Shakira to play her first Israel gig in Tel Aviv in July
Colombian pop star, who has Lebanese grandparents, has visited in the past but never played here
Pop superstar Shakira is to play her first ever concert in Israel this summer, Hadashot TV reported Saturday night.
The show will be at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park on July 9, the report said.
The Colombian-born singer, 41, whose father’s parents immigrated to the US from Lebanon, has sold over 140 million records in her career, making her the top selling South American singer ever and one of the best selling artists of all time.
The TV report said she would likely come under pressure to cancel the show from the BDS movement that seeks to boycott Israel, but noted that she has been to Israel before: Shakira has never played in Israel, but she participated in Shimon Peres’s 2011 presidential conference.
Shakira said on that trip that education was the best way to achieve global stability and peace.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Peres, after meeting Israeli and Palestinian school children on her visit to Jerusalem, she said she had come to Israel to share some of her experience working in the field of education through her charity The Barefoot Foundation.
“I’m convinced that investing in education is the best solution for global stability and peace,” she said, after being presented with a traditional Yemeni necklace by a young Israeli girl. “Education is the very substance of peace. I’m convinced of that.”
A goodwill ambassador for the UN Children’s Fund, she visited two schools in the city, one of which is a bilingual Israeli-Palestinian school which educates children in Hebrew and Arabic in a bid to foster co-existence.
“I’m happy to be in Israel, the land which has been the mother of cultures and spirituality for so long,” said the multiple Grammy award winner, who has penned hits such as “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa).”
“The most crucial decision we can make for a better tomorrow is how we raise and educate our children,” the singer said.
Peres appeared delighted to be appearing next to the tiny Latin American diva, although he addressed her several times as “Sharika” before being corrected.
“Your singing is a melody without violence, your priorities are directed to the poor… bringing them a message of a better world,” he said. “Your rhythms are an inspiration.”