Palestinian singers winning hearts and minds

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Mohammed Assaf, the 28-year-old singer, won the second series of “Arab Idol” in 2013. (Courtesy Flash Entertainment)
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The rapper Tamer Nafar formed the Palestinian group Dam with his younger brother Suhell, and Mahmoud Jreri. (AFP)
Updated 17 April 2018
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Palestinian singers winning hearts and minds

  • The group’s lyrics are influenced by the conflict with Israel
  • Dam’s music fuses Middle Eastern rhythms and melodies with urban hip-hop

LONDON: Mohammed Assaf, the 28-year-old singer, won the second series of “Arab Idol” in 2013, with one judge nicknaming him “Asaroukh” (“The Rocket”).
But the singer almost missed his chance at famer because of problems getting from Gaza to Egypt. Arriving too late to register, he began singing to the waiting contestants.
On hearing Assaf, contestant Ramadan Au Nahel, also a Palestinian, gave him his audition number, saying: “I know I won’t reach the finals, but you will.”

Tamer Nafar
The rapper formed the Palestinian group Dam with his younger brother Suhell, and Mahmoud Jreri.
The three men grew up in Lod, 20 kilometers from Jerusalem.
Dam’s music fuses Middle Eastern rhythms and melodies with urban hip-hop.
 


‘Mini-Me’ actor Verne Troyer dead at 49

Updated 25 min 19 sec ago
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‘Mini-Me’ actor Verne Troyer dead at 49

LOS ANGELES: Verne Troyer, best known for his role as Mini-Me in the “Austin Powers” movies, died Saturday. He was 49.

While no cause of death was given, a statement on the actor’s social media accounts said he had gone through a “recent time of adversity” and alluded to suicide and depression as “serious issues.”

“Over the years he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and fought some more, but unfortunately this time was too much,” it added.

Troyer, who lived in Los Angeles, was taken to hospital early this month for unspecified treatment. The actor spoke about his alcohol addiction during another hospital stay a year ago.

One of the world’s shortest men at just two feet eight inches (81 centimeters) due to achondroplasia dwarfism, according to reports, Troyer was born in 1969 in Sturgis, Michigan.