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
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.
MWR Greatest Hits - Because I'm an Arab
01 - Eftho Al Bwab (Open Doors).
02 - Horeya Ma'meye (Blind Liberty) By Mahmood Shalabi.
03 - Abiad (Drugs).
04 - Sa7Se7 (Wake Up) By Waseem Akar.
05 - Ya Shabi (My People).
06 - Aref Nafsak (Identify Yourself) Featuring DAM 'Da Arabian MCs' .
07 - Ya Yoma (Mom).
08 - Ashanena Arab (Because We are Arabs).
09 - Efham (Understand) By Mahmood Shalabi.
10 - Besam Al Rap (Name Of Rap) Featuring SAZ, WE7, DAM, Abeer, Arapeyat, khalifa E, North life.
11 - Masari (Money).
12 - Malaki (My Angel) By Waseem Akar Featuring Suhiel Fodi.
13 - Karakeeb (Untidy).
14 - YaMashAllah (God wills).
15 - Akka #1 (Acre Number One) By Waseem Akar.
16 - Al Nasheed (The Anthem) Mahmood Shalabi Featuring DAM, Arapeyat, Abeer, WE7 & PR.
17 - Orobetna Bkhatar (Arabs in danger).
18 - Gazwa Harfeya (Lyrical Invasion) By Mahmood Shalabi Featuring Tamer Nafar & SAZ.
19 - Moshkeletna (Our problem) By Waseem Akar.
20 - Shou El Far2 (The difference) By Richard Savo.
21 - Law Kan Beade (If I Had) By Waseem Akar Featuring WE7.
22 - Ashanak Arabi (Because I'm an Arab).
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 -
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."
Many thanks to Mik Eraif, group manager MWR, for the kindness and courtesy.