Yara Shahidi attends Cam For A Cause Gala in Los Angeles

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DUBAI: Grammy-winning US singer and songwriter Kehlani has released a new music video in support of Gaza, saying proceeds from the sale of the merchandise will benefit Palestinian, Congolese and Sudanese families.

The singer, who has been at the forefront of protests in support of the Gaza Strip since October, released the song “Next 2 U” and accompanying video on Friday. In the clip, she can be seen waving Palestinian flags while wearing suits adorned with the Palestinian keffiyeh.

“As an artist, I was nervous, scared, and worried after losing so much of what was important to me for an album… coupled with the paralyzing question of what music is appropriate during the greatest historical tragedies of our generation,” the singer wrote on Instagram.

“I remembered my favorite revolutionary poets, singers and filmmakers. I remembered how much influence we have. I thought of my favorite James Baldwin quotes about the role of an artist in society. I listened to that song enough times to realize that a love song is a protector song, a revolution,” she said of her latest single.

The music video begins with an anti-war quote from US-Palestinian poet Hala Alyan: “Keep your moon / We have our own / Keep your army / We have our name / Keep your flag / We have fruit and in / All the right colors.”

The singer collaborated with Palestinian designer Simsim and the Nol Collective on merchandise for the song.

“100% of proceeds will be distributed to Palestinian, Congolese and Sudanese families through @operationolivebranch (sic),” she wrote on Instagram.

According to the Nol Collective, the T-shirts are screen printed in Ramallah and cut and sewn in Bethlehem.

Kehlani has emerged as a strong pro-Palestinian force on social media, saying at an October rally in downtown Los Angeles, “I think it’s black and white, and you have a choice to see it or not… I want all of my followers and colleagues to be on the right side of history. I want them to make a decision that goes beyond them. I want them to make a selfless decision. I want them to make an obvious decision. And I just hope they choose to do the right thing.”

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