“Ahlan bik! “, a musical hit sung by a first Israeli-Emirati duo.
The standardization between the United Arab Emirates and Israel now has its “hit” signed by a duo of singers from both countries: “Ahlan bik”, an electro-pop song with a touch of kitsch on video mixing images of Dubai and Tel Aviv.
At a time when the long unofficial relations between Gulf countries and Israel are emerging from the shadows with the promise of investment, the Israeli Elkana Marziano and the Emirati Waleed Aljasim are paving the way for a first artistic collaboration with their video clip “Ahlan bik”, “Welcome to you” or “Hello to you”.
Since its online release on September 30, the video has exceeded one million views.
“With this song, you can feel the new Middle East,” comments Internet user Shaked Sharon, on the Youtube page of the song’s video clip, which is intended to thrill the baffles and hearts of fans of the rapprochement hailed in Israel, castigated in the Palestinian Territories and received with tepidity by the people of the Gulf.
“Can you hear me my friend, far away, far away? “hums the Israeli Elkana Marziano, wide smile and sunglasses, “When are you coming? ». “I hear you my friend, far away, far away, I hear your prayer,” answers the Emirati, wearing an opaline tunic.
Ways to “consolidate relations” between the two countries were discussed during a first official telephone conversation this week between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed ben Zayed Al-Nahyane, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
In addition to the investments, on the sports side, Diaa Sabia became the first Israeli footballer to sign for two years in a Gulf championship with Dubai’s Al-Nasr Club.
On the cultural level, the duo Marziano-Aljasim wants to open the voice. “This is a historic moment,” says the Israeli who wants to build “bridges” between the two countries.
In this time of pandemic, the tandem has never met face-to-face, but has been talking to each other on the Zoom digital platform.
“The agreement was immediate,” said the Israeli singer who also speaks Arabic. “They recorded the lyrics and shot the clip there (editor’s note: in Dubai), we recorded and shot here and the whole thing was assembled in Tel Aviv,” he says.
On the YouTube portal, comments are pouring in. Through the pro-normalization dithyrambs, which celebrate this cross-border collaboration, dissonant voices also resonate, moreover more in Arabic, some denouncing the Israeli-Emirati rapprochement, others showing their support for Palestine.
After the salamalecs on the Web, “a concert is planned,” says Elkana Marziano, adding that no date has been set due to restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic. “I am (already) very moved at the idea of singing this song together on the same stage”.