A voice for newcomers in Sweden

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

Mahmoud Bitar. Photo: private

Published: 13.May.2016 16:51 hrs

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.

 

More Stories

Anas Awad with his "Swedish family" told his story to The Local Voices

Sharing the best of The Local Voices

We told a lot of great stories in 2016. Did you get to read and share them all? READ
Stockholm residents may have been surprised to hear loud noise and see the sight of 16 fighter jets flying over the Swedish capital on December 13th, but it's nothing to be alarmed about. READ
John Ausonius, one of Sweden's most notorious far-right killers has appeared in court in Germany for the first day of the trial over the murder of an Auschwitz survivor in Frankfurt 25 years ago. READ
Photo: Erik Gerhardsson

'History will record how everyone reacted to the Syrian tragedy'

Erik, a 21-year-old Swedish volunteer, reflects on his experience helping refugees in Sweden and abroad. READ
Sweden celebrates its favourite Italian Catholic saint on December 13th. Don't say these things to the Swedes on this beloved winter holiday. READ
Thieves used unconventional methods to rob a grocery store south of Stockholm on Tuesday night, cutting their way through the roof in order to avoid security alarms. READ
The Swedish government wants to tighten laws in order to stop people from being exploited as beggars, creating a new crime of “human exploitation” as well as increasing the punishment for other crimes in the area. READ
Swedish truckmaker Scania said on Tuesday it had appealed against an 880 million euro ($1.03 billion) fine imposed by the European Commission for alleged price-fixing and attempts to dodge costs for stricter pollution rules. READ

This Iranian teaches Swedish online to 10,000 followers

"I’m exporting Swedish to my homeland." READ