Duet with Israeli leads to singer’s arrest in Kuwait

While Morocco recently signed a normalization agreement with the Jewish State, Kuwait has remained icy towards Israel.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A popular Moroccan singer was arrested in Kuwait on Tuesday because of an Arabic-Hebrew duet with an Israeli singer, local media reported.

Sanaa Mohamed, who splits her time between Morocco and the Gulf kingdom, was taken for questioning by Kuwaiti authorities just one day after the release of her song “Jonemar,” featuring Israeli singer Elkana Marziano.

Marziano previously collaborated with Emirati singer Wassim Al Jasim for the song “Ahlan Bik” (Welcome), which celebrated the UAE – Israel peace deal. The song has racked up more than 1.7 million views on YouTube since its September 2020 debut.

Featuring sprawling desert landscapes in Morocco and Israel, the music video for “Jonemar” shows Mohamed and Marziano singing the tale of two star-crossed lovers.

Mohamed sings in Arabic, and Marziano, whose family originates from Morocco, mostly sings in Hebrew, spiced up with a few Moroccan-Arabic phrases.

It’s unclear on what grounds Mohamed was arrested, but a Dubai-based source with knowledge of the case told Mako that “the situation within Kuwait…is very complex, and she was arrested because there is actually no diplomatic relationship between Kuwait and Israel.”

While Morocco recently signed a normalization agreement with the Jewish state, Kuwait has remained icy towards Israel.

Read  Why is the US banning Israeli musicians from performing?

“She is in trouble at the moment, but it’s likely that she’ll be released and deported back to Morocco,” the source said.

Fears for Mohamed’s safety spiked after the YouTube premiere of her song with Marziano. She was bombarded with death threats across her social media platforms after the song was released, and Marziano became concerned when he was not able to get in contact with her.

“Sanaa is a well-known singer in Morocco and has performed for the royal families in Kuwait and Dubai,” Marziano told Mako. “She has an Instagram page with more than 200,000 followers. She is a very talented young singer.”

“Of course she cannot be interviewed from there nor can she upload anything to social media,” the source told Mako.

“She says she has no regrets and told the police that Marziano is Moroccan, he belongs to her people, and she will also visit Israel in the future.”