Israeli Jewish and Arab rock bands unite on tour

Heavy metal bands Orphaned Land and Khalas take message of coexistence across Europe.

Jewish and Arab rockers Orphaned Land and Khalas have just wrapped up a joint tour across Europe, serving up heavy metal beats infused with a message of coexistence.

Orphaned Land is Israel’s most successful band in the Arab world.

Their goal has always been to unite listeners through music. “I am inspired by all religions but I have discovered that music is the strongest religion,” Orphaned Land lead singer Kobi Farhi told ISRAEL21c in an earlier video interview.
“Our music has no nation and no religion.”

Sky News covered Orphaned Land and Khalas’s joint performances in the UK, the Netherlands, and France. Farhi told the British station that he and Khalas guitarist Abed Hathut “have succeeded to grow above the conflict. Whether we come from an Arab, Jewish, Israeli, Muslim background, we adopted music as our religion above anything else.

“We share ideas, we talk about life. We talk about history. It’s a strong, deep friendship. One of the most interesting friendships I have discovered in my life. And I’m learning every day, being a friend of Abed, how much we are brainwashed.”

Khalas – Arabic Rock Orchestra band mates are based in Acre (Acco). Their music combines traditional Arabic rhythms with electric guitars and Arabic lyrics.

Orphaned Land hails from the central city of Petah Tikva. The group sings in Hebrew.

The two bands say their collaboration shows that peace is possible.

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About Viva Sarah Press

Viva Sarah Press is an associate editor and writer at ISRAEL21c. She has extensive experience in reporting/editing in the print, online and broadcast fields. Her work has been published by international media outlets including Israel Television, CNN, Reuters, The Jerusalem Post and Time Out.