DJ Sama' Abdulhadi photo

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.

UPDATE: DJ Sama’ Abdulhadi released on bail by Palestinian Authority as more details emerge about techno party near religious shrine

This video circulating on social media allegedly shows the aftermath (5 Mag has been unable to verify it):

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:


The illegal arrest of Sama occurred after the attack on the Nabi Mousa concert in Jericho by a group of young people, who stopped the concert and threatened the attendees. This attack was followed by a vicious campaign of misinformation on social media which fueled violent reactions and personal attacks against Sama. The site, Maqam Nabi Musa, is under the custody of the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism who gave written approval to organize and film the concert in the Bazaar site (not in the mosque which is part of the site).


The ministry was aware of the type of music that will be played at the concert- techno- and that this concert will be filmed in this archaeological site featuring Sama Abdulhadi, one of the leading Arab women in techno music in the world, to promote Palestinian heritage sites and Palestinian techno music amongst music audiences around the world. Sama Abdulhadi is being made a scapegoat and held accountable for a crime that did not happen and one that she certainly did not commit.


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:

Photo via


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