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When Korean Pop Culture Came To The Holy Land

Young Israelis and Palestinians alike are getting caught by the wave of Korean pop music, television and attitudes. For some, it's just good fun -- for others, a much-needed escape.

More than just "Gangnam style"
More than just "Gangnam style"
Rachel Beit Arye*

ASHDOD - My daily walk along the beachside promenade in this city south of Tel Aviv where I now live is a chance to get up-to-date with what's going on in the music industry. Thanks to the ringtones of people walking by with their phones, or others sprawled along the Ashdod boardwalk, and also thanks to the dance events on the beach on Friday nights, I get to hear musical extracts from an unexpected language: Korean.

“Ashdod is probably the city with the most K-popsters in Israel,” says Osheret Azani, 25, a student from the town of Ariel.

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A man walks on a tank left behind by Russian troops, on display in Kyiv’s Mykhailivska Square.

Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Hej!*

Welcome to Tuesday, which marks three months since the war in Ukraine started. Meanwhile, BoJo is in trouble again, and millionaires at Davos ask to be taxed more. Persian-language, London-based media Kayhan explores what the future of Lebanon could look like after the election defeat of Iran-backed Hezbollah.

[*Swedish]

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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