Bella Hadid stars in Canadian singer Mustafa's stirring 'Gaza is Calling' music video

Bella Hadid stars in Canadian singer Mustafa's stirring 'Gaza is Calling' music video
The music video depicts tenderness, grief, and anger among Palestinians across the world, from occupied West Bank and Gaza to those in the diaspora.
3 min read
13 June, 2024
Bella Hadid, who is of Palestinian heritage, has advocated vehemently for the Palestinian cause throughout her career [Getty/file photo]

Palestinian-American model Bella Hadid has teamed up with Sudanese-Canadian musician Mustafa on a music video titled 'Gaza is Calling'.

The video stars the model and 15-year-old Palestinian rap prodigy, MC Abdul, as a mother and son who have sought refuge overseas from Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territory.

At the start of the video, Hadid can be seen gazing at a map showing Palestine before the creation of Israel in 1948, adorned with a sticker of the Palestinian flag.

The clip also features Palestinian siblings Israa and Younes Ar’arawi, who live in a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin and whose storyline is shown in parallel with that of Hadid and MC Abdul's.

The children's playfulness at the start of the video eventually turns into horror towards the end, as they are met with the reality of Israel’s brutal occupation, while Hadid and the rapper’s relief turns into rage.

The short film, which is almost five minutes long, is directed by Palestinian actress Hiam Abbas and director Sakir Kahder and features lyrics in Arabic, accompanied by a melody played on the oud.

The song was written and recorded in 2022, the artist formerly known as Mustafa the Poet said, and that he and Hadid conceptualised the video in the same year.

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Mustafa told pop culture website Dazed the song is about a Palestinian boy from Gaza who he grew up with in Toronto, Canada, and with whom he experienced his first friendship heartbreak.

"I wrote a story about a grief that meets you on whatever land you escape to... the hope is that this serves as a stark reminder that every path is ours, every child is ours, and every war is ours to answer for and speak against," he told the website.

In an Instagram post, Mustafa said that it "haunts him" that 'Gaza is Calling' was "written and recorded so long ago", given the current atrocities carried out by Israel in Gaza.

"It is also evidence of how this nightmare & occupation has always been, how before a lens there was sill accounting for the death of a child, the death of a freedom, death from innocence," he added.

The artist said all the song's proceeds will go towards the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund.

Hadid, who is the daughter of Palestinian-American real estate mogul and Nakba survivor Mohamed Hadid, has frequently used her celebrity status and social media platform to bring awareness to the Palestinian cause over the years.

Since the start of the war in Gaza in October, Hadid has shared images, infographics, and news concerning Israel’s atrocities in Gaza, and recently donated $1 million with her sister, fellow model Gigi, for various Palestinian aid agencies.

Israel's military campaign has killed at least 37,202 people as of Wednesday, and has flattened much of the enclave's infrastructure.

Throughout her pro-Palestinian activism and before the war in Gaza, Hadid has been the target of malicious social media campaigns, death threats, and deepfakes by right-wing trolls Israeli.

Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir is one of those who has targeted Hadid for her pro-Palestine views.

Most recently, the model wore a dress inspired by the Palestinian keffiyeh on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival in France in May, in a move showing pride with her Palestinian identity and solidarity with Gaza.