No strangers to the Middle Eastern hip hop scene, veteran Palestinian rap trio DAM (Da Arabian MC’s) releases “Juliano’s Way”, a beautiful tribute song to director Juliano Mer Khamis.

DAM consists of Suhell Nafar, Tamer Nafar & Mahmoud Jreri, who have become an influential and inspirational voice in Palestine. Working together since the 1990s, they have gained worldwide recognition, as well as being featured on almost every major news network. Based in Lyd, just 15 min from Tel Aviv, they work to provide the youth and neighbouring communities with programs and opportunities they otherwise would not have. They are truly rappers with a cause.

You might ask what role did Juliano play in their lives that inspired them to make this tribute? Well,in their own words.

We met in 2004, when he directed our video “Born here”. The video took us into the next level of protesting- from talking the talk to walking it. We were just kids and Juliano was much older, so he knew what we had inside us, and he knew how to bring it out from us in front of the camera. I remember not understanding why he pulled out his camera when the cops came. He screamed at me to “RAP ! RAP!” and out of instinct I stood in front of the cops and rapped in their faces. The video gained us much respect on the streets and we felt we had grown to face anything.

It felt dangerous to be right when the authorities are wrong. The questions- what are we fighting for? Can we change things or are we too stubborn to make an effort? So should you just live your life and not waste your time fighting? But, after Jul’s death it became personal, I mean you f***** with my friend, it is personal so I will be obsessed till I get ours. Jul had everything, even the looks -women wanted him, he could’ve just lived an easy life, but he left it to live in a refugee camp, he planted hope there with his theatre.

Now you have at least 10 kids who took up acting as a career, they breath, practice and tour with it. Where would they be if it wasn’t for him ? He died but he gave life for others before he left. How many of us do so?

We are mourning a great person who believed that his home is where people are being oppressed.

The music video for “Juliano’s way” focuses on Juliano Mer Khamis and highlights the work that he’s done for the Palestinian youth & the impact that he’s had on their lives. Clips of actual footage with the late Juliano Mer Khamis make up the majority of the video, with scenes of him teaching students at his theatre to walking in the streets of Palestine to the droves of people mourning his death, the video is a touching dedication to a man that has made a positive difference in so many lives.

The chorus of the song features a sample from “Into the Night” by Benny Mandones.

Watch the tribute right here:

DAM feat. Juliano’s Students “Juliano’s Way”

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