Eurovision hosts boast Middle Eastern roots

From left:  Assi Azar, Lucy Ayoub, Bar Refaeli and Erez Tal

It is a tribute to Israel’s diversity that all four presenters of the Eurovision Song Contest extravaganza of 2019 have some Middle Eastern or Sephardi roots. Presenter Eretz Tal’s father is from Algeria, while Assi Azar is of Bukharan and Yemenite descent. Lucy Ayoub’s parents are Christian Arab and Ashkenazi Jewish. Even Bar Refaeli has one Sephardi (Italian) grandparent.

All four of the past Israeli winners of the Eurovision song contest have Middle Eastern roots: Netta Barzilai is of Moroccan-Libyan parentage, while Dana International, Gali Atari and Izhar Cohen all descend from Yemenite Jews.

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This website is dedicated to preserving the memory of the near-extinct Jewish communities, of the Middle East and North Africa, documenting the stories of the Jewish refugees and their current struggle for recognition and restitution.

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Jewish Refugees from Arab and Muslim Countries

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