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WATCH: Palestinian hip hop group tackles patriarchy in new video

Acclaimed Palestinian hip hop group DAM adds a female member, releases new video which looks at patriarchy and feminism in Arab society.

Palestinian hip hop group DAM released a new video for their single “Who You Are?” Thursday in a joint project with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The song tackles women’s rights and criticizes the patriarchal society in which the group grew up in.

This is DAM’s first project that was fully completed with its newest member, Maysa Daw. Daw joined the group, which is comprised of brothers Tamer and Suheil Nafar, and Mahmood Jreiri. “I’m excited,” she tells +972’s Hebrew-language sister site, Local Call. “I’m very proud of both the song and the video. I think it is an honest attempt at criticizing our society. Men try to stereotype women all the time, and I just want to ask which stereotypes define men, if any?”

WATCH: DAM’s ‘Who You Are?’ (with English subtitles)

Tamer Nafar emphasizes their attempt at criticizing “feminist men,” who he believes should not be spared any critique. “We speak out against our own oppressive society, of course, but I believe it is just as important to criticize the hypocritical part of our society, which likes to play ‘make believe feminism’ from time to time.”

The video was directed by Scandar Qupti, who also directed the award-winning film “Ajami.” Nafar says working with Qupti exceeded his expectations. “He was the first director we approached, and we were very happy when he said yes. The idea of the video is very creative, and it’s not just the fact that it was filmed in one shot. It is one of the projects I am personally most proud of.”

The group, which formed in 1999 and hails from the city Lyd, is considered the first Palestinian hip hop group. They have released two albums and star in the documentary film “Slingshot Hip Hop,” which takes a look at the nascent hip hop scene in Palestine.

This article was first published on Local Call. Read it in Hebrew here.

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    1. Cristina

      I would like to point out that there were rap groups in Algeria previously to the formation of DAM such as the very well-known MBS as Hadj Miliani states in his 2002 article “Culture planétaire et identités frontalières
      À propos du rap en Algérie.” The same case is for the Moroccan scene were rappers started to rap as early as the mid-1990s in cities like Salé, for example the group Double A, Casablanca, and Tangiers.

      Reply to Comment
      • Sticky Rice

        Fascinating! Thanks for sharing

        Reply to Comment
    2. Joel

      Nice vid.

      Good luck with it.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Kareem Jeans

      “The group, which formed in 1999 and hails from the city Lyd”.

      The city is called Lod
      But there is a Lyd for every pot.

      Reply to Comment
      • Yoav

        The city is called Lyd in Arabic, Lod is the Zionist name.

        Reply to Comment