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A Drop of Luck Podcast
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English liner notes

A Drop of Luck  

Adaptations and sources in the music of Turkish and Israeli female singers.

"Songs are energetic and conversational creatures, alive to us in time and space. They think us as we think them". 

Martin Stokes

For more than a decade, Israel has been present in my musical explorations. A couple of years ago, I moved to Turkey to understand the intricate cultural patterns of music. Israel and Turkey are, no doubt, the vivid centers of popular music cosmopolitanism. Both realities are interesting and puzzling at the same time, reflecting their challenging geography and history. To name their geographical location as Asia or Europe, the Mediterranean region or the Middle East evokes ideas and contexts, not free from political or stereotypical judgments. Popular music and its products - songs tell the stories of people and their culture. But they are also one of the best and most efficient tools of political engineering and creating cultural identity and national particularity. Resemblances between Turkish and Israeli popular music of the last couple of decades are stunning. They are far more than the idea of a shared Mediterranean vibe of nightclubs, taverns, and casinos with dinner, music, and belly dancers. The mechanisms behind the creation of popular Turkish and Israeli music, from the 60s until the 2000s, reflect striking correlations in the process of re-establishing identities with exclusions and inclusions of specific cultural patterns. 

As usually in my work, I will let the women speak and present the fascinating story of adaptations and sources in Turkish and Israeli music. No music is apolitical and naive. I will try to trace the essential contexts - including musical, religious, ethnic, and political ones. Following Marshall McLuhan's famous statement that the medium is the message, "A Drop of Luck" also explores a story of a medium – vinyl, cassette, and CDs and their impact on societies through mass-production and distribution of music and cultural messages. The invention of a portable cassette recorder was a political and social breakthrough for many communities worldwide.

Calling Magazine

While reading the story, feel free to listen to the mixtapes and experience the journey of songs between Israel and Turkey. The mixtape "Adaptations" takes you to the center of the story. Turkish and Israeli artists embraced the songs from Israel and Turkey, respectively, utilizing them to express their local political and cultural messages. You can explore the origins of the songs with the "Sources" mixtape and dive into the selection of songs from Israel and Turkey.

Listen to A Drop Of Luck - Adaptations

Listen to A Drop Of Luck - Sources

The atwork by Itamar Makover

National dreams

"Music has the power to influence what people experience and how they feel. Since music has the power to affect the shape of social agency, control over music in social settings is itself a source of power".

Tia De Nora

Since the beginning of the two young states – the Republic of Turkey and Israel, music has been a tool to protect, create, and unite the nation. The authorities of the new countries, following the ideas of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in Turkey and Ben Gurion in Israel, invested much of their effort in producing new national music. Music was supposed to reveal the nation's spirit and shape its character. Neither Turkey nor Israel wanted to be perceived as a part of the Middle East or Asia, trying to diminish the role of their geographical locations. The urge to be disconnected from the Arab context (both countries for their own political and cultural reasons) was as strong as the dream to be seen exclusively as Western and modern nations. The vision of elites, intelligentsia, and bourgeois was about to become real – the steering wheel was in their hands for decades, successfully shaping the nation according to the agreed concept. In Israel, representatives of Ashkenazim (coming from Western and Central Europe) created the country's vision, with its Hebrew music, chanson style songs, military band music with Euro-American instrumentation, patriotic and mythological repertoire, based on the Western musical modes and styles. "Hebrewism "became "a dominant cultural package, invented during the formative years of Israeli society, which prioritizes the Hebrew language alongside images of the sabra [native-born Israeli], kibbutz life [and] rituals invoking heroic continuity with ancient past" (Motti Regev and Edwin Seroussi).

Searching for the right ingredients of the unique Israeli musical style, its engineers eagerly used the patterns from the music of Yemenite Jews. Their culture was to bring a biblical and antique component to the newly created music of the Israeli people. The new - modern and at the same time ancient Israeli sound was Western and European with a pale or bleached Middle-Eastern flavor. The music was supposed to represent the whole Israeli nation, with 50 % of the Jews with Oriental roots – called Mizrahim.

The official music of Israel with its unique stars and divas (Yaffa Yarkoni, Shoshana Damari, Rika Zarai) was pumped with financial resources. It was successfully growing with its facilities – record labels, music festivals, national TV, and radio broadcasting services - attracting foreign countries' attention. But there was no place for the soundscape of the poor neighborhoods inhabited by the Jews coming from Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia, or Greece in the mainstream Israeli music industry until the 70s

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"The absence of musiqa mizrahit from the public ear in Israel until the late 1970s was the artistic downgrading and stigmatization of almost anything overtly Arabic in Israeli culture. Especially in the public sphere, the presence of significant Arab components was beyond the scope of cultural producers in Israel. To the Western ear of dominant cultural producers in Israel, the sounds of musiqa mizrahit resembled those of Arab popular music; hence, this music was not a candidate for public presence. In other words, cultural power was the major determinant in the absence of musiqa mizrahit from radio broadcasting in Israel in its early years." 


Edwin Souroussi "Popular Music and National Culture in Israel"

The Turkish Republic similarly focused on showing its Western image, which meant taking inspiration from the West to an enormous extent. Until the 60s Turkish folk and arrangements (aranjmant) of western pop and rock were the base of popular music in Turkey. The denial of Arab cultural and musical patterns was supported by the state radio and television, the record industry, and highly advanced censorship. In the case of Turkey, the process of westernization of music needed special measures. The Arab and Persian influences were present in the folk culture and hard to control unofficial music soundscape. Arab musical practices had a long-standing existence in Turkish popular culture. Egyptian cinema, Egyptian and Lebanese popular music was influential in Turkey. In the 1930s and 1940s, Turkish instrumentalists, composers, singers, and music industry staff traveled to Egypt to polish their musical skills and learn about the recent industry innovations. As Martin Stokes writes in "The republic of love: cultural intimacy in Turkish popular music," also Syrian radio played an important role in shaping Turkish people's musical tastes. Ankara Radio's range was very limited those days and didn't extend beyond the Marmara Sea region. As it was impossible to listen to it in the East of Turkey, people used to listen to Radio Damascus instead. Damascus radio played Arabic classics and Turkish stars of the classical, popular music Safiye Ayla and Zeki Müren in a Turkish daily program. Turks from villages, small and big cities of the peripheries were exposed to the music of Umm Kulthum and Mohamed Abdel Wahab and Fairuz and Assi and Mansour Rahbani. 

After the 1950s, the popular hybrid music culture called Arabesk emerged among migrants who came to the country's major cities – Istanbul and Ankara from the rural Southeast. The people of gecekondu (scatter houses) brought their sonic universe with them straight to modern Turkey's heart. Their music expressed resentment and fear from the rapid urbanization and westernization of the country. It was a call to hold to an "Eastern" Turkish culture associated with Arab and Muslim culture. However, this demand was not to be fulfilled for quite a long time - the officials were in control of the Turkish music industry. They forcefully tried to disconnect it from the Arabic influences until the 1970s.

Officially favored element in shaping Turkish music until the beginning of the 70s was the western music arrangements. Modern, chic, and European – this was what Turkey wanted to be. Ajda Pekkan - the most successful Turkish female singer, with the vast support of the most acclaimed lyricist and arranger - Fecri Ebcioğlu mastered the aranjmant style skilfully adapted songs of the crème de la crème of the Western music singers. The Turkish music industry enthusiastically accepted successful Western-oriented Israeli songs from the 60s and 70s (when tiny publishing details were provided). Famous Turkish singers as Gönül Turgut, Nilüfer, Ayten Alpman, Şenay, Zerin Özer, Ay-feri, Yasemin Kumral released numerous songs originally sang by favorite Israeli performers (Yaffa Yarkoni, Aris San, Ilanit). From the Turkish perspective, Israel belonged to the Mediterranean West's civilization, without a slight of a shadow of the despised Arab identity. Soon, Turkish and Israeli states' efforts to suppress the rejected cultural patterns were about to come to their limits. The new social order was about to start with a spectacular takeover of airspace.

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Mediterranean Middle East

International adaptations of Israeli songs can measure the success of Israeli music in the 60s and 70s. The swinging Tel Aviv, a modern Arcadia, was selling well. The piece of Ilanit" BaShana HaBa'a" (Next Year) from 1970 became a hit not only in Israel but also in Turkey as Nilüfer's "Başıma Gelenler "(1974) and Iran as Aref's "Kochooloo "(1973). 


"Next Year ... we'll sit out on our porches.

Counting migrating birds as they fly

And the children will run between

the houses and the fields.

Playing under cloudless blue skies.

 Come with me, you will see

Just how sweet life will be

In the year, the next year

Come with me, you will see

Just how sweet life will be

in the year, the next year"

Ilanit" BaShana HaBa'a"

Simultaneously, a little bit to the South of the center of Tel Aviv, in the area of Jaffa Port and other peripheries, all the music excluded by the mainstream Israeli music industry was flourishing in unofficial music consumption. Mizrahi musicians' live performances - at wedding parties, haflot, farewells, were based on close physical contact between performers and listeners, without proper media support such as television, radio, or LPs. The musicians were, in most cases, religious performers or wedding entertainers. The Oriental Jewish community was culturally and aesthetically diverse and included - Arabic (Egyptian and Iraqi), Yemenite, Moroccan, Kurdish, Turkish, Greek, Spanish, and Persian people. Interesting that the singers of various origins developed high skills in performing a repertoire of various ethnic groups. Their cultural heritage brought from their original countries was not officially exposed and adapted to create a Hebrew identity. It was exclusion from the national discourse as well as a shared economic position that brought them together. 

The music of neighborhoods needed new channels of expression. The timid need for recognition and visibility of half of the Israeli population started to be noticeable in the 60s through creating new social spaces such as music clubs. Mizrahi music's emergence would never occur if not Greek music phenomenon with Aris San and Arianna club in Jaffa. The Greek musicians delivered sounds to the Mizrahi neighborhoods and brought a new way of defining their identity through music. The problematic dichotomy of Oriental and Occidental, Hebrew and Mizrahi, could finally be expressed in a "politically" lighter way. Mediterraneanism let the people feel free from oppressive judgment and prejudices. As Oded Erez in "Becoming Mediterranean: Greek Popular Music and Ethno-Class Politics in Israel, 1952-1982" noted: 

"The ambiguity afforded by the Greek signifier, and the divergent forms of identification it engendered with different audiences, is what allowed Greek venues to function as heterotopias, or sites of play within the Israeli context: sites where identification could take place in a way that traversed the dichotomy of Oriental and Occidental. A Greek space was a "third space": no one could decisively map it onto one side of the dichotomy or to another."

The popularity of Greek spaces and Greek music in Israel among the Mizrahi community, and soon after among the whole Israeli population, is a fascinating topic in Israeli mhistory. Triumph of the Greek-Israeli music started to change the game in favor of the politically and culturally ignored citizens. Mediterraneanism of Israel also got acknowledged abroad, including Turkey (Ajda Pekkan's version of Aris San's "Eem Ata Tzaeer Balev "in "Erkekleri Tanıyın "from 1968). 

Interestingly half of the Greek performers' repertoire was not Greek but also Turkish. The traditional Turkish folk songs found their place in the soundscape of Mizrahim. Evergreens like "Beyoğlunda gezersin", "Çadırımın Üstüne, "Yali Yali '' from Turkish tradition got rendered and blended into the Mediterranean Israeli genre. Israeli Turks who owned clubs in the "Oriental" neighborhoods (in the cities like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ramle, Bat Yam, or Sha'araim ) played an essential role in establishing the new indicator of the Oriental identity. 

In the last years of popularity of the Greek or Mediterranean wave, the phenomenal Grazia Peretz recorded an album of Turkish repertoire in a new edgy, psychedelic manner for the first Mizrahi record label from Jaffa – Koliphone Records. Her vocal talent got recognized in Mizrahi communities' clubs and weddings since she was nine years old, but only in 1978, she managed to release her only LP. Grazia – a 16 years old singer was not an exception. Child performers such as Mujda were very significant in the music industry of both Mizrahi and Arabesk culture


Mish-mash of ethnic elements in the light Mediterranean style paved its way to the official music distribution and national recognition. The cosmopolitan, white hippie Israeli crowd enthusiastically incorporated the genre for a while, eventually moving towards Western rock music and leaving the Greek sound in the more impoverished neighborhoods, where it was initiated. The political and cultural situation in Israel in the 80s and 90s (peace process with Palestine, The Black Panthers movement, or the national success of Yemenite singer Zohar Argov) encouraged the Oriental community to step forward. They were to recognize new vibrant music that was supposed to describe their cultural and political identity in a much more accurate way – Mizrahi music of the 80s (Musikah Mizrahit).

Cassette culture: Arabesk and Mizrahi music 

 "I didn't' care that they didn't play my music on the radio stations; they loved me at the biggest station in Israel: the bus station."

Ahouva Ozeri

The emergence of Arabesk – the hybrid, Arabic influenced the style of Turkish music by many scholars connected to a new political order with military coup d'etat and Turgut Özal's economic and social reforms of the 80s. But Arabesk as a musical genre came to existence much earlier. Its origins shall be traced back to the 1950s, together with the massive rural-urban migrations. Arab music has been present in Turkish popular culture for centuries. Thanks to the imported Arabic products of popular culture, such as films and music broadcasted on foreign radio and television, its influences were very pervasive and influential in Turkey until the 50th. Turkish intelligentsia, who saw in Arabesk "an inner Orient in a supposedly Western country," treated Arabesk with hostility. As a genre, it was perceived as back warded and dangerous. It has been labeled as the sound of slums and the music of minibus culture ("gecekondu ve dolmuş müziği"), depicting reality, which Turkish elites perceived as corrupted and harmful.

The most condemned by the officials and elites genre of Turkish music was at the same time the most popular music in the country. The open-air, ticket free concerts of Arabesk artists were the most popular events with massive crowds willing to see their idols. From an ethno-musical point of view, Arabesk is a hybrid musical style, blending Turkish folk, Arabic music, and western pop and rock and, as Orhan Gencebay wanted to see, it is a form of "indigenous cosmopolitanism." Arabesk music and the artists of the genre were banned in television and national radio until the 80s; still, it was released on vinyl by various Turkish music labels. But the real boom of the genre happened with the technological revolution in the music industry and the production of cheap and accessible magnetic cassettes with its musical hub in Unkapanı – IMÇ. All the big and small music labels established their offices and welcomed the Arabesk, folk, and religious music artists to sign a contract. Arabesk took over the Turkish music scene and started to be the most profitable music genre, dividing Turkish society more than ever. Since the 1980s and the military coup until 2000, Arabesk came a long way and made a cut to the national radio and television. Orhan Gencebay, Müslüm Gürses, Ibrahim Tatlises, Sibel Can, Kibariye, Bergen, Bülent Ersoy, Adnan Senses or Ferdi Tayfur became the national heroes and heroines of Turkish music and reached the pick of nationwide popularity. Arabesk cassettes traveled with Turkish immigrants to Europe (Turkish labels as Türküola, Uzelli, and Minarecı established their German companies). They reached a new audience in all the Arabic and Middle Eastern countries, including Israel.

Oriental communities in Israel faced the same systematic oppression of the elites until the 80s. The Multicultural, polyphonic music of Mizrahi Jews could not find almost any visibility in the official music distribution for a long time. Radio editors, record company executives, and official promoters were rejecting the "subversive music of Mizrahi." Thanks to a massive recognition of the "Greek sound," which, according to Oded Erez, was "one of the main stylistic inspiration of musiqa mizrahit in 1970", and the nationwide success of a Yemenite singer Zohar Argov, Mizrahi music started to be more and more noticeable. Avihu Medina, Haim Moshe, Margalit Tzanani, or Ahouva Ozeri began to be slowly recognizable outside of Mizrahi culture. Recognition of half of the Israeli population started to be inevitable. I agree with Amy Horowitz, that "in the 90s the cassette industry reset the concept of Israeli music and Israeli national identity. Musiqat qasetot (cassette), or the equally derogatory term, musiqa shel ha-tahana ha-merkazit (music of the Central Bus Station), started to "contaminate" the soundscape of Israel. The tachanah (Central Bus Station) - situated in the Neve Sha'anan neighborhood of south Tel Aviv was and still is an area populated by Mizrahi Jews, immigrants from former Soviet Union countries, and working-class citizens. It was a seven-floor construction, where people were buying cheap daily products, rushing to get the bus to another part of the country, exchanging currency, and purchasing cassettes. The place was packed with numerous small cassette shops and stalls playing loud music from the worn out speakers simultaneously. Thanks to three production companies - Reuveni Brothers, Ben-Mosh Productions, and Azoulay Brothers, Mizrahi music became a cheap commodity. The low-fi quality of the recordings did not stop customers from buying the cassettes. The message from the lyrics and familiar sound was far more crucial than the quality of the sound. The artists recorded their tapes in private houses or DIY studios, with simple and primitive synthesizers imitating Oriental instruments and poorly recorded vocals.


Even though the Mizrahi music started leek gradually out of the Central Bus Station and poor neighborhoods into Israel's general soundscape, it was officially a low and "primitive" sound of the recordings preventing the music from being broadcasted in the national distribution channels. But the process of mizrahization of the Israeli mainstream already started and could not be stopped. 

Groundbreaking release from 1984 - "Shirei Teyman" (Yemenite songs) of a famous singer Ofra Haza attracted the mainstream media to Mizrahi culture both in Israel and worldwide. "Im Nin'alu" – a traditional Yemenite liturgical poem written in the 17th century by Rabbi Shalem Shabazi became an international dance-floor hit after being remixed in 1987. A year later, "Im Nin'alu" got also covered by a pop Turkish female singer Zerrin Özer ("Hani Yeminin? "), bringing the song to the young Turkish listeners. 

"Where is your oath?

Where are we, like on the fire, in the smoke together?"

Zerrin Özer  "Hani Yeminin?”


The version of Zerrin Özer was practically identical to the remix from 1987 in a sonic way. Still, thanks to the full pain and grief lyrics, it was easily matching the aesthetics of the Arabesk audience. Turkey looked back at Israel once again.

A Drop of Luck – Turkified sound of Tel Aviv

"After 44 years of solitude, we have returned to the roots of Istanbul. The Turks have conquered the city."

Yonatan Gefen, Ma‘ariv, (Tel Aviv), 15 May 1992

One of the turning points in the history of Arabesk is a TRT performance of Orhan Gencebay in 1979. It is hard to overestimate the event's importance – the beloved artist of Turkish people, whose records were bestsellers since the early 70s, appeared in the National Television as the first Arabesk artist. The socially and politically suppressed music genre entered the national arena in full glory. Gencebay was a highly educated bağlama player, arranger, and producer, whose innovative style of playing on Turkish saz and creative fusion of traditional Turkish folk music, Turkish classical music, Western classical music, jazz, rock, psychedelic, Indian, Arabic, Spanish, and Mediterranean music styles. Throughout the long years of his musical activity, Gencebay never agreed to be labeled as the pioneer of Arabesk. In one of the interviews from 2004, he stated that the term Arabesk is not enough to define his musical approach ("Arabesk deyimi beni tanımlamaya yetmez"). It is hard not to agree with this judgment. Orhan Baba created his own unique, innovative style, which was developed by other artists into the musical genre coined as Arabesk. Originally coming from Samsun from a middle-class family, he moved to Istanbul to study music with the master of baglama – Arif Sağ and receive an official musical education in a music conservatory of TRT. In 1973 Gencebay established his record label – Kervan, releasing all his music and giving space for the best musicians and vocalists of the times – (Erkin Koray, Ajda Pekkan, Kamuran Akkor, Semiha Yankı, Samime Sanay, Neşe Karaböcek, Bedia Akartürk, Nil Burak, Semiramis Pekkan or Ferdi Özbeğen). Orhan Gencebay shared the same fate as hundreds of other Turkish artists those days – they were censored until 1979 as performers playing harmful, corrupted Turkish music. A new political regime after 1980 gave a green light for new liberalism and Arabesk. 

The artwork by Itamar Makover

In 1984 Orhan Gencebay released "Dil Yarası" album on both vinyl and cassette and performed in Yaşar Seriner's movie under the same title. The CD and cassette, which was the primary medium of the time, became another bestseller of the artist and reached millions of listeners worldwide. The tape found its way to polyglot and multicultural neighborhoods of Tel Aviv and cassette stalls in Central Bus Station, pumping out the pulsating Mediterranean and Oriental music. 

It must have been a place like ha-tahana ha-merkazit, where young Moroccan origin Israeli singer Zehava Ben and her producer Dani Shoshan heard the "Dil Yarası "for the first time.

"Zehava grew up in the impoverished Shekhunah Dalet neighborhood on the outskirts of Be'er Sheva. In neighborhoods such as these, which grew from the 1950s, transit camps for North African and Middle Eastern immigrants like her Moroccan-born parents. Arab, like the songs of Umm Kulthum, coexisted peacefully with Hebrew liturgical traditions chanted in Middle Eastern vocal styles." 

Amy Horowitz "Mediterranean Israeli Music and the Politics of the Aesthetic"


As a young Moroccan Israeli teenager, Ben admired the musical charisma of Yemenite singer - Zohar Argov and followed modern Turkish music (Arabesk). Zehava got local popularity in her young years, after joining Ajar – an artist famous in the Turkish neighborhood in Bat Yam. She performed with him on the stage and started her musical career, having up to seven shows in different venues per night. 


Give me only a drop of luck.

Put love within my heart.

Bitter is my fate

And the world is cruel.

Place comfort within me"

Zehava Ben "Tipat Mazal"

Photo by: Yoni S. Hamenachem

The fascination of Arabesk resulted in a release of Zehava Ben's "Tipat Mazal" ("A Drop of Luck") cassette in 1988. The tape was available in places like Central Bus Station and soon became the best-selling recording of any Mizrahi musician. It exceeded even earlier figures of the king of Mizrahi music – Zohar Argov. The song, which was an adaptation of Gencebay's ``Dil Yarası", got massive recognition with Zehava's nasal Middle Eastern way of singing, simple synthesizers, and deep, full of grief and Arabesk in style lyrics. 

With "Tipat Mazal," Zehava became a superstar of Mizrahi music overnight. She started to visit Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv, where she signed her cassettes, CDs, and photos for the excited fans. The mainstream media could not ignore the young singer and her "Tipat Mazal" after its success in the Mizrahi communities' underground music scene. The listeners of public radio stations started to demand Zehava's version of "Dil Yarası." Tel Aviv's soundscape got Turkified. In 1992 mainstream Israeli newspapers painfully announced: "The Turks have conquered the city!" A couple of years later, Zehava Ben's performance in the movie "Tipat Mazal" with a screenplay inspired by her family story only strengthen her position as the no.1 artist in Israel at the beginning of the 90s. The choice of Turkish, Arabesk songs, including Orhan Gencebay's "Yil Darasi" as the first officially released cassette of Zehava, was driven by the genre's popularity. Danny Shoshan, producer of "Tipat Mazal," perceived the Greek Mediterranean style as not radical enough. Turkish sound was perceived as rough and authentic. Worth to mention, that also pragmatic reasons stood behind the choice of her repertoire – due to the lack of any intellectual property agreement between Israel and Turkey in the 90s, Turkish songs were free of any royalties. Zehava Ben officially adopted "Dil Yarasi" from the vast pool of public domain tracks. 

Telling the Stories

In the digital media age and the datafication of listeners' experience, records, CDs, and cassettes, crucial for music culture in the past decades, undoubtedly lost their power in the music industry. For many of us, those "old fashioned" media are still an essential way of experiencing music as a sound and storytelling. We tend to see the analog medium as a cultural message. 

While researching music and its political and cultural contexts, I have always been exposed to analog and digital media sources. Still, I was instinctively choosing the first ones as more reliable and more direct. Holding a record, cassette, or CD in hands has meant starting a personal journey and a kind of a relationship with the music and the story behind it. Knowing that someone else before me or simultaneously with me explored the record, cassette, or compact disc (with the music, cover art, and liner notes) physically gave me the feeling of participation in the history and the culture. 

Music is a powerful source of knowledge, a dynamic tool used for building or redefining identity. The focus on particular Turkish and Israeli music elements reflects tensions and power struggle between centers and peripheries, West and East, elites and working class. We define music, and music defines us. 


"A Drop of Luck'' – is a digital compilation of songs from Turkey and Israel and my way of telling the people's story. I used analog and digital music content from my record collection and digital distribution channels to advance the interests in music's social and cultural contexts. This hybrid of origins helped me approach the music that was essentially a bricolage, with a selection of adaptations and sources, borrowed, appropriated, adjusted, and adapted songs and melodies. I believe that music's message gets enhanced and amplified when it is heard with the stories of people who actively participated in its creation – both the creators and the listeners. It would not be possible without the unique artwork, designed by an Israeli artist – Itamar Makover. Zehava Ben's enormous commercial and cultural success in Israel and her contribution as a woman, an Israeli and Mizrahi, to the mediation between the cultures was convincing enough to present her as a “cover girl” of the compilation. It seems relevant to mention that Zehava, being an Israeli, defined herself as a daughter of the Arabic tradition rather than an outsider.

Having all three components – the music, the story, and the artwork, the digital compilation "A Drop of Luck" hopefully gives you a glimpse of an analog music experience in the digital world.


Thank you to my friends for their insights and enormous support: Elazar Zinvel, Itamar Makover, Oktay Şahin, Oded Erez & Uri Wertheim.

A Drop of Luck: Adaptations


A Drop of Luck: Sources



1. Gonul Turgut „Uzat Artik Elini“, 1969

2. Senay„Sev Kardeşim“, 1971

3. Ajda Pekkan „Erkekleri Tanıyın“, 1968

4. Mujda „Batayelet, 1993

5. Nilüfer „Başıma Gelenler“, 1974

6. Grazia „Rampi Rampi“, 1978

7. Ayten Alpman „Kim Demiş Yalandır Diye”, 1969

8. Zehava Ben „Tipat Mazal“, 1993

9. Grazia „Soyle Beni“, 1978

10. Rinat Cohen „Sefer hachaim“, 2007

11. Liat Banai „Lama Ein Ahava”, 1997

12. Zehava Ben „Neshama Toha“, 1993

13. Liat Banai „Mehapeset Et Haderech“, 2003

14. Zerin Ozer  „Hani Yeminin?“, 1988


1. Yaffa Yarkoni „Erev Shel Shoshanim“, 1957

2. Ilanit „Veshuv Itchem“, 1970

3. Aris San „Eem Ata Tzaeer Balev“ , 1967

4. Zeki Muren „Beyoğlunda gezersin“, 1977

5. Ilanit „Bashana Haba'a“, 1970

6. Nurhan Damcıoğlu „Çadırımın Üstüne“, 1976

7. Rika Zarai „Casatschok”, 1969

8. Orhan Gencebay „Dil Yarası“, 1984

9. Nese karabocek „Yalı Yalı“, 1977

10. Güllü „Değmezmiş Sana“, 1996

11. Umit Besen „Seni Unutmaya Ömrüm Yetermi“, 1997

12. Sibel „Dilenci“, 1990

13. Cengiz Kurtoğlu „Elveda Sevgilim“, 1989

14. Ofra Haza „İm Nin Alu“, 1987

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