Eden Alene might have not released a lot of new music since her personal national selection in March, but now she’s back and lending her voice to a very important cause. The 2021 Eurovision hopeful from Israel released her new single, “Ma Ata Over” (“What are you going through”), raising awareness for the plight of captive Israeli citizen Avera Mengistu.
The Hebrew-language song, a duet with Israeli singer-songwriter Shlomi Shabat, was released yesterday to commemorate six years since Mengistu’s disappearance after crossing the border from Israel to the Gaza Strip. Mengistu is assumed to be held captive by Hamas, the militant organization ruling Gaza, although little information has been published about him since.
In “Ma Ata Over,” Alene and Shabat speak directly to Mengistu, expressing concern for his well-being on lines like: “You fade away / And how is your day going.” They also allude to the belief that Mengistu – a mentally ill man who like Alene is of Ethiopian descent – has been forgotten by many citizens and politicians: “How is it always black and white / A world that’s remained old.” The song also includes a spoken appearance in Amharic by Mengistu’s mother, telling her son that the family is waiting for him and encouraging him to stay strong.
In addition to this new song, Eden has been keeping busy over the past few months. Despite the cancellation of the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest, where she was supposed to take part with “Feker Libi,” Eden’s public profile in Israel has only risen, with appearances in commercials as well as a campaign for internet safety directed at teenagers. Last month, she performed – at a safe distance – in front of a crowd of people healing from COVID-19 at an Israeli hotel (you might recognize one song from her setlist).
What do you think of Eden’s new song? Are you excited for her appearance in Eurovision 2021? Let us know in the comments below.