Born in Saudi Arabia to Syrian parents and raised in the Washington, D.C., area, hip-hop artist Omar Offendu

m uses his lyrical talents to bridge his Middle Eastern roots to his Western upbringing.

Music video still from Omar Offendum’s song “Destiny” – shot by Laith Majali ©

That Offendum has gained fans during the Arab Spring is no coincidence. His songs, often political, resonate with Arab youths, many of whom have embraced one of America’s most popular forms of protest music: hip-hop.

He earned lots of attention earlier this year for his collaboration with both

Arab and African-American hip-hop artists, “#Jan25,” a song dedicated to the protestors who filled Tahrir Square in Cairo during the uprisings. The song quickly went v

iral.

Offendum began his rap career as one-half of the N.O.M.A.D.S., an Arab/African-

American hip-hop duo. He’s worked on a number of projects, including the “FREE-THE-P” mix-tape, which was a fundraising effort for Palestinians, and a performance/lecture, “Brooklyn Beats 2 Beirut Streets.” In 2010, he released his first solo album, “SyrianamericanA.”

Produced with Jeffrey Brown. Watch video at PBS NewsHour.