Sameh “SAZ” Zakout is a native of Ramle, a predominantly Palestinian Arab city within Israel, reputable for its excessive crime and poverty. Transcending the violence plaguing his people and his city, SAZ chose hip hop as a means to overcome his circumstance, stating, “If I didn’t have a music career, I’d probably be in the streets selling drugs and getting shot at.” A Muslim descendant of Palestinian Communists who were dispossessed from their village in 1948, SAZ was inspired to write hip hop rhymes by his third grade Arabic teacher. He began performing publicly at the age of 16 and has since become a staple of the Palestinian hip hop scene. SAZ rhymes in Arabic, Hebrew and English and is widely hailed for his beatbox technique. He has been featured in Rolling Stone and on CNN, and was the subject of a 2004 self-titled documentary which was broadcast in over five countries.