Mira Awad — singer, songwriter and actress — is a Palestinian citizen of Israel, the first Arab to represent Israel at the Eurovision Song Contest, and the singer of a song called, hopefully, “There Must Be Another Way.” Awad, 37, was born in the same village where her father was born, in the Upper Galilee near the border with Syria and Lebanon.
The first stop on her current U.S. tour was both appropriate and symbolic. On April 29 Awad performed at a benefit concert for Artsbridge, an organization in Boston that uses the arts to bridge the gap between young Israelis and Palestinians.
Tonight she hops to New York for a more commercial appearance at the Metropolitan Room. There she’ll sing songs in both Arabic and English that she describes as “world music with a lot of other influences — jazz, rock and pop.” Awad spoke to the Arty Semite via Skype about the difficulties she’s encountered as an Israeli-Palestinian, how she became a star, and her thoughts on the future of Israeli-Arab relations.
Curt Schleier: Can you tell me what it’s like to be an Arab citizen of Israel?