Photo Credit: Izaac Cole / CC by 2.0
After the patriotic Palestinian song “Ana Dammi Falastini” (My Blood is Palestinian) was removed from streaming services, Spotify issued a statement.
The song by Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf disappeared from music streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer. The disappearance sparked debate online among fans, with many of them accusing Spotify of muting the famous hit song. “Spotify aims to offer a wide range of music on our platform, but availability may vary over time and country,” a Spotify spokesperson said of the removal. “Dammi Falastini” was released in 2015 on the singer’s Muntasib Alqamah Amshi album.
“The removal of some of Mohammed Assaf’s content was not determined by Spotify, but rather by the distributor. We anticipate its return in the near future and apologize for the inconvenience caused,” the Spotify statement concludes.
Mohammed Assaf commented on the removal on Instagram, saying “That’s fine. It’s preserved in the hearts of all of those who are free and noble.” The singer rose to stardom in 2013 when he won ‘Arab Idol.’ He is represented by his label Platinum Records, which is owned by the Saudi entertainment giant, MBC.
“Reminder that the song “Dammi Falastini” also got taken off Spotify a few days ago,” tweeted one user about the incident. “The censorship of Palestinian voices on Instagram isn’t the only issue. They’re doing it everywhere.”
“Shameless and spineless from Spotify to remove Mohammed Assaf’s “Dammi Falastini” song,” tweeted another person. “It doesn’t even mention Israel and is just about Palestinian identity and heritage and yet it is somehow seen as a problem?”
So far, Spotify is the only DSP to directly issue a statement about the removal of the track—despite it disappearing from other streaming services too. Deezer and Apple Music both have a large presence in the Middle East and North Africa, but neither DSP has issued a statement on the disappearance of this particular track from their catalogs.