Jehan Jaber, a Hebrew teacher from central Israel, has become an unlikely celebrity over there after the Arab teacher’s instructional song went viral on the Internet, drawing hundreds of thousands of views.
“I did not put the video on the Web. I just filmed myself to see how I could improve my teaching methods. I sent it to a friend, and then suddenly it went viral,” Jaber told Channel 2 News, after the ditty “Geshem Geshem Mitaftef” (Rain, Rain Dripping), landed on the lips of innumerable Israelis. In the video, she plays the darbuka (an Arab drum instrument) and gets her students to repeat the lines after her in folk-song style.
Based on the initial reaction, “Geshem Geshem Mitaftef” could become a beloved national song, as it’s already inspired cover versions from professions musicians concert and a group of Israeli soldiers. The song was even parodied on the comedy show Eretz Nehaderet, where the host changed up the lyrics to mock the country’s politicians.
Israel’s Arab students are educated in their own public schools, but take classes in Hebrew starting in elementary schools in order to be able to interact with their Jewish fellow citizens.