Skip to main content

Rapper Saint Levant dedicates Coachella performance to Palestinians in Gaza

Saint Levant, who spent a large part of his childhood in Gaza, used his platform to shed light on the suffering of Palestinian people
LA-based rapper Saint Levant performing at the Coachella music festival in California on 13 April (AFP/Valerie Macon)

Jerusalem-born rapper Saint Levant has dedicated his debut set at Coachella, the world's largest music festival, to Gaza prompting widespread support online.

"Coachella, my name is Saint Levant and I was born in Jerusalem and raised in Gaza,” the 23-year-old said, introducing himself to the crowd at the festival on Saturday 13 April. 

“As I hope all of you are aware, the people of Gaza have been undergoing a brutal, brutal genocide for the past six months. And the people of Palestine have been undergoing a brutal occupation for the past 75 years. It's not just me on the stage - it's the whole Arab world on the stage," he continued.

Palestinian flags and keffiyehs were raised and "Free Palestine" chants were heard throughout the crowd, AFP reported. 

Saint Levant's comments sparked an outburst of support online, with fans and Palestinian activists lauding the artist for using his platform to talk about Gaza. 

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked


"Saint Levant honoured Palestine every second of his Coachella concert", one user tweeted after the concert. 

Saint Levant spent several years in the Gaza Strip during his childhood. In 2007, his family was forced to relocate to Amman, Jordan.

The artist incuded both old and new songs in his performance, including Deira and From Gaza with Love, which was released in 2023.

Deira, released last month, together with 15-year-old rapper MC Abdul from Gaza, is the name of the hotel which Saint Levant's father built when the family moved to Gaza in 2000, the artist revealed in an interview with Variety.

“Deira means the Kasbah or the old city. He built this hotel with mud because it was impossible to import cement at the time. Located on the beach, this hotel was one of the most beautiful in Gaza. It was totally destroyed by bombing three months ago," Levant, whose real name is Marwan Abdelhamid, told the magazine.

Saint Levant was not the only singer to express solidarity with Palestine at Coachella.

American rapper Tyler, the Creator wore Palestine and Congo flag pins, while Childish Gambino’s bucket hat also featured the red, white, green and black of the Palestinian flag.

Victoria Monet called for a ceasefire in Gaza and an "end to the genocide" of Palestinians during her set.

Israel's assault on Gaza, which began after the 7 October Hamas-led attacks on southern Israel has killed 33,000 people, including 14,500 children. 

Some 1.5 million people have taken refuge in the southern city of Rafah, While Israel plans a military assault on the city, the UN says Israel is blocking vital food supplies into the territory.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.