Resonating voices: music in response to the Gaza-Israel conflict.

Across the Middle East, musicians are crafting songs that echo the sentiments surrounding Israel’s offensive in Gaza, once again placing the Palestinian issue at the forefront of Arab popular culture.

These songs blend defiance, helplessness, and anger, reflecting the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the governing body in the Gaza Strip.

In Cairo, the renowned Egyptian wedding singer, known as Rudy, finds herself inundated with requests for her new lyrics praising Hamas military spokesperson Abu Obaida. With fervor, she belts out, “Abu Obaida, O Lion-Hearted… set them all ablaze,” accompanied by a resounding beat.

Meanwhile, in Jordan, artists from various Arab nations convened to record a song envisioning a Palestinian “return” to lands occupied by Israel. This powerful anthem has garnered millions of views across social media platforms.

The surge in popularity of such songs, whether sympathetic to Palestinians or supportive of Hamas, reflects widespread frustration over Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, its occupation of Palestinian territories, and the backing it receives from the US and Europe.

These musical expressions also underscore the Arab populace’s support for Hamas and armed resistance as Israel continues its efforts to dismantle the group.

The conflict’s repercussions have reverberated worldwide, sparking divisive cultural debates. Even seemingly apolitical events like the annual Eurovision song contest have become embroiled in controversy over Israel’s entry referencing the October 7 attack.

In Israel, artists have responded with their own compositions, ranging from reflections on victimhood to vengeful expressions.

In Arab societies, the prevailing perception frames the conflict as a Western-backed assault on Palestinian civilians. Wedding singer Rudy, deeply affected by Israeli attacks, finds solace in expressing support for Hamas through her music.

Similarly, Lebanese rapper Jaafar Touffar’s verses, which glorify Abu Obaida and Hamas’ October 7 assault, resonate with many who perceive it as legitimate resistance against occupation.

Recent polls reflect a shift in public opinion, with a majority viewing the October 7 attack as a justified response to occupation. The US and Israel are increasingly seen as the primary threats to regional security.

This renewed focus on the Palestinian cause comes amid a backdrop of normalization between Gulf kingdoms and Israel, which had previously relegated Palestinian issues to the sidelines.

Now, discussions surrounding regional politics are dominated by Palestinian concerns, permeating social media, public discourse, and political arenas.

Through music, artists like Kuwaiti singer Humood Al Khuder and Lebanese musician Zeid Hamdan are amplifying the plight of Gaza, using symbols of Palestinian resilience and loss to keep the issue in the spotlight.

While they acknowledge that their music may not alter the course of the conflict, they remain steadfast in their commitment to raising awareness and solidarity.

Ultimately, their message is clear: Never forget what’s happening in Gaza, and continue to advocate for justice and peace in the region.