Bella Hadid featured in a song about Gaza


Published: 2024-06-13 17:21

Last Updated: 2024-07-13 04:58

Editor: Mohammad Alakaileh

Mustafa The Poet.
Mustafa The Poet.

The Cast of "Gaza Is Calling"

The music video for "Gaza Is Calling" is graced by the presence of several notable figures. Bella Hadid, a renowned model and global superstar, brings her Palestinian heritage and deep connection to the subject matter, adding a layer of personal significance and visibility to the project. Mustafa himself features prominently, his powerful vocals and heartfelt performance driving the narrative. MC Abdul, a young rapper from Gaza whose work sheds light on the Palestinian experience, provides an authentic voice that resonates with the video's themes. Additionally, the video includes the poignant story of Israa Ahmed and her younger brother, who continue to live in a refugee camp in Jenin, Palestine. Their inclusion highlights the ongoing struggles faced by those directly affected by the devastating war and serves as a powerful reminder of the human impact of war.

Mustafa’s “Gaza Is Calling”

Toronto-based singer Mustafa has released a new single, “Gaza Is Calling.” The song, written in 2020, talks about Mustafa's reflections on a childhood friendship shattered by the aggression. Mustafa's vocal performance is deeply moving, further enhanced by the inclusion of a star-studded music video featuring global superstar Bella Hadid and Palestinian rapper MC Abdul. Notably, Mustafa is donating all net proceeds from the song to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

Inspiration Born from Broken Bonds

Mustafa's journey as an artist has always been deeply intertwined with his personal experiences. Born to Sudanese parents in Toronto, his music often reflects the struggles and triumphs of his community. “Gaza Is Calling” is no exception. The song is rooted in Mustafa's own heartbreak over a childhood friendship that was irrevocably affected by the violence both in their new home and the echoes of war from Gaza.

In a statement about the song, Mustafa explained, “Gaza is Calling is about my first experience with heartbreak in friendship. I was 11 when I met this boy from Gaza. We were inseparable. With him, I shared one of the deepest loves I’ve ever known. He grew up alongside me in a housing project in Toronto. And not even this love was a match for the violence we were up against; the one in our new home, the one that followed him from Gaza like a cold wind. In the end, it was all the bloodshed between us that didn’t allow us to see each other without tears appearing, and one of the last notes he sent to me was about how we would continue on in another life.”

The Harmonic Tapestry of “Gaza Is Calling”

Mustafa has seamlessly blended elements of Arabian nostalgia with modern influences. The string sample in the track evokes a sense of longing and cultural memory, while the autotuned Arabic vocals represent the balance Mustafa and his friend tried to achieve as boys from different cultural backgrounds growing up in a small neighborhood. The inclusion of the Oud, a traditional instrument from both Sudan and Palestine, further ties the song to their shared heritage.

The Heart-Rending Visuals

Directed by renowned filmmaker Hiam Abbas, the music video for “Gaza Is Calling” adds a visual narrative that amplifies the song’s emotional impact. The video features Bella Hadid and MC Abdul, both of whom bring their own personal connections to the project. Bella Hadid, a global superstar with Palestinian roots, and MC Abdul, a young rapper from Gaza, are perfect embodiments of the song's themes of loss, memory, and resilience.

Mustafa elaborated on the video’s concept, stating, “I reached out to Bella in 2022 about the Gaza is Calling short film. I wrote a story about a grief that meets you on whatever land you escape to. In it, we follow Bella Hadid and MC Abdul of Gaza as they journey through their grievances. A parallel story of Israa Ahmed and her younger brother plays out. Israa and her brother engage in the ruins & danger of a refugee camp in Palestine as Bella and Abdul engage with memorabilia & guilt in the western world. Hiam Abbas directs. Israa and her brother are still in this camp in Jenin, Palestine today. The hope is that this serves as a stark reminder that every path is ours, every child is ours, & every war is ours to answer for & speak against.”

Artistic Unity and Social Resonance

The collaboration between Mustafa, Bella Hadid, MC Abdul, and Hiam Abbas is a testament to the power of art in raising awareness and fostering empathy. Bella Hadid’s participation is particularly significant given her vocal advocacy for Palestinian rights. Her involvement in the project not only brings a higher profile to the video but also reinforces the message of ending the war on Gaza.

A Plea for Action and Awareness

Mustafa’s decision to donate all net proceeds from “Gaza Is Calling” to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund is a significant gesture that goes beyond mere artistic expression. It reflects his deep commitment to supporting those affected by the horrific war and his belief in the power of music to inspire change. The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund is a non-profit organization that provides medical and humanitarian aid to children in the Middle East, and Mustafa’s contribution will help support their vital work.

In his statement, Mustafa urged listeners to recognize their shared responsibility in addressing and speaking out against injustice. “The hope is that this serves as a stark reminder that every path is ours, every child is ours, & every war is ours to answer for & speak against,” he said. This call to action is a powerful reminder of the interconnectedness of humanity and the importance of solidarity in the face of suffering.

The Enduring Impact of “Gaza Is Calling”

“Gaza Is Calling” is more than just a song; it is a reflection on the impact of war and occupation on personal relationships and a powerful statement of solidarity with those affected by the ongoing aggression by the Israeli Occupation in Gaza. Through his heartfelt lyrics, intricate musical composition, and the compelling visual narrative of the music video, Mustafa has created a work that resonates deeply on both an emotional and intellectual level.

The collaboration with Bella Hadid, MC Abdul, and Hiam Abbas adds layers of depth and authenticity to the project, while the donation of proceeds to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund underscores Mustafa’s commitment to making a tangible difference.