Thursday, December 8, 2016

New Article about 'Arabology' in 'Palo Alto Weekly'

Read article at http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2016/12/07/the-ambassador-of-arabology

Many thanks to Karla Kane and The Palo Alto Weekly for publishing such an in-depth article about my Arabology radio show in this week's issue (online + print)

You can read the article at http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2016/12/07/the-ambassador-of-arabology

Interview focuses on groundbreaking Arab msuicians and media personalities whose work has been highlighted on the show, from Mashrou' Leila's Hamed Sinno to Tunisian singer/songwriter Emel Mathlouthi, to the 'Egyptian Jon Stewart' Bassem Youssef to...Olivia Newton-John!

Read full article at http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2016/12/07/the-ambassador-of-arabology

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Dancer Ahmad Joudeh: From Syria's Ruins to the Dutch National Ballet

Ahmad Joudeh: Dance or Die

Back in 2014, I had the chance to interview, by phone, a dancer named Ahmad Joudeh who was then living under the harshest of circumstances in Syria. At the time, he was cautiously thrilled to have the chance to participate in the Arabic version of So You Think You Can Dance where he did quite well (though he did not win). You can watch his audition below or at https://youtu.be/5acMbA0Mqx0



Ahmad was applauded by the judges on the show, particularly legendary dancer Pierre Dulaine who immediately believed in Ahmad's dream and the power of dance to heal. Ahmad recognized Mr. Dulaine's kindness and encouragement during my interview with him which aired on KZSU 90.1 FM in 2014. You can listen to that interview below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/ahmadjoudeh2



Judge Pierre Dulaine also spoke to me about Ahmad in a separate interview which you can hear below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/pierredulaine2#t=12:57



It was very difficult for Ahmad to return to Syria after having tasted success on Lebanese TV through SYTYCD.  He nevertheless did so and continued to dance despite the tragic circumstances he was witnessing on a daily basis.

Two years later, in 2016, Dutch TV came to Syria and were so touched by dancer Ahmad Joudeh's story that Reporter Roozbeh Kaboly started filming him around Damascus and even went with him to the ancient city of Palmyra where Ahmad Joudeh literally danced in the ruins. That TV report aired on Dutch TV in August 2016. You can watch it below or at https://youtu.be/vqJQOMZCiwY



That Dutch TV report resounded with Ted Brandsen, Director of the Dutch National Ballet.  Funds were then raised to bring Ahmad to the Netherlands, an effort that was spear headed by Nicolas Mansfield, Director of Nederlandse Reisopera.

Ahmad Joudeh (right) with Nicolas Mansfield in Amsterdam

Another TV report soon surfaced in 2-parts, documenting Ahmad Joudeh's journey with sensitivity and courge.

Here is Part 1 of the documentary which aired on Nieuwsuur (Dutch TV) in August 2016: https://youtu.be/vqJQOMZCiwY



An unexpected outcome resulted from that documentary when, 4 months later, Ahmad Joudeh arrived to Amsterdam--an event that was filmed in Part 2 of the documentary "Dance or Die" which, like Part 1, aired on Nieuwsuur (Dutch TV). You can watch that footage below or at https://youtu.be/FIk2vfl_Sz8



Shortly after his arrival to the Netherlands, Ahmad began dancing with the Dutch National Ballet.



"This coming Saturday Ahmad Joudeh will have his debut at the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam," wrote Nicolas Mansfield on December 6, 2016.  "His story must be a lesson to us all. That it is good to dream of better things. And that these dreams can become reality. And that through the pain and devastation of war the message of hope will triumph. Many of the so-called 'leaders' of our world are masters of deception, manipulation and injustice. Through his dance Ahmad shows us the real power of peace. In my book that makes him a true hero."








Saturday, November 26, 2016

New Arabology 10.6 Podcast Now Available



The latest Arabology podcast (aired Nov 25, 2016) is now available below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology106



This new episode, hosted in English by Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti,  featured an amazing array of groundbreaking Arab musicians singing everything from ballads to Hip Hop to Electronia.

Playlist for Arabology 10.6 (25 November 2016) DJ: Ramzi S.
1. Murder Dance Machine/Levant Disco Song/ Maxi 45 Music & Records
2. Keybe, Duo Zone+ & Usif / Atini El nai (Zone+ Version)/Souq Records
3. Alaa Wardi /Yawrood/ Madinat Al Salah
4. Rami Mishriky/ Eternel la perfection/ Single
5. Labess/ Au bord de l'eau / Tout Va Bien/ Autoproduction
6. Rebal Alkhodari/ 3ajaban li-ghazalan/ Al-Tawshih Al Hadith
7. Mohamed Mansour/ Hoboot fel Daght (Pressure Drop)/Single
8. Lena Chamamyan/ Kissat Ishq/ Lawnan
9. Tania Saleh + Hazem Shaheen/ Eini Fi Einek/ Live at Al Genaina Theatre
10. Al Sayyed Darwish/ Rad al Shaab/ Single/ Hani Sawah
11. Raskalb/ Yamma/ The Music of Macbeth - Leila & Ben/ Basti Jawhar
12. Emsallam Hdaib/ Safaleh/ The Last Step/ Emsallam Hdaib
13. Abdel Gadir Salim/ Bassama Bissarma/ Boiling Point/ World Circuit
14. Dhafer Youssef/ La priere de l'absent/ Electric Soufi/Enja
15. Abdullah Miniawy/ Tofy Bey/ Daraje
16. Hawas ft Shirin Abdo/ Your Eyes/ Zay El Shita (Like Winter)
17. Adan Wakeem/ Bent El 48/ Single/ Philip Halloun
18. Omar Kamal/ Mawtini/ Single/ Omar Kamal
19. Sting/ Inshallah/ 57th and 9th/ A&M
To hear or download the podcast please go to https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology106 or listen below:



Rania Kurdi Releases Hilarious New Song + Video Clip

Rania Kurdi in 'Weslat' video clip

Rania Kurdi aka the Arab Tracey Ullman has just released a new song and video that humorously deal with so-called celebrities and superficiality in the media. Titled 'Weslat' [Message Received], the video features Jordanian rap artist Amer Al-Taher and is brilliantly directed by Zaid Bawab. It showcases Rania in playing different characters doing what she does best--satirically commenting on so called celebrities who are more concerned with image than content.

You can watch the video below or at https://youtu.be/81LSOsP3GJs


For more about Rania Kurdi see https://www.facebook.com/RaniaKurdiOfficial


Friday, November 25, 2016

Arabology Interviews Dancing Legend Pierre Dulaine ft His New Book

https://soundcloud.com/arabology/pierredulaine2016

Listen to Arabology's NEW radio interview with legendary ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/pierredulaine2016


This NEW radio interview with legendary ballroom dancing champion Pierre Dulaine showcases his new book "Take the Lead" in which he recounts his life--from his birth in Jaffa (يافا) in 1944 to a Palestinian mother and Irish father, to his childhood in Jordan, to his Dancing Classrooms Global Initiative, to his films (Dancing in Jaffa and Take the Lead starring Antonio Banderas), to his judging experience on the Arabic version of So You Think You Can Dance - يلّا نرقص and Dancing with the Stars - رقص النجوم ).

In this interview, Pierre Dulaine also reveals intimate details about his personal life for the first time as he broaches topics ranging from identity politics to sexual orientation.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Arabology Interviews "The Arab Sinatra" Omar Kamal

https://soundcloud.com/arabology/omarkamal
Arabology's interview with Omar Kamal aka "The Arab Sinatra" was recorded on November 18, 2016 at KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford University).  It includes a sample of Omar's English songs and such Arabic songs as 'Mawtini موطني'.

Listen below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/omarkamal



This interview coincides with the release of Omar Kamal's first single with Sony Music titled "Love Never Looked So Good"--a classic take on the Michael Jackson hit featuring the same guitarist that worked on Michael Jackson’s ‘Dangerous’ album (Tim Pierce). 



Omar also discussed his forthcoming album--produced by Dave Pierce and Bob Rock--which was mixed by 23-time Grammy award winner Al Schmitt of Capitol Studios in Hollywood.

Omar Kamal in Rome

Omar's single "Love Never Felt So Good" is accompanied by an elegant video clip which was filmed in Rome.  The video has already amassed over 74,000 views on YouTube.

You can watch the video below or at https://youtu.be/TzARLrJHkeM


My interview with Omar Kamal also featured some of his earlier English tracks, included this Sinatra cover which, sadly, will not be featured on his upcoming album.  

Omar Kamal | عمر كمال "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life
Listen below or at https://youtu.be/wSDg_x9XPGM



The interview, which was conducted in English and Arabic, also featured a selection of Omar's songs in Arabic.  Of those, we will highlight his critically acclaimed version of "Mawtini موطني " and his performance of Les Miserables in Arabic.  Both are featured below:

Omar Kamal | عمر كمال "Mawtini Outcry (صرخة موطني)" (https://youtu.be/vhKVX2qskAY)



Omar Kamal sings Les Miserables in Arabic البؤساء - عمر كمال (https://youtu.be/iRS8Xlyjyw8)


For more info about Omar Kamal:

Omar Kamal Website: omarkamalglobal.com
Omar Kamal's Vevo Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/omarkamalVEVO
Omar Kamal's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/omarkamalglobal
(c) Sony Music Entertainment Middle East


To listen to Arabology's radio interview with Omar Kamal, click below or go to https://soundcloud.com/arabology/omarkamal


ALL ARABOLOGY PODCASTS AT https://soundcloud.com/arabology/sets/podcasts

Exclusive Arabology Interviews: https://soundcloud.com/arabology/sets/arabology-interviews