‘I want to be the first Syrian to participate in Eurovision’

‘I want to be the first Syrian to participate in Eurovision’
Mahmoud Bitar. Photo: private
The Local Voices spoke to Syrian comic Mahmoud Bitar about what he thinks of Sweden’s biggest event of the year - the Eurovision Song Contest - and found out why he wants to represent the country next year.

He attended Thursday’s semi-final and will also be at Friday’s Grand Final Jury Show. So what was it like?

What was it like to attend the Eurovision event?

It was more than beautiful; it was great actually. I never expected I would see that many people… so many from all around the world coming to witness the competition.

If you attend the event, you’ll recognize how much work is being devoted to it. It’s huge and very advanced. When you enter the studio, you will be astonished by the speed, accuracy and efficiency of people working there.

It was my first experience with Eurovision and it was exceptional.

Which country are you supporting?

Of course Sweden! Whoever asks me, “who are you supporting?” I say “Sweden.” There is no doubt about that [smile].

I also liked the Latvian entrant; the guy has a really nice voice.

Would you like to participate in Eurovision?

Absolutely. I am willing to participate next year.

I want to be the first Syrian to participate in Eurovision. Why not? Now I belong to Sweden and they have to accept me!

If you got the chance to participate, what would you sing?

I am thinking of singing a dual language song, Arabic – English, or Arabic – Swedish. Maybe, I am not sure yet.

How do you think audiences would react to you singing in Arabic?

It might be exotic. However, I think they may like it, because it’s a new thing.

Now at the Eurovision Song Contest, you’re allowed to sing in any language you want to, after it was previously limited to English language only. And so, now I am free to choose.

Photo: private

You can read Bitar’s interview with The Local Sweden about getting his own talk show on Swedish radio here and check out his Facebook page here.