Late last year, I caught up with Ramallah-based rapper Boikutt during his first show at the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut.

To reach the performance space, we had to cut a path around piles of garbage surrounding the camp– lighting our way through the pitch dark night with cell phones. Once inside, Shatila is a bustling shantytown that crams at least 10,000 people over a one square kilometer patchwork of shops, homes and institutions.

Boikutt spoke about the challenges Palestinian MCs face in connecting with fans and his new single “Wal’a” (Light it up) directed at Middle East dictators. Video shot and edited by filmmaker Anna Fahr.

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Habib Battah
Habib Battah is an investigative journalist and founder of the news site Battah has covered Lebanon and the Middle East for over 15 years and teaches journalism and media studies at the American University of Beirut. He is a contributor to Monocle, The Guardian, BBC World, Al Jazeera and others, a former fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University and two-time recipient of the Samir Kassir Press Freedom Award. Battah's investigative work was recently recognized for outstanding local reporting by the Columbia University Oakes Award for Environmental Reporting. Battah earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in Near East Studies and Journalism from New York University.


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