After Muhammad Assaf’s Arab Idol victory, four young musicians from Gaza known as “Al Takht Al Sharqi” have also made headlines, having participated in another copy-cat talent show, Arabs Got Talent. Although they are now out of the finals, their performance have gained them many fans. Their act got the “Golden Buzzer” from judge Nasser Al Qasabi and “a clip of their performance has already been viewed more than 11 million times on YouTube.”

Dina Al Natour, a ­Palestinian -Jordanian mother of two living in Dubai, was one of the first to share the video in the UAE, early on Sunday morning, a few hours after the show aired on MBC4. She wrote on her Facebook feed: “In the middle of war they sang. In the midst of all the death and pain they did not give up and were determined to follow their dream. So many other kids from Gaza have not been able to leave yet. So many wonderful talented kids were killed before they got the chance … But I’m happy at least these kids were able to.”


Anas An-Najar, a long-time teacher with the Gaza-based Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, spoke about the students to

He explained that the young musicians – 14-year-old singer Ahmad Almadhoun, 14-year-old wooden flute player Rema Ashour, 13-year-old drummer Ramzy Alfar, 16-year-old lute player Seraj Alsersawi and 13-year-old zither player Mahmoud Ekhail – all managed to cross into Egypt via the Rafah border crossing in Sinai. They spent one night at Cairo Airport and then flew to Beirut, where the competition was held.

“Our four students traveled in the middle of a war and we were all concerned about their lives. This is life in Gaza, a life that is filled with challenges. It is great that it has been such a success,” said An-Najar.

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