A techno party near a revered shrine in the State of Palestine has lead to an uproar and the arrest of acclaimed techno DJ Sama’ Abdulhadi.
According to the the Italian La Repubblica, “hundreds” of Palestinian youth attended a party Saturday at the Nabi Musa shrine near Jericho, which according to Muslims is built upon the resting site of the prophet Moses. Clips on social media from the techno party provoked outrage and a group that onlookers described as a “mob” from around Palestine converged on Nabi Musa to forcibly shut down the event.
This video circulating on social media allegedly shows the aftermath (5 Mag has been unable to verify it):
The party was disrupted midway by local Muslim Palestinians who found out about it on Instagram and decided to attack the participants. Some participants were also beaten up. pic.twitter.com/UOGhsZuzUd
— FJ (@Natsecjeff) December 28, 2020
Organizers claimed to have obtained permits for the event from the Palestinian Authority. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has allegedly set up a commission to investigate and the Minister of Religious Affairs, Hussam Abu al-Rub, called the party “obscene.”
“We will not be silent and we will prosecute anyone who took part in it,” the minister added.
One of those has already been arrested. DJ Sama’ Abdulhadi was arrested by Palestinian Authority police in Ramallah, allegedly on charges of “offending religion.” Further claims say that on Tuesday morning, Sama’s detention was extended “for a period of 15 days” partly because “techno music is not [recognized as] part of the Palestinian heritage.”
Defenders have pointed out that the location was actually the courtyard of the shrine and not the building itself, and the event was fully permitted by the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism. Abdulhadi has been arrested as a “scapegoat” and “held accountable for a crime that did not happen and one that she certainly did not commit.”
A petition has been posted to demand Sama’s release and organizers are beginning to voice their concern behind the #FreeSama hashtag on Twitter:
Sama’ Abdulhadi has been acclaimed as the State of Palestine’s “first female DJ” and a pioneer for the regional underground scene. She has been featured on Boiler Room, France 24 and contributed a BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix in 2019.
Activists on Twitter have joined the call for Abdulhadi’s immediate release:
Sama is one of the best DJs in the region. A unique woman Middle eastern DJ who made her way to the most famous international venues! #Palestine government gave her permission to do a party in a location in Ramallah, then detained her for that!
#FreeSama Abdulhadi pic.twitter.com/qe24EVDYde
— Zaina Erhaim (@ZainaErhaim) December 29, 2020