front tries to block Algerian singer
Daily Star (Lebanon)
13 July 2002
A gathering of political parties and civil associations urged the
government Friday to forbid Algerian singer Khaled from participating
at the Beiteddine Festival, accusing him of supporting normalization
In statement, the group said that the King of Rai
had on more than one occasion praised the democracy of the Zionist
They also accused Khaled of performing a song last May with the
Israeli singer Noa in a gathering called the Meeting for Peace
organized by Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni, which was attended by Israeli
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who was prime minister when the 1996
Qana massacre took place.
The participants urged President Emile Lahoud to intervene, especially
since Lebanon refuses to receive promoters of normalization
with the Zionist enemy.
The statement urged the Beiteddine Festival organizing committee
to forbid Khaled from participating, while adding it was confident
that the Lebanese public would boycott Mondays performance.
demand Rai singer 'apologize'
By Ibtisam Awadat,
Star Staff Writer
July 13, 2002
King of Rai, Algerian superstar Khaled was expected
to be the super star of the upcoming Souk Ukaz cultural festival.
King of Rai, Algerian superstar Khaled was expected to be the super
star of the upcoming Souk Ukaz cultural festival. However, a political
debate has been brewing ever since his participation became known.
News of Khaled's performance in Italy with Nowa, a Jewish singer,
is causing an uproar notably among the Professional Associations
and represented by their Anti-Normalization Committee (ANC).
The Committee called on the Algerian singer for a written apology,
otherwise they would launch a campaign to boycott his concert in
In a reconciliatory move, director of the Middle East Center for
Culture and Development (MECCAD) Iman Hindawi met with head of the
Presidents' Council of the Professional Associations Hashim Gharaybeh
and provided him with evidence regarding Khaled's stand which is
against the Israeli practices on the Palestinian people.
Khaled is to perform on 18 July within the activities of Souk Ukaz
which are taking place on 15-21 July. But news quickly spread about
the participation of Khaled in a concert in Rome accompanied by
Nowa, an Israeli singer of a Yemeni origin.
Reports said Khaled and Nowa presented a duet about peace and the
need for the Palestinians to live in peace. Other news reports said
the Algerian singer already recorded an album with Nowa.
The Rome concert was last May during a meeting between Palestinian
and Israeli officials. Rome's Mayor Walter Viltroni organized a
meeting attended by Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Yasser
Arafat's Advisor Mohammed Rashid.
"I wasn't the only Arab singer who participated in that concert,
there was Palestinian singer Nabil Khouri, but I was the only one
to be attacked," Khaled said in a telephone call with members
of the press in Amman.
Gharaybeh said the Professional Associations are not against Souk
Ukaz but their call for boycott aim at "preventing anyone who
seeks to establish normal ties with Israel," Gharaybeh said
in a press conference.
Gharaybeh pointed out the Associations will stop its boycott if
"the artist declared his denunciation of Israeli practices
and the refusal of normalization." Meanwhile, president of
the Anti-Normalization Committee, Ali Abul Sukkar told The Star
an apology will be satisfactory by Khaled who is still more popularly
name as Chab Khaled, despite the fact that he dropped the first
word from his artistic name back in 1996. "We haven't received
any written clarification from Ukaz's organizers," However,
Hindawi was reported to have told Gharaybeh a press conference will
be organized prior to Khaled's concert to restate his position.
The Jordan Artists Association has not till now issued a permission
for him to sing in Amman. The Association supports the ANC in its
anti-normalization stand and will only permit Khaled to perform
only if he apologizes for singing with Nowa. According to the Artists
Associations Law, any Arab or foreign artist who wants to perform
in Jordan has to get a prior permission from them.
In a press conference by the Ukaz organizers, Khaled told journalists
via phone he completely rejects normalization saying "they
[Israelis] are not my brothers". When questioned about singing
with Nowa, Khaled asked "why not sing for peace?" He noted
he already met with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and said
he would like to organize a concert in Gaza for "the Palestinians
who haven't been happy for 50 years," Khaled said.
Khaled is considered one of the innovators of Rai by adding new
elements to its traditional style. He started playing at an early
age, becoming well-versed in the guitar, bass, accordion and harmonica.
His first recording was "La Route de Lyc?e while he was still
14 in1974. It was at that time the word Cheb (young), was added
to his name Khalid and soon after he started to experiment with
traditional Rai, mixing the music with western sounds and instruments.
While his music became very popular it was latter banned by the
government of Algeria, a situation which continued till 1983.
Because there was a campaign against Cheb Khalid by Islamists,
he finally settled in France in 1990. Two years latter, he enjoyed
great success with his song Didi and his album Khaled. And latter,
that is in 1996, he decided to remove the word Cheb from his artistic
More success came that year when his new song Aicha came out. In
Ukaz, Khaled is expected to perform songs from his latest Kinza
album. "My dream is to break all the barriers in front of Arabic
music since it can adapt to any international music," Khaled
said. Through his music, Khaled seeks to "change the image
which foreign media depicts [us] as only terrorists, we are a people
of peace," Khaled noted.