Indian-Israeli star sings for Indian leader

  Liora Itzhak’s Mala Mala made her popular in Israel

Greeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his groundbreaking visit to Israel was singer Liora Itzhak, who has spent eight years in India, but has now returned to Israel. She was chosen to sing both the Israeli and Indian national anthems. India Today has the story:

Indian-origin Israeli singer, Liora Itzhak, flew to India at the age of 15 to learn Indian classical music at Sur Sarvadhan Insititue in Pune. She tried to get a break in Bollywood, sang for a movie — Dil ka doctor — but things didn’t pan out well.

Liora, homesick, left Pune and returned to Israel in 1990s.

Now, years later, Liora Itzhak has been chosen to sing the national anthems of Israel and India to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Liora was also selected by the Israeli President’s office in 2015 to sing at the banquet dinner hosted in honour of President Pranab Mukherjee during his visit.

 Liora Itzhak now wishes to re-live her Bollywood dream. Liora has sung with famous singers like Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan and Sonu Nigam while she was in India. Between 1991 and 1997, she learned to sing bhajans and ghazals.

“I was 23 and terribly homesick having spent eight years away in difficult conditions from my parents and siblings. I love India but I just could not bear this separation anymore”, Liora told PTI when asked about leaving India.

 Mala Mala, what she calls it her “Israeli Bollywood number”, made her popular in the Israeli music industry. Liora’s Tu Hai Mera Pyar Pehla was a fusion of Hindi and Hebrew words and the song made her a household name in Israel.

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