Gaza's Take on Pharrell's Hit Song 'Happy' Shows Brighter Side of the Strip

Upbeat Oscar-nominated song has spawned tribute videos worldwide, including from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Istanbul and the Gaza Strip.

Gaza's economic growth may have evaporated and unemployment soared to almost 40 percent by the end of 2013, as Reuters reported earlier this month, but that doesn't mean Gazans can't be "Happy."

American R&B singer Pharrell Williams' catchy hit song "Happy" has spawned tribute music videos worldwide in cities including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo and Rome. Now we can add "Happy from Gaza" to the list.

The Gaza video includes shots of a young man with a black and white kaffiyeh around his neck dancing on the beach and in the street, three little girls dancing on the beach and two little boys waving from a merry-go-round. 

At the end of the video, which says it was produced by Gaza Style, participants hold up pieces of paper spelling out "Happy Gaza" in English.

The upbeat "Happy," which is from the soundtrack for "Despicable Me 2" and appears on Pharrell's recent album, "GIRL," was nominated for best original song at the Academy Awards in March, but lost to "Let It Go" from the "Frozen" soundtrack.

Gaza Style via YouTube