Spiky bangs and tight low-cut dresses are not the first things that pop into the minds of us who don’t know any better when they think of Palestinian women. However, singer, song-writer and actress Mira Awad brought these and a smattering of other surprises throughout her entire show.
Awad strummed the guitar, shook a rattle and played a long woodwind instrument that doubled as a belly dancing stick as she broke into short bats of traditional dances from the other side of the Mediterranean. Gracing her audience with Castilian in between her Arabic and English songs, near the end of her performance, she announced "many of you might already know this. But I'm half Arabic. My mother is from Bulgaria and I’d like to play you a song from that place.” Then she broke into a shrill, fast-paced Balkan melody with accompanying dance.
The rising star, who was the first Arab to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest, solemnly described how the 2009 war in Gaza broke out as she was touring to promote the song 'There Must be Another Way', which promotes coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis. “Suddenly it was not any fun anymore to be singing a pop song,” she told a captivated audience. She continued by describing a series of long, emotional email correspondences that were written between her and long-time friend and co-singer in the Israeli Eurovision song entry, Noa. When writing the song, she took lines from the emails written between the two. What followed her description was an English song describing her shock with intermittent wailings in Arabic.
Her tour in Spain celebrates the release of her first solo album, Bahlawan (Acrobat) released under Spanish record label Resistencia—the album is a tribute to her little brother, her guardian angel.