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The Sisters Of A-WA Share Their Great-Grandmother's Refugee Story

Tair, Liron, and Tagel Haim are three sisters who record as A-WA. They are Arab Jews who live in Israel and spread the Yemeni folk traditions of their heritage around the world through electronic music. On the group's latest album, Bayti Fi Rasi, the sisters tell the story of their great-grandmother, Rachel, who fled Yemen and arrived in Israel as a refugee as part of Operation Magic Carpet in 1949. Many of the songs, like "Hana Mash Hu Al Yaman" (meaning "Here Is Not Yemen") address the difficulties Rachel faced on both sides of her journey as a refugee.

The sisters dropped by World Cafe to perform inviting and unique songs from Batyi Fi Rasiand to talk about their own journey as musicians from a small desert village in Israel to the international stage.

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Talia Schlanger hosts World Cafe, which is distributed by NPR and produced by WXPN, the public radio service of the University of Pennsylvania. She got her start in broadcasting at the CBC, Canada's national public broadcaster. She hosted CBC Radio 2 Weekend Mornings on radio and was the on-camera host for two seasons of the television series CBC Music: Backstage, as well as several prime-time music TV specials for CBC, including the Quietest Concert Ever: On Fundy's Ocean Floor. Schlanger also guest hosted various flagship shows on CBC Radio One, including As It Happens, Day 6 and Because News. Schlanger also won a Canadian Screen Award as a producer for CBC Music Presents: The Beetle Roadtrip Sessions, a cross-country rock 'n' roll road trip.