Shantti, 12-year-old rapper from Gaza is a ray of hope


From pictures circulating on the internet depicting Israeli soldiers abusing Palestinian children to news of 78 Palestinian children killed in the last week, it’s all too much to take in and embrace as our world’s truth. An environment in which world officials who advocate for human rights selectively disregard the pleas of Palestinian women and girls. Abdulrahman al-Shantti, a 12-year-old Gaza musician, is a ray of hope in the middle of the disaster.

Shantti comes up with rap and rhymes that represent the national chaos at an age when he should be in school or playing with his peers on the highway. In the midst of the same chaos, a Gaza rapper stands atop the ashes of fallen homes, rapping to draw attention to the country’s continuing human rights violations.

“This past week has been very tough for my home, Gaza City. I just want the world to know about the situation in Palestine. Music is what keeps me going,” he wrote.

He expressed gratitude to GMC Beats of Ireland for assisting him in the creation of the aforementioned work. “Stay safe everyone. All we want is peace,” he added.

Last year, the rapper from Gaza had also given an interview to Al-Jazeera. During the interview, he said, “I want to tell the outside world how the Palestinians live in Gaza and how we as children are supposed to live like normal people but don’t.”

He also revealed that he started rapping for fun and because he memorized Eminem’s song Not Afraid and realized he was good at it. Saleh, his father, told that his son is self-taught. On Saleh’s phone, the father-and-son pair records Abdulrahman rapping. Saleh, Abdulrahman’s father, said he is proud of his son, whose original lyrics describe three Israeli offensives during his 11 years on Earth.

In a recent post, Pakistani actor Osman Khalid Butt mentioned the rapper and urged people to raise their voices in support of Palestinian musicians.

Though children like Shantti give us optimism for a happier, more educated future, we can’t help but think of how war-torn these kids must be, and how their leisure and imagination are etched with survival instincts. Rappers and artists such as Abdulrahman Shantti’s work will be recognized as a kind of documenting as well as a child’s viewpoint on the continuing brutalization. For years to come, their works would recount their fears and mirror the Palestinians’ now silenced cries. Shantti’s speech, we think, would pave the way for Palestine’s independence.

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