Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat and Mohamed Elmasry the executive chairman of the Community of East Jerusalem have just celebrated an unusual event that caught the attention of millions of people around the world, including me.
A ceremony was held to celebrate the naming of a street in Jerusalem after the legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum.
As a kid growing up in Egypt, I still remember my brother tuning in Kol Yisrael Radio every night to listen to the so-called “Umm Kulthum hour”. Something that mayor Barkat mentioned in his speech below.
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Even though Egyptians honor Umm Kulthum as the “best” singer Egypt ever had, the news about naming Jerusalem street after her never came up on Egyptian TV, and nobody talked about it, except for one singer called Iman Elbahr Darwish, who said that the honor that Umm Kulthum received from Israel is very important because it came from “our enemy not from a friend who would have done this as a compliment to us”.
Funny enough, Darwish was still criticized for saying the word “honoring”! Leaves you wonder, when and where Arabs would start accepting the fact that there is a neighboring country called Israel.