In the anti-assimilationist spirit of the original Hanukkah uprising, Seattle-based band Iraqis in Pajamas calls on Jews worldwide to say “No!” to Jewish body shaming through their new single and music video, “I Love My JewFro!” releasing on Dec. 3, the fifth night of Hanukkah. The song is sung in Hebrew and English, incorporating original rock music and lyrics with the traditional Iraqi song for the holiday, “Ya Hasel Yona.” In addition, the music video features Hanukkah candle-lighting.

In the wake of the pandemic, Iraqis in Pajamas band mates went their separate ways after playing together for five years, and the band morphed into a virtual musical project spearheaded by singer, songwriter, bass player and band founder Loolwa Khazzoom. The “I Love My JewFro!” song and music video are the band’s first virtual recording projects, featuring four musicians from two countries who never met: Nat Seelen from Boston (saxophone composition and performance), Chris Belin from Pittsburgh (drum composition and performance), Dominik Vladulovič from Vancouver (guitar composition and performance) and Loolwa Khazzoom from Seattle (bass, melody and lyrics composition, as well as bass and vocals performance). The single and music video were recorded in each musician’s home, and the music video production and single cover graphic design were by Quentin Lightner of Lighting Tech Seattle.

Visit the Iraqis in Pajamas website for direct links to streaming platforms. The band is available for live and virtual events, and Khazzoom additionally offers ritual and prayer leadership in the Iraqi Jewish tradition.

“I Love My JewFro” Lyrics

Ya hasel yona mehaka
Wedeem atha lach mefaka
Watees mahbach ata malka
Bishmonath yeme Hanukah
I love my Jew-fro
And I love my Jew nose
Brown hair, brown eyes
That’s how my Jew goes
So f*** your nose bobs
Straightening hair jobs
My Middle Eastern roots
Refuse to be robbed
Watees mahbach ata malka
Bishmonath yeme Hanukah
Old Abe and Sarah
From Mesopotamia
Dancing in my hair
And on my nose, yeah
I won’t erase them
I’m part of this nation
Trotting across the globe
For generations
Watees mahbach ata malka
Bishmonath yeme Hanukah
You may have light skin
And you may blend in
But darling, you ain’t white
So just stop trying
Now let your nose show
And let your hair go
Your Jew-fro rocks
It’s gravity-defying

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