Song of Kurdish-Turkish rapper featured in German schoolbook

“I think 'Der Gastarbeiter' speaks from the point of view of many Germans with a migration background."
German-Kurdish rapper Eko Fresh (Photo: Eko Fresh/Facebook).
German-Kurdish rapper Eko Fresh (Photo: Eko Fresh/Facebook).

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A song by the German rapper Eko Fresh, 38, who is of Turkish-Kurdish background, called "Der Gastarbeiter" (The Guestworker) is being used in a schoolbook in Germany.

Eko Fresh, whose real name is Ekrem Bora, was born in Cologne, Germany and has mixed Kurdish-Turkish roots.

While his mother is Kurdish, his father is generally described as Turkish and came to Germany as a political refugee in the 1980s.

He once tweeted that is half Kurdish, and half Turkish, but is actually German.

On Facebook, Eko Fresh celebrated the news: “I just found out that the lyrics of my song ‘Der Gastarbeiter’ were used in a schoolbook. Grandpa, this one's for you!”

His song ‘The Guestworker’ comes from his album ‘Ek to the Roots’ in 2012, which talks about his immigration background and the story of his family, and how guestworkers had to struggle to make a living in Germany.

Eko Fresh is one of the most popular German rappers with an immigrant background. In his music he deals with social and political topics, such as racism in Germany.

“I think ‘Der Gastarbeiter’ speaks from the point of view of many Germans with a migration background. Not only guest workers but all who came to this country and helped to make it the European powerhouse it is now,” said Polla Garmiany, a member of the Kurdish Community in Germany (KGD).

“This year is the 60th anniversary of the German-Turkish Recruitment Agreement that enabled Germany to bring young workers to the country to help rebuild it after WW2,” he said. “Adding Eko's song into a schoolbook is an important step in recognizing the immense economic and cultural contributions of the 26% Germans with a migration background - a fact that is too often overlooked.”

He also added that he thinks “this step is also important because it adds urban culture into education and helps students understand poetry and society better. Eko's Kurdish, Turkish, and German identity helps a lot in speaking to a broad range of students.”

Kurdish hip-hop artists in Germany, such as Haftbefehl, Azad, and Xatar, have had a big influence on the German hip-hop and rap scene and have become famous, playing roles in German movies and culture.

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