In August, Israel and the UAE announced that they had reached a US-brokered deal to normalise ties. The UAE’s Sheikh has said the pact “opens the way to a new era of cooperation”. The Knesset (Israel Parliament) ratified the peace deal between Israel and UAE in a unanimous vote on Thursday. The normalisation has produced its first musical collaboration too: “Ahlan Bik”, or “Hello you” in Arabic. The song was written by Doron Medalie, who also wrote “Toy”, which won the 2018 Eurovision contest in Israel. Israeli singer Elkana Marziano duet with Emirati artist Walid Aljasim had more than 1.1 million YouTube views since it was posted on September 30.
The scene cuts from Dubai to Tel Aviv, the lyrics switch from Arabic to Hebrew to English. Marziano, 28, is a former winner of Israel’s version of The Voice, a singing competition TV show. The singers collaborated over the Zoom video-conferencing service, with some parts of the song recorded in Dubai and others in Israel. Marziano said that peace was a common theme in Israeli music. He added that he is planning a live concert with Aljasim when the coronavirus pandemic ends.