Arapeyat (roughly translated as Arab Women Who Rap) began in 2001 as a female duo from the city of Akka, with members Safa Hathoot and Nahwa Abed Alal. The group came to international prominence when filmmaker Jackie Salloum featured them in her documentary, “Slingshot Hip Hop”, which premiered at the Sundance Festival. In the film, the ladies of Arapeyat talk about the tremendous resistance they received when they tried to start a female rap group, and the importance of communicating a message of power to other young women in the Arab world and beyond. Since then, Safa has gone out on her own as a solo artist, bringing one of the toughest new voices in Arab Hip Hop to stages across Israel, Palestine, Europe, and the UK.
In this clip from “Slingshot Hip Hop”, the ladies of Arapeyat say it succinctly: “I want to see the outside and show people that there are Arab girls doing rap.”
I’m not sure where this video came from but I think it reveals something about these brave young women, in their easy stage presence, their rapid flow, their fearless approach to the camera.