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The Sisters Of A-WA Share Their Great-Grandmother's Refugee Story

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A-WA inside the World Cafe Performance Studio
Makena Duffy, Courtesy of the artist

A-WA inside the World Cafe Performance Studio

Tair, Liron, and Tagel Haim are three sisters who record as A-WA. They are Arab Jews who live in Israel and spread the Yemeni folk traditions of their heritage around the world through electronic music. On the group's latest album, Bayti Fi Rasi, the sisters tell the story of their great-grandmother, Rachel, who fled Yemen and arrived in Israel as a refugee as part of Operation Magic Carpet in 1949. Many of the songs, like "Hana Mash Hu Al Yaman" (meaning "Here Is Not Yemen") address the difficulties Rachel faced on both sides of her journey as a refugee.

The sisters dropped by World Cafe to perform inviting and unique songs from Batyi Fi Rasi and to talk about their own journey as musicians from a small desert village in Israel to the international stage.

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