(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today (Tuesday), 14 February 2006, issued the following special statement following the passing of Shoshana Damari, the Queen of Hebrew Song:

"This morning, one of our cultural giants, Israel Prize laureate Shoshana Damari, passed away. Her voice and her noble image accompanied us for more than 60 years: During the underground struggle and the establishment of the state, in peace and in war, in joy and in sorrow. As a daughter of the glorious aliyah from Yemen, Shoshana Damari was an example for love of humanity, love of  the Land of Israel and, especially, love for the Hebrew song. Whoever saw her in concert will always remember the ability of this small woman with the great voice to inspire feeling and joy.  Her cultural achievements will not be forgotten, neither will the legacy that she has bequeathed to entire generations who grew up on – and will yet grow up on – her songs. We will always remember her as the voice of the nation."

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Shoshana Damari was born in 1923 in Damar, Yemen and immigrated to Israel with her family when she was two and began performing at the age of 10. She released her first album in 1948, and its songs were closely identified with Israel’s War of Independence. In 1988 she won the Israel Prize for her contribution to Israeli vocal music.
Damari is famous for her performance of Moshe Wilensky’s song "Kalaniyot" ("Anemonies") as well as many of well-known Israeli songs.