Palestinian pop singer favorite to represent Iceland in Eurovision

by Anadolu Agency


A Palestinian pop singer had advanced to the finals of Iceland’s Eurovision competition and is one of the favorites to represent the country in the Eurovision 2024, according to local media.

If Bashar Murad, who is originally from East Jerusalem and studied music in Israel, wins the final, he will represent Iceland in the May 11 contest in Sweden.

The singer sang a song titled Wild West and appeared onstage with images of watermelons, a symbol of the Palestinian struggle.

Murad, known for addressing themes of Israeli occupation through his music, said the song and video which he recently released is about the Palestinian struggle.

“Wild West is about longing for freedom of movement and not letting oneself be confined by the physical and imaginary borders that bind us. It’s about my journey from Palestine to Iceland that started as an idea in my bedroom and became a reality thanks to the collaboration with my Icelandic family,” he said in a statement.

“I believe in using my voice and the tools that the universe has given me. Eurovision is one of the biggest platforms in the world, and I believe in the power of my voice rather than being silenced,” he said.

Palestinians are deprived of platforms “that showcase our culture, beauty, history, and community,” he said.

“I’m grateful and full of respect for Iceland that now gave me this opportunity,” Murad added.

“It is my dream to bring Eurovision to Reykjavik 2025. I am a dreamer, and as a Palestinian, I have always dreamed of singing on the big stage, so I want the dream to live on,” he said, according to local broadcaster RUV.

Last December, the Icelandic Society of Authors and Composers publicly called on public broadcaster RUV not to take part in the song contest unless “Israel is denied participation in the competition on the same grounds as Russia in the last competition.”

Russia was barred from the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest in Italy after neighboring Finland threatened to pull out unless Russia was banned due to its decision that same year to start a war on Ukraine.

“We all have a duty to take a stand against war and the killing of civilians and innocent children,” said Stefan Eiriksson of the Icelandic society.

The pop artist had also collaborated in the past with Iceland’s past Eurovision act Hatari, known for their outspoken opposition to Israeli occupation and who have raised Palestinian flags during their appearance on the show held in Israel in 2019.

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