Online Discussion: Palestinian hip-hop

Based on today’s video, the video below, and this article, in what ways are Palestinian hip-hop artists challenging the dominant?  Who and what are they challenging, and what does this tell us about hip-hop artistry?

Palestinian hip-hop group tackles murder of women

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Palestinian hip-hop group DAM on Tuesday released a music video of their latest song to raise awareness about the murder of women.

The song, “If I could go back in time,” features guest singer Amal Murkus. It describes a young woman who is killed by her father and brother.

The video begins with the shooting of the woman and chronicles her life backwards, revealing in the last lines that her crime was to have been born a girl.

Suhell Nafar of DAM, who co-directed the video, rejected labeling the murder of women as “honor killing” at a news conference in Ramallah to launch the video.

“We should throw these words out of our dictionary,” said Nafar. “Honor and killing are not logical just like Israel and democracy.”

Rapper Tamer Nafar said the group wrote the song for the “missing voices” of women denied the opportunity to follow their dreams.

“We feel that when there is a crime against a woman, it is seen as the end of the story,” he said.

“No one asks the right questions, no one tries to shed the light on the human face; it is just another death. A death justified merely by the fact of being a girl.”

Soraida Hussein, general director of the Women’s Affairs Technical Committee, noted the potential of art to bring change and said the video was a “powerful tool in our efforts for social change.”

DAM is an acclaimed hip-hop outfit from Lod in Israel formed in 1999 by brothers Tamer and Suheil Nafar and Mahmoud Jreri. The group has a large following in the Middle East and has performed internationally.