


    هذا اليوم الذي صنعه الرب فلنفرح و نتهلل به

    المسيح قام من بين الاموات و وطئ الموت بالموت

    و وهب الحياة للنين في القبر

    Χριστοσ αηεστη εκ νεκρων, θανατω θανατον πατισας

    και τοις εν τοις μνημασι ζωην χαρισαμενος


    هذا اليوم الذي صنعه الرب فلنفرح و نتهلل به

    Haza hoa al yoom Allazi sanaho al rabe, falnafrah w lentahell behi,

    This is the day that God made, let’s be happy and celebrate in it,

    المسيح قام من بين الاموات و وطئ الموت بالموت

    Al-Masih qam min bain ‘il-amwat, wa wati al mowt bil mowt,

    Christ is risen from the dead, and by His death, He had trampled upon death,

    و وهب الحياة للنين في القبر

    wa wahab’l hayah lil ladhina fi’l qubur,

    and given life to those who are in tombs,

    Χριστοσ αηεστη εκ νεκρων, θανατω θανατον πατισας

    Khristos anesti ek nekron, Thanato thanaton patisas,

    Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death

    και τοις εν τοις μνημασι ζωην χαρισαμενος

    Kai tis en tis mnimasi Zo-in kharisamenos

    and upon those in tombs bestowing life

  22. Theresa ( David) Mason says:

    I was not only moved to tears-but sobs of gratitude!!!!

  23. Michael Joseph Bodtmann says:

    I’d like to thank my good friend Irene Zogby who is a citizen of Greece, Lebanon, and was naturalized last year as a U.S. citizen, for helping me maintain an interest in the Arabic language and now Greek. She’s in Lebanon right now…can’t wait until she comes back sometime. Thanks!

Leave a Comment