Palestinian pop singer may represent Iceland at Eurovision

Bashar Murad
(Photo: Bashar Murad)
REYKJAVIK — Palestinian singer Bashar Murad advanced on Saturday to the semi-finals of Iceland's Eurovision contestant selection process, with watermelon images screened in the background of his performance. If Murad wins the final to be held next weekend, he will be Iceland's representative in the international song competition in Sweden in May.اضافة اعلان

Murad's song is called "The Wild West," which he sings while wearing a cowboy hat. As part of the performance, there are images of watermelon displayed in the background. Watermelons has been associated in recent months with the Palestinian struggle on social media worldwide, including Murad's handle on X. Furthermore, watermelons can also be found displayed on the walls of stone houses in Gaza, and art galleries in Ramallah.

Murad, originally from East Jerusalem, studied at Rimon School of Music in central Israel and is often vocal against Israel's occupation in interviews and in his songs. Two years ago, he released a song in Arabic called "Intifada on the Dance Floor," and in the past also collaborated with the Icelandic band Hatari, who competed in the 2019 Eurovision contest held in Israel, and waved Palestinian scarves and flags during the broadcast.

Murad's possible participation in the Eurovision comes during a time when Israeli participation in the Eurovision Contest is in turmoil. The EBU has threatened to disqualify Israel's intended song entry, "October Rain," due to its "political" lyrics, while the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation announced that it has no intention of replacing the song or its lyrics.

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