Who is Sama’ Abdulhadi, the Palestinian DJ Performing at Roxy?

Sama’ Abdulhadi presents high-octane full-bodied techno with a distinct ark, a spectrum of moods, or as she says: “Berlin techno, but I perceive it in a Lebanese way.”

Barely four years into her international career, Sama’ Abdulhadi’s story is at the forefront of a powerful movement.

Her goal has always been to put Palestine on the musical map and in doing so she continues to garner international solidarity and a new level of understanding of the Middle East as a whole.

She is coming for the first time to the Czech Republic to Roxy Prague on Friday 7/4

The beginnings

Born in Jordan, Abdulhadi, 31, moved to Palestine as a child. With a passion for music exhibited at an early age, her first exposure to the Palestinian underground music scene was in 2004.

It was a time when hip-hop was the genre of choice in Ramallah parties.

It was after moving to Lebanon for a two-year course on analogue synthesizers that she first heard techno music and was immediately enamoured by its darker and propulsive sound.

On returning to Palestine in 2009, Abdulhadi showcased her fledgling DJ skills by holding techno parties and introducing it to the music community.

While techno’s abrasive sounds initially turned people off and made those club nights a financial failure, her fortunes changed upon connecting with Jazar Crew, a Palestinian art and culture collective in Haifa. Together, they were able to organise successful gigs.

Those shows, which continued to run until the pandemic hit, went on to become a talent incubator for a new generation of Palestinian electronic music artists and DJs.

With Abdulhadi building a buzz through tours in the UK and Europe, she got her biggest exposure in 2018 when tapped to perform as part of the Boiler Room, a concert series streaming live DJ sets from various international locations.

With the series coming to Palestine for the first time, Abulhadi’s big outdoor gig in Ramallah garnered more than eleven million views on YouTube.

While her career is relatively young, Abdulhadi has cemented her legacy across the Palestine music scene.

“No one played techno in Ramallah before. [Now] we have a proper scene,” she told DJ Mag last year.

“We have really good DJs, we have a lot of DJs now. It’s very raw here. People do it with all their heart, they dance with all their heart, and because it’s a very small community, it’s a safe space. We’ve all known each other since we were children, basically.”

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