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Music and Tennis Offer Differing Persepctives on Israeli-Arab Relations

February 20, 2009 Leave a comment

With a right-wing government forming in Israel and violence continuing in Gaza, prospects for peace between the Jewish state and the Palestinians seem to be dimming. Yet against this backdrop, the selection of a Jewish-Arab duo to represent Israel in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest offers a ray of hope for peaceful coexistence.

The selection of the Jewish-Israeli singer Achinoam Nini, who goes by the name Noa, and the Arab-Israeli singer Mira Awad to represent IsraelĀ  marks the first time an Arab will sing for Israel in the highly popular musical competition, which will occur in Moscow in mid-May. Noa and Mira Awad have previously performed together (Click her to see the duo on YouTube), and they told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that they plan to perform a song with lyrics in Hebrew, Arabic and English at the competition to emphasize the importance of coexistence.

“Some people will see an Arab girl who looks Jewish and a Jewish girl who looks Arab, which is what we are,” Nini told Haaretz in an interview. “Maybe it will open some people’s minds.”

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