Let me share with you a lesson on popular culture and the Middle East.
The Black Eyed Peas have a #1 hit, I Gotta Feeling. Even your parents might have heard it;Oprah had a live performance of the song featuring 21,000 dancers as her season opener this year.
Those who have heard the song are probably already familiar with the
Driving home from work last night, I was listening to Radio Sama, an Arabic-language radio station based in Ramallah. They started playing I Gotta Feeling. And, I noticed something very strange.
At first, I thought maybe there was some glitch in the reception of my car radio or maybe I heard wrong. By the second iteration of the bridge, it was clear there was no mistake. “Mazal tov” had been masked. Yup. The same way you may not be able to hear “f*ck” or other colorful language in your favorite song’s radio version, “mazal tov” was covered up by Radio Sama.
Mazal tov, as much of Jewish language and culture, is so accepted as part of American culture that a regular (non-Jewish) group like the Black Eyed Peas (with no Jewish members, as far as I know) includes it in their song lyrics.
Maybe it’s silly, but it struck me as a profoundly sad example of where the Palestinian Arab culture is that this self-described “upbeat and impartial” radio station “focus[ed] on…youth” is so intolerant to Jewish (not even strictly Israeli) language and culture that it goes to the lengths of censoring “mazal tov” from a song.
Even if last night wasn’t a good night, maybe tomorrow will be a better day

Let me share with you a lesson on popular culture and the Middle East.

The Black Eyed Peas have a #1 hit, I Gotta Feeling.   Even your parents might have heard it; Oprah had a live performance of the song featuring 21,000 dancers as her season opener this year.

Those who have heard the song are probably already familiar with the bridge:

Black Eyed Peas

Fill up my cup
Mazal tov
Look at her dancing
Just take it off
Lets paint the town
We’ll shut it down
Let’s burn the roof
And then we’ll do it again

Driving home from work last night, I was listening to Radio Sama 93.6 FM, an Arabic-language radio station based in Ramallah.  They started playing I Gotta Feeling.   And, I noticed something very strange.

At first, I thought maybe there was some glitch in the reception of my car radio or maybe I heard wrong.   By the second iteration of the bridge, it was clear there was no mistake.   “Mazal tov” had been masked.   Yup.   The same way you may not be able to hear expletives or other colorful language in your favorite song’s radio version, “mazal tov” was covered up by Radio Sama.

Mazal tov, as much of Jewish language and culture, is so accepted as part of American culture that a regular (non-Jewish) group like the Black Eyed Peas (with no Jewish members, as far as I know) includes it in their song lyrics.

Maybe it’s silly, but it struck me as a profoundly sad example of where the Palestinian Arab culture is that this self-described “upbeat and impartial” radio station “focus[ed] on…youth” is so intolerant to Jewish (not even strictly Israeli) language and culture that it goes to the lengths of censoring “mazal tov” from a song.

Let’s keep the hope alive that even if last night wasn’t a good night, maybe tomorrow will be a better day.