Wednesday, 7 December 2011

She dreams of 1969*

When Israeli metal band Orphaned Land (gotta love that name) performed in France earlier this year, they were joined on stage - as usual - by Johanna Najla (also known as Johanna Fakhry). Johanna is a Lebanese belly dancer. Here is Johanna talking about her career and being on tour with Orphaned Land to French Metal in an interview posted online five days ago (clip is en Anglais):

All very interesting - what it was like to grow up in a conflict zone, what it's like to belly dance to metal and yaddayaddayadda. Search Johanna and Orphaned Land online, however, and you get a story that she doesn't even mention:

Yes, earlier this year she and the lead singer of Orphaned Land waved the flags of their respective countries of birth at a bunch of French metal heads. Peace, love and battle jackets, man. [Sidenote: does the lead singer of Orphaned Land know that he looks a bit like Jesus? Does he heck.]

Unfortunately, since The Lebanon and Israel are still officially at war, it is illegal for Lebanese citizens (even those who, like Johanna, have not lived in The Lebanon for a long time) to have any public dealings with Israelis. When the above clip hit the internet back in July, Johanna got death threats from her compatriots. How seriously she took those is probably indicated by the amount of time she spent discussing them in that recent interview.

*Today's post's title comes courtesy of Phil Oakey and The Human League:

The makeup! The shoulder pads! The hair! The earnest politics! God, '80s pop was fantastic.

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