- Published on Monday, 09 July 2012 10:19
This article, written by Janne Louise Andersen, appeared on Rolling Stone Middle East on July 08,2012
The past year has been 30-year-old Syrian-American rapper Omar Offendum’s biggest to date. He’s played universities, festivals and clubs all over the U.S., Canada, Australia, Europe and the Middle East, promoting his debut album SyrianamericanA. Since March, Offendum has played 10 different charity events for Syria in the U.S. and Europe that have raised several hundred thousand dollars of aid money for those suffering as a result of the current uprisings in his parents’ homeland (Offendum himself was born in Saudi Arabia and his family emigrated to the U.S. when he was a kid).
And while his pro-revolution stance has brought positive feedback, with many fans at his shows telling him they’ll see him “next year in Syria, inshallah,” others have suggested he’s not doing enough (“You should have written 15 songs about Syria by now”). He’s also faced threats from supporters of the Syrian regime, ranging from the less-than-scary “Don’t you dare release this song” to the seriously intimidating “We should have killed you all in 1982,” a reference to a government-led massacre in Offendum’s father’s hometown of Hamah. Offendum has learned he’s now officially persona non grata in Syria – “Not something I’m surprised by, nor something that I want to test,” he says.
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