The DJ and producer Sama’ Abdulhadi has been told she was a precocious child. Possessed of an insatiable drive, she excelled at almost everything. But this wasn’t regular child prodigiousness, she explains. “The first thing you learn as a Palestinian is that you’re probably going to die. You have to engage a little bit extra because life could be over in 10 minutes.”
Abdulhadi, 32, was born in Jordan to a family that had been exiled from Palestine by Israeli forces after her grandmother, Issam Abdulhadi, a leading women’s rights activist, arranged a sit-in and hunger strike. The family was allowed to return in 1993. As a child, Abdulhadi started a hip-hop battle group and played for the country’s national football team before a career-ending injury cut her dreams short. She left Palestine to study sound design in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, and discovered techno during a local set by the Japanese DJ Satoshi Tomiie.