Wednesday, February 07, 2007

IS Kuwaiti Love Affair with US Over? - Shams - Ahlan Ezayak

Shams, a singer from Kuwait, has released a video that has become rather popular in the Middle East. The song is called "Ahlan Ezzayak-featuring George Bush"(Ahlan Ezzayak is Egyptian dialect meaning "welcome, how are you doing"). The video itself is pretty funny. Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld and Cheney all get some coverage in it, as well as Shams chasing after American soldiers, who flee to avoid being hit with her shoe.

A few of things here. First, the video has gotten a lot of play in the Middle East. The singer is Kuwaiti, and the Kuwaitis, for a few decades, have been the people in the Middle East most supportive of America and American actions. The fact that this video comes from a Kuwaitia says something. Third, the recording company Rotana, how now dropped Shams. It is owned by Saudi Prince Waleed bin Talal and it is felt by some that the singer's anti-American feelings might have been behind it. Odd then, that she is later signed by a company with American backing.

Also important from the video is her blatant linking of the war in Iraq and the Palestinian struggle. Notice her walking into the sunset with a well known symbol of Palestinian resistance, the cartoon character Handalah created by Naji al-Ali. As she walks into the sunset hand in hand with Handalah she is wearing a wedding dress, clearly wedding the concept of Iraqi and Palestinian resistance to American, and hence Israeli, aggression.

The video is funny, so take a look.