Palestinians sing to Nasrallah tune

Hassan Nasrallah and a boy band would not seem a natural combination; but the Hezbollah leader has provided unexpected success for one Palestinian group.

    Nasrallah is an unlikely pop star

    Only a month ago, the five members of the Northern Band were working the West Bank wedding circuit and dreaming of stardom.

    But, inspired by Nasrallah's popularity with Palestinians during the recent conflict with Israel, the band re-worked an old tune, originally about Hamas, with new lyrics praising the Hezbollah secretary-general.

    The Hawk of Lebanon"became an instant hit and can be heard everywhere from Arab radio stations to the ring tones on peoples' mobile phones.

    Music stores are struggling to keep up with demand, partly because Israeli soldiers have confiscated copies of the songs at checkpoints.

    Mickey Rosenfeld, a spokesman for the Israeli police, said the song is considered inflammatory and that tapes and CDs containing it will be confiscated.

    Striking a chord

    The song's simple lyrics, "Hey, you, hawk of Lebanon. Hey, you, Nasrallah, Your men are from Hezbollah and victory is yours with God's help," have struck a chord with Palestinians.

    As a population, Palestinians are divided between Hamas and Fatah; but Hezbollah has proved a unifying force with Nasrallah becoming a hugely popular figure.

    Alaa Abu al-Haija, 28, who is the lead singer and manager of the Northern Band, says he gives audiences what they want to hear.

    "I see people turning toward Islam, so I have to sing to that."

    The group are now writing their next song about Nasrallah and enjoying the fruits of their labour. They have doubled their performance fee to $230 and at a recent wedding in Ramallah were asked to play Hawk of Lebanon six times.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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