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Radio Ramallah

  • Riches to rags to virtual riches: When Mizrahi artists said 'no' to Israel's pioneer culture

    Upon their arrival in Israel, Mizrahi Jews found themselves under a regime that demanded obedience, even in cultural matters. All were required to conform to an idealized pioneer figure who sang classical, militaristic 'Hebrew' songs. That is, before the 'Kasetot' era propelled Mizrahi artists into the spotlight, paving the way for today's musical stars. Part two of a musical journey beginning in Israel’s Mizrahi neighborhoods of the 1950s and leading up to Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf. Read part one here. By Shoshana Gabay (Translated from Hebrew by Yoav Kleinfeld) Our early encounter with Zionist music takes place in kindergarten, then later in…

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  • Radio Ramallah: The cultural bridge that was

    Between 1949-1967 there was a radio station that united West Bank Palestinians and Jerusalem Jews. It wasn't interested in propaganda or demagogy, only playing the most popular Western and Arabic music. A brief history of Radio Ramallah and the legacy it leaves behind.  By Niros* Last Saturday night, while walking on Tel Aviv's Ha'aliya Street, a man from Ramallah turned toward me and my partner. He and three of his friends were a little drunk and in a good mood. It seemed that they had just returned from some Tel Aviv club. He spoke to us first in Arabic before…

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