In my Modern Middle East course, I have been re-posting collections of youtubes prepared mostly for previous versions of the course. This one was first prepared in March 2009. I’ve tried to update all the links.–SW
Today’s Youtubes sheet includes the late Uzi Hitman’s piece Ani noladti lashalom, “I was born for Peace” written to celebrate Israeli peace with Egypt in 1979. I wrote this page in March 2009 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. 1979 was an important year; there were a lot of youtubes we looked at from 30 years before.
(Uzi Hitman was an Israeli singer who was active in children’s TV and many other venues–like Ofra Haza–who died tragically young, a heart attack).
Here are the Lyrics http://www.hebrewsongs.com/?songID=717 . I cannot find a video with subtitles so look at this page to understand the words.
Here is Uzi Hitman singing it. Note that the final paragraph is sung in Arabic. I do not have a date for this performance.
This was the performance in the Israel Song Festival in 1979. I think you will find the Eurovision performance by a female sextet to be dated—and corny.
A performance in English:
Several Song Festivals, including this one, were set up so that people voted for the top song, in the hall and in special locations around the country, with the winner going on to the Eurovision contest. (For the Eurovision Contest, see:
Eurovision–like soccer–is one of those things that is watched throughout the world with enormous audiences, just not in the U.S.A.
Ani noladti lashalom, “I was born for Peace” did not win the Israel Song festival that year. Halleluyah Laolam “Halleluyah for the World” did, and it went on to win the Eurovision.
Israel and Eurovision: Israel won the Eurovision three times, with the 1998 win (Song: “Diva”)
(this has English subtitles) the most controversial.
(You should look it up, and look up the singer. Let us know what you find–you might find the history fascinating. Or not.) This singer’s otherwise best known hit is probably the mostly Arabic “I am not Saida Sultana”
based loosely on Whitney Houston’s “My Name is not Susan”–and is a crossover piece in many ways! “Saida Sultana” apparently played really well in Egypt. (There are usually a few words of English in most performances of this piece–and sorry, I cannot find the lyrics on line, not in Arabic, Hebrew or English). And this singer was invited to perform at a gala retrospective of past Eurovision hits.
Egypt and Jordan used to black out the Israeli contribution to Eurovision and perhaps they still do despite the peace treaties–I do not know.
Israel was runner up twice in 1982-1983–Avi Toledano and the late Ofra Haza were the singers.
The Eurovision may well be watched by more people than the Oscars, certainly it has an enormous worldwide following even though it is virtually unknown in America.
The May, 2009 Eurovision was in Moscow. The entry for Israel was sung by an Israeli Jewish singer Noa (Ahinoam Nini) and Mira Awad, an Israeli Arab singer and TV star. Their entry was in Arabic, Hebrew and English: Words: http://www.eurovision.tv/event/lyrics?event=1482&song=24719
Performance with English subtitles (and transliteration): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRrqNYqy4M8&feature=related (taken down).
Norway won in 2009.
2010: Israel’s Eurovision entry was a solo piece called Milim “words”. The 2011-12-13- and 14 entries failed to qualify.
Arab Labor: Mira Awad (who sang in the Israeli 2009 Eurovision entry) is a star in the Israeli TV show “Arab Labor” by the way, which is a tremendous hit and very important show focusing on Israeli Arabs, written and performed about 70% in Arabic by Israeli Arabs. This should probably is probably be a topic for its own YouTube/Video presentation but here are trailer, sample, and essay:
Trailer: http://www.linktv.org/arablabor Sample episode: http://www.linktv.org/programs/arablabor_meals
Essay about the series: