In the Palestinian social media, a fight is going on, which is being ignored by the West. There are two people in the foreground: Mohamed Asaf and Tamer Nafar. Asaf is a pop singer from Gaza, very popular not only among the Palestinians, but in the entire Arab world and even in some places in Europe. He is supported by Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian authorities; they proclaimed him the cultural Ambassador of Palestine. With a beautiful voice he sings soft love and patriotic songs in a pop style. Politically he is a unifying personality, since he is above political divisions, supporting only the freedom for Palestine. In March this year Asaf said in an interview, that in the name of “sustaining the tradition” he won’t allow his sister to sing in public. Tamer Nafar, a Palestinian rapper, who is the main actor of Udi Aloni’s film Junction 48 and also the co-screenwriter of the film, replied to Asaf in a touching open letter:
“If any other pop singer would have said: ‘In accordance with our tradition women can’t sing in public and I personally value this tradition, therefore I can’t let my sister sing,’ I would protest and confront him, but because it’s about Asaf, our Cinderella from Gaza, I am left feeling still angry, but above all, I’m sad.
Just like the Palestinians, who in support of Mohamed Asaf first gathered on the streets of Gaza and the West Bank, in the diaspora, refugee camps and inside the area, out of which they squeezed us in the year of 1948, I also call on Asaf to join us at these same streets to give incentive to the girl from Yemen, Gaza, Morocco, Jordania or Lid – to the girl, which dreams to sing, dance, write and compete on the Arab Talents. Because we are Palestinians, we have to fight against the Israeli apartheid and gender inequalities. I dream for us to walk with hand in hand, for a woman to hold a man by his hand in the fight against the walls that divide us. It’s not smart to march each by himself and simultaneously call for unity!
Do you want to talk about tradition? From personal experiences I can tell you, that I was an angry kid from the ghetto in Lide. I only calmed down after my mother sung to me. This is the tradition I want to conserve! Therefore, our dear Arab sisters, sing, as loud as you can, cross borders, so we will calm down. Freedom for everyone or for nobody!”