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‘Hello you’: UAE-Israeli song takes YouTube by storm

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The scene cuts from Dubai to Tel Aviv, the lyrics switch from Arabic to Hebrew to English and the song is a slightly kitsch electro-pop duet by artists who, for now, remain apart.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has boasted that the Gulf deals highlight shifting priorities in the region.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has said the pact “opens the way to a new era of cooperation”.

Live concert

The song was written by Doron Medalie, who also wrote “Toy”, which won the 2018 Eurovision contest in Israel.

The chorus — “I hear you friend far away, far away” — is repeated in the three languages, while the music video’s action pivots from Marziano dancing with friends in Israel to Aljasim in Dubai.

Marziano said that peace was a common theme in Israeli music. He said it was a “personal victory” to see young Israelis and Emiratis interacting online to discuss the song on his YouTube page, adding that he is planning a live concert with Aljasim when the coronavirus pandemic ends.