Pulse of Pop

Poetry for Palestine

June 20 - June 26, 2024
Gulf Weekly Poetry for Palestine
Gulf Weekly Poetry for Palestine

PALESTINIAN polyglot and rapper Saint Levant‘s new album Deira is out now on all streaming platforms.

The album title, which translates to ‘old city’, honours a now demolished hotel of the same name in Gaza, which was built by the rapper’s parents the year he was born.

“He (Levant’s father) built this hotel with mud because it was impossible to import cement at the time,” Levant said in an interview.

“Located on the beach, this hotel was one of the most beautiful in Gaza, made up of 22 rooms. It was a true architectural marvel,” he added.

The concept album, released on June 7, takes place in what Levant envisions to be a free Palestine. It features several artists including Grammy-nominated R&B singer Kehlani on the track Allah Yahmeeki, which is Arabic for ‘may God protect you.’ The title track, which features 15-year-old Palestinian rapper MC Abdul, was released on February 23.

Levant called the song a ‘celebration of Palestinian daily life’ and a mixture of his parents’ cultures.

“Deira is anchored in Algerian culture through its sound (where my mother is from) and in Palestinian culture through its words (the land of my father),” he said.

The rapper and musician, Marwan Abdelhamid, was born in October 2000 in Jerusalem to a Palestinian-Serbian father and a French-Algerian mother. He credits his multicultural upbringing as inspiration for his music, which he considers to be a fusion of backgrounds, specifically French, Arabic and English. His previous work titled From Gaza, With Love, released in March last year, was dedicated to the 10 years Levant got to spend in Gaza while growing up.

He is known for his 2022 debut song Very Few Friends, which earned two million views on YouTube in one month and later gained popularity on TikTok and Instagram.

The rapper tends to emphasise his Palestinian identity and culture, as well as the Palestinian cause as a whole through his art and performances. He recently highlighted the ongoing ‘genocide’ in Gaza during his Coachella set.

“As I hope all of you are aware, the people of Gaza have been undergoing a brutal, brutal genocide for the past six months. And the people of Palestine have been undergoing a brutal occupation for the past 75 years,” Levant said while addressing his audience.

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