Prompted in part by the interest that several students have shown for Israeli rock, I’ve been listening (again) to Etti Ankri, who remains a mystery to me…

Born in 1963 in a Tunisian-Israeli family, she has achieved an incredible popularity in Israel. Her debut album, Roah lekhah ba-‘einayim (I Can See It in Your Eyes, see the video below) sold 90,000 copies in 1991. That’s almost a copy every fifty Israelis. I suspect that the electric (rock) guitar, combined with her haunting voice, may have been the key to such a success:

She then went through a whole set of musical explorations. See for example Esther, from 1993:

And her duets with David Daor (live in the late 1990’s):

And those with Matti Caspi (my personal favorites):

During the past decade, Ankri went “back” to religion; that is, to a strict Orthodox practice, stated in her public performances by her attire (and by the lengthy narrative introductions to her songs), and recently has been performing Hebrew medieval poetic texts:

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