The World Academy of Arts, Literature and Media (WAALM) has decides to give its annual award in the pop music category to Iranian-born Israeli singer Rita for her new album, "My Joys," in which she sings in Persian.
Since its release, the album has created a lot of interest worldwide as it is being sold in Iran's black market despite the tense relations between Israel and the Islamic Republic.
The news about the award took Rita by surprise. An email sent to the singer's website informed her of the decision. The announcement stated that the Academy rewards intellectuals, journalists and artists who have left a unique mark on their professional field.
"The decision to select my album is very exciting and charming," says Rita. "The truth is that it's strange the Academy even heard of my album, and it's not an obvious thing at all."
She will receive the prize in London soon.
"Since the album's release, I've been encountering many surprises," Rita adds. "I suddenly get phone calls from China, from Japan, from France. It amazes me how this project, which began from something musical, has created such a social buzz."
WAALM was founded in Hungary in 2005. Israeli singer Idan Raichel has received one of its awards in the past.