The Israeli rock band, “Orphaned Land,” plays music with Israeli themes throughout the Arab and Muslim world.  While they are a heavy metal band, they use Sephardic melodies and instruments in their music.

Kobi Farhi, the leader of Orphaned Land, describes the impact he believes his band is having on the Arab world:

“Despite the fact that we are Israelis and Jews, we are extremely well-known in the Arab and Muslim world.  We were in Turkey a few months singing a Jewish poem from the synagogue.  

The crowd consisted of people from Iran, Lebanon, Syria, etc.  They were all there with flags.  They know that we are Orphaned Land from Israel.  We were singing a Jewish piyyut [religious poem] and they were singing along in Hebrew.   (Their latest album, “Mabool,” is about the Biblical account of the flood. )

Last year we played in Istanbul in front of 4,000 people from different Arab countries.  That same weekend there was an attempted lynching at the embassy in Cairo, Egypt. Outside of the embassy there were 4,000 people who wanted to burn, kill, and lynch anything in sight.”

Farhi went on to explain how the Arab media outlets covered their concert at the end of the newscast which focused on the mob in Egypt.  One cannot overlook the symbolism of  the fact that while 4,000 Arabs were rioting in Egypt,  4,000 other Arabs were being influenced towards co-existence and tolerance by this Israeli band.

Reported by DOV LIPMAN for United with Israel.

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