Star of ‘Fauda’: Israeli singer Idan Amedi on cultural bridges | Music | DW

Concerts, comedy evenings, film screenings, exhibitions or open days in synagogues: the 35th Jewish Culture Days festival, which takes place in Berlin from September 10 to 18, presents the diversity of modern Jewish life in the capital. German.

The event opens Saturday with a concert by Israeli singer-songwriter Idan Amedi, probably best known outside of Israel for his role in the Netflix series “Fauda.”

“Fauda”: Israel’s hit action series

Amedi joined the cast of the action series at the start of the second season. After the TV series was picked up by Netflix in 2016, “Fauda” became an international hit. The fourth season will be released later this year.

“Fauda,” which means “chaos” in Arabic, follows a team of undercover Israel Defense Forces operatives as they track down Palestinian terrorists. Amedi stars as Sagi Tzur, a new recruit to main protagonist Doron Kavillio’s team, played by series co-creator Lior Raz.

A photo from the ‘Fauda’ set, with Idan Amedi second from the right

Raz and his co-author, journalist Avi Issacharoff, wrote “Fauda” based on their real-life experiences serving in the special forces unit of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

While the series is undoubtedly told from an Israeli point of view, which has led to criticism of its politics, it has also been widely praised for bringing depth and humanity to characters on both sides of the conflict. – which could explain why “Fauda” is also successful in many Arab countries.

Idan Amedi also thinks that portraying the weaknesses of the protagonists is what makes “Fauda” special. For viewers, it offers “a new way to look at things; to see both sides struggling, but also both sides crying and dealing with all the sides and colors of life,” he said. at DW. “And I think it’s also interesting for us [Israelis] see the other side as human beings, not as enemies.”

Even though the actors stage scenes of extreme violence, Amedi sees the role above all as a “dream come true” for him because, as he says, “every little boy dreams of becoming an action star “.

An Israeli star is born

Before becoming an actor, Idan Amedi rose to prominence in Israel as a pop star.

His breakthrough came with his participation in the talent show “Kochad Nolad” (A Star is Born) in 2010, where he performed “Pain of Warriors”, a song he had written during his military service with the corps combat engineering.

The song, which references nightmares, bloodied uniforms and a soldier’s desire for loved ones, became a hit in Israel, where military service is compulsory and the radio network under IDF authority is also very popular. popular.

He has since released four albums, and another is on the way. He is primarily focused on his music career, but currently has other acting projects beyond “Fauda”. “I cheat on my music from time to time,” he says with a charming smile.

Combine cultures

One of his songs, “Menasim” (Try), which combines Hebrew and Arabic, was used as the theme for “Fauda”. The use of two languages ​​reflects one of the aspects of the series, as the undercover agents must learn Arabic and the ways of the Palestinians in order to blend in.

“Language is like a bridge,” says Amedi. “So I believe that when we combine these languages, we can combine our cultures; we can connect and come together.”

Amedi, born February 19, 1988, grew up in Jerusalem. Here too, the mixture of cultures helped him to develop as an artist. He realized when he started traveling elsewhere how “unique and open-minded” the city was, as the “center of all major religions”. Growing up there gave him an understanding of Arabic and English and the culture of those religions, he adds.

Both sides of his family hail from Kurdistan, Iraq and Iran, and Amedi also celebrates his Judeo-Kurdish roots by singing songs in Kurdish at his concerts.

love and politics

Many of Idan Amedi’s songs are romantic pop. But, since he’s Israeli, the seemingly lighthearted songs about love and loss are always more than heartbreak.

“Here in Israel, love and politics are a daily routine. Everything goes together, it’s one big salad,” he says. Whether it’s his family or his Arab friends, they all know that every day can start with a missile attack that could change everything.

But despite the strife, as Amedi points out, Israel ranked 9th in the UN-sponsored 2022 World Happiness Index: “We know how to enjoy life and how to live every moment as if it were the last – I know it sounds huge. But it gives a lot of meaning to life.”

He now shares a piece of his unique culture in Berlin, through his concert at Jewish Culture Days. The event, held in a synagogue, provokes a “mixture of emotions”, he says. It is very special for him to sing about his house, his wife and his friends in this context: “Because of history, all Israelis and all Jews have a love-hate relationship with Germany. But you can’t avoid it. not avoid the story.”

Edited by: Dagmar Breitenbach

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