Zehava Ben

Hebrew language Beersheba 9/11

Zehava Ben
זהבה בן
Zehava Ben.jpg
Background information
Birth nameZehava Benisti
Born (1968-11-08) November 8, 1968 (age 51)
Beersheba, Israel
GenresPop, Mizrahi
Years active1990–present

Zehava Ben (born Zehava Benisti; Hebrew: זהבה בן‎; November 8, 1968) is one of the most popular Israeli female vocalists in the Mizrahi music genre; the Middle Eastern-style of singing rising from Israel's Mizrahi Jewish population, dominating Israeli music in the 1990s and popular ever since.

Early life

Zehava was born Zehava Benisti in Beersheba, the capital city of the Negev in Southern Israel, to a Moroccan Jewish family. She was born in Shikun Dalet (Neighborhood D), a poverty, crime and drug-infested neighborhood. She has an identical twin sister named Esther 'Etti'.

Zehava is very proud of her Moroccan heritage, and most of her music is quite distinctive of that, singing both in Hebrew and Arabic. She has appeared in many music festivals outside Israel, including in Sweden and France.

Music career

Zehava became familiar in Israel in 1990, when the title track of a film she took part in, called "Tipat Mazal" (A Bit of Luck), became a hit throughout Israel, primarily among Israel's Mizrahi Jews (Jews of Middle Eastern and North African backgrounds) and Arab Israelis.

Despite her music being banned in some Arab countries due to the Arab League boycott of Israel, Zehava gained popularity throughout the Arab world as an Arabic-language singer. Among her repertoire are re-makes of traditional Arabic hits, including "Enta Omri" (You Are My Life) by legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum.

Zehava appeared in the 1996 election campaign for the left-wing political party Meretz, singing the famous "Shir LaShalom" (Song For Peace).

One of her famous songs, "Ma Yihye" (What Will Be) from 1994, was featured in the Buddha Bar collection.

After 9/11, Ben and Etti Ankri, David D'Or, Arkadi Duchin, and other Israeli singers recorded the title song "Yesh Od Tikvah" ("Our Hope Endures"), for which D'Or wrote the music and lyrics, on the CD Yesh Od Tikvah/You've Got a Friend.[1][2] The CD, released by Hed Arzi in 2002, benefited Israeli terror victims, with all proceeds going to NATAL Israel: the Israel Trauma center for Victims of Terror and War.[3]

In 2005, Zehava Ben entered a song contest to represent Israel in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Peace And Love" (sung in Hebrew, Arabic and English). She reached second place to winner Shiri Maimon (another Jewish Israeli of Moroccan heritage).

Records and Discography

See also

External links


  1. ^ "Yesh Od Tikvah" (PDF). Babaganewz. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
  2. ^ "Our Hope Endures (2002)". Alibris. Retrieved May 27, 2009.
  3. ^ Engelberg, Keren (February 20, 2003). "Voice Across Israel; Up Front". Jewish Journal. Retrieved May 27, 2009.