The Gaza rapper Abdel-Rahman Al Shantti, known on Instagram as MCA Abdul, is only eleven, but already raps about war and suffering in Palestine. He raps in English to reach thousands of people with “a message of peace and humanity”.
Al Shantti shared a video on Instagram, where he was surrounded by his school friends in the same uniform, he stands in front of his school in Gaza City. In the video, he raps the Palestinian version of the song ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa.
The lyrics of the song are about life in Palestine, where a war with Israel has been raging for years. “We want peace and love, but our lives are at stake,” raps Al Shantti. “Some things will never change, some will remain the same, but when it’s all over, Palestine will continue to exist.”
In another song, ‘Peace’, Al Shantti raps about his memories of the war with Israel in 2009: “I was born in Gaza City, and the first thing I heard was a gunshot. On my first breath, I tasted gunpowder.”
His mother tongue is Arabic, but he raps fluently in English. In an interview with news agency Reuters, he says he learned that by listening to American rappers like Eminem, Tupac, and DJ Khaled. “I want to be like Eminem. I don’t mean I want to copy his style, because I have my own style. But he’s my idol,” he says.
With his lyrics, he wants to show the world the difficulties Gazans have. Economists say that the Israeli border blockade, according to Israel to protect itself from Hamas, leads to increasing poverty in the area.
“My message is one of peace. I want to convey it to as many people as possible,” says Al Shantti. “I want to show how I live in Gaza.” For example, in a video, he stands in front of a music shop. He tells that it is the only one in the whole of Gaza, a city with almost 2 million inhabitants.