Tamer Nafar, of the first ever Palestinian hip hop group, DAM, joined me this week while on his 2010 North America tour. Nafar founded DAM in 1999 with his brother, Suhell Nafar, and their mutual friend, Mahmoud Jreri. The group is based in Israel, and raps in Arabic, Hebrew, and English. DAM's lyrics deal with issues ranging from the crisis of identity facing Palestinian citizens of Israel to Israel's defensive strategy during the Al-Aqsa Intifada to the 2008-2009 conflict between Israel and Hamas. DAM's rap certainly holds artistic value, however Nafar stressed that their music also serves as the "CNN of the streets," addressing social and political issues in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Nafar hopes to see Arabic rap grow as a means of expression among Palestinian youth and inspire action to address the many pressing issues in Israel and the Territories.
You can learn more about DAM and listen to their music on their website, www.dampalestine.com and on their myspace page, www.myspace.com/damrap
Photo: Courtesy of www.dampalestine.com