Friday, February 27, 2009

A Song of Peace

Israel Sending Jewish-Arab Duo to Eurovision Songfest - Israel is sending a Jewish-Arab duo to represent it with a song of peace at Europe's Eurovision competition, a festival which draws some 100 million TV viewers every year, to be held in Moscow in May.

Achinoam Nini, known internationally as Noa, and Mira Awad were selected by Israel's national broadcasting authority. Awad, who will be the first Arab ever to represent Israel at the competition, was roundly criticized for agreeing to go by Israeli Arab artists, even though Nini is a veteran peace activist. Awad said she was going in order to make the point that Jews and Arabs had no option but to find some way to live together. Awad has achieved mainstream popularity, becoming a sought-after television and stage actress. Last year, she starred in the country's first Arabic sitcom aimed at Jewish viewers.

Around a fifth of Israel's 7 million citizens are Arabs, who have equal rights under the law. Nini, an Israeli of Yemenite extraction, said, "Some people will see an Arab girl who looks Jewish and a Jewish girl who looks Arab, which is what we are. Maybe it will open some people's minds." (AP)

So now, listen to the four songs from which Israelis will be choosing. Which of these will Noa and Mira sing?

To hear the complete versions of all four songs, click here.

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