On Sundown on Sunday, Israel will pause to mourn the nation’s fallen soldiers on Yom HaZikaron, or Memorial Day. This year, an Arab pop singer is helping to usher in the somber mood.
Most Arabs don’t serve in Israel’s military, and oppose Israel’s military policy in the West Bank and Gaza.
That’s what makes Qadri’s participation in the Sunday night memorial day ceremony at Sultan’s Pool in Jerusalem, one of several across Israel, so unusual.
When a reporter with Israeli news site Ynet suggested that it would be difficult to perform on Israel’s most nationalist holiday, Qadri brushed away the question.
“Don’t take me into these corners,” she said. “We were born into a difficult, abnormal and crazy reality. I come from a place of making it simpler, more positive. Music can bring people together, and that’s what I’m doing.”
Qadri believes her planned performance at the national torch lighting ceremony on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl for Israel’s 69th Independence Day will make the event more inclusive could help make the event feel inclusive for Arabs.
“They will say: ‘Look, our Nasreen in singing.’”
Naomi Zeveloff is the former Middle East correspondent of the Forward, primarily covering Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
Nasreen Qadri Is Singing On Israel’s Memorial Day