02/27/04
NYC: Hip hop group
from Palestine
performing "MWR"

STRAIGHT FROM PALESTINE

MWR - PALESTINIAN HIP HOP

This is the HISTORIC first US appearance of members of MWR, a Palestinian hiphop group.
For more info, see their bio, below - or, go to www.mwr-rap.com.

OTHER PERFORMERS INCLUDE:
KONTRAST - a New York City-based Filipino hip-hop group
NEW RAP ORDER
PLUS DJs and MORE PERFORMERS TBA

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 29, 2004 7PM
Sliding Scale Admission

Alwan for the Arts
16 Beaver Street, 4th floor
New York, NY 10004 (Wall Street Area)

Phone: (646)473-0991 Fax: (646)473-0993
E-mail: nyc@alwan.org Web: www.alwan.org

NOTE: THIS SHOW IS BEING ADVERTISED LAST MINUTE BECAUSE OF VISA PROBLEMS THE BAND HAS FACED. ONE OF THE MEMBERS OF MWR HAD HIS VISA DENIED AT THE LAST MINUTE. HOWEVER, THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE BAND ARE HERE, AND WILL BE PERFORMING.


"Because I'm an Arab" (translated lyrics)

"Why are we living in a time without happiness and hope?
when you're looking for a job they gonna fire you
they turn you down and say you're not qualified

and why? 'cause you're an Arab!

wherever you go they want you to show your ID -
without cause
why can't we be equal
why are we not treated as humans?

instead of setting free the most beautiful doves of peace
they invent effective devices to kill
instead of looking for a way to peace
they ask why the youth is wasted
why are we living in a time without happiness and hope?

A policeman sees me, immediately arrests me, asks me
some racist questions, and why? Because I'm an Arab."

Let me live. I'm just trying to live."

MWR
In 1999, after years of friendship, four young Palestinians, living in Akka, Palestine, joined together and formed one of the first Arab hip hop groups: MWR. Mahmoud, Waseem, Richi and Charlie (dj Chuck) do not mince words. Their lyrics speak to their unique experience as Palestinians living within the borders of Israel. Essentially they live as third class citizens in their own homeland. Typical to young people all over the world, American hip-hop has been a great influence on the group's music, as has its Algerian counterparts. MWR uses music both as an effective method of self-expression as well as a tool to draw attention to the plight of the Palestinians. Rapping almost entirely in Arabic, they sing about racism, poverty, drugs, the Israeli occupation, and the lack of support from the Arab governments. Their political focus and sharp, often biting lyrics, combined with strong hip-hop beats and an unforgettable stage presence, have earned them fans around the world.

"Because I'm an Arab" topped the charts for two weeks on a Haifa radio station, and MWR was named band of the year. The group has appeared on CNN, MTV EUROPE, and other television networks worldwide. Most recently, they performed in France. This was, in fact, their first trip outside of the country. Additionally they have appeared throughout Palestine - their performance at a rap festival in Nazareth last year drew thousands of people. For more info on the band, as well as links to some of their press, and songs you can download, go to www.mwr-rap.com

A broad coalition of U.S. community, social activism and artist groups have collaborated to bring MWR to the country. We see this as an opportunity to build bridges between communities of resistance, and to bring energy and inspiration to these movements. As far as we know, this is the first time a Palestinian hip hop group has toured the US.