Review of Emel Mathlouthi's New Album 'Kelmti Horra' (2012)


Emel Mathlouthis's new album released in 2012




Emel Mathlouthi                                                          Kelmti Horra  2012       
-- All Tracks are FCC CLEAN --
Emel Mathlouthi is a young Tunisian singer, songwriter, composer and guitarist whose songs often address freedom.  She sounds like a blend between Joan Baez, Sister Marie Keyrouz, and the Lebanese diva Fairuz. .  On this album, titled “Kelmti Horra” (My Word Is Free), she has recorded many songs in Arabic, French and English addressing themes of freedom that seem undeniably influenced by the Tunisian uprising.  The last 3 tracks on this CD are only available on this special issue.

1.  Houdou’on (Calm) Chant in Arabic followed by drum beats, dreamy vocals 5:31
**2.  “Ma Lkit” (Not Found). Strong vocals crying out about life’s obstacles and the rarity of friends.  Starts slow then builds up to symphonic level with drums. 3:58
**3.  “Dhalem” (Tyrant) Starts out like a lullaby then almost operatic vocals in classical Arabic.  Nice harp sound 3:55
4.  “Stranger” Sung in English.  Oriental beat set to whispery dreamy back vocals.4:12
5.  “Ya Tounes Ya Meskina” (Poor Tunis). A lamentation.  A sad song for Tunisia set to seemingly patriotic beats.4:47
6.  “Ethnia Twila” (The Road Is Long). Sung in Arabic and set to an interesting beat that fuses eastern and western sounds and rhythms.  8:24 
**7.  “Kelmti Horra” (My Word Is Free) The title track shows off Emel’s strong vocals, almost operatic in nature, singing with heartfelt passion about freedom. 6:30
8.  “Dfina” (Burial).  Haunting vocals, sad rhythm with strong guitar sound.6:23
9.  “Hinama” (When) Sung in classical Arabic.  Sounds like poetry set to music.  Slow with many intentional pauses.5:28
10.“Yezzi” (Enough)  Classical Arabic, about the Tunisian uprising.  Freedom is in the streets.7:15
11.“A L’Infini” (Infinity) Sung in French, melancholic song, about a tortured soul.4:09
12. “Liberta” (Freedom) Mixes Arabic with different languages, haunting song, sounds like a chant.  4:56

13. “14 Janvier”. Commemorates the date in 2011 when the President of Tunisia fled 3:37



            My picks:  2, 3, & 7                                             Ramzi Salti

Global Fund for Women: Women’s Rights Amidst Arab Revolutions



On the anniversary of the uprisings in Tahrir Square, Global Fund for Women and the Arab Cultural and Community Center presented a special event to reflect on women’s rights amidst Arab revolutions. It took place on Thursday January 26, 2012 in San Francisco, California.

The event included three leading Arab women for an evening discussion on advancements and setbacks faced by women’s movements in the region. Speakers included Global Fund grantee partners, Nadia Sraieb-Koepp from Tunisia and Nawla Darwiche from Egypt, and Zeina Zaatari, Global Fund’s Middle East and North Africa Program Director.

This event was also co-sponsored by Middle East Children’s Alliance, Arab Resource Organizing Collective and Sunbula: Arab Feminists for Change. It was free and open to the public.


After the conversation, the Global Fund launched their newest book: Telling Our Stories: Women’s Voices from the Middle East and North Africa, with excerpt readings of articles and essays by women leaders from the region.  Here are some reviews of this book:


“The euphoria of victory last February was palpable,” Global Fund for Women board member Hoda Elsadda writes us from Cairo, “but was soon followed by the sobering realization that you cannot do away with such a corrupt and brutal regime overnight.” While violence continues, women are working together to hold onto their newly won spaces of resistance, optimism and sense of empowerment.

To commemorate the challenges and success of women organizing in the region, Global Fund announces our newest book, Telling Our Stories. Written by key women leaders from the region, Telling Our Stories weaves together history, political analysis, and personal reflections about the rapid political transformations sweeping the Arab world.

Gloria Steinem has this to say about the book: "To discover real women behind headlines, YouTubes and Twitters from the MiddleEast, read Telling Our Stories. It's a gift of learning, new friends and knowing that all proceeds go to benefit a democracy that goes beyond patriarchy." 

You can read excerpts from Telling Our Stories online and they would also be delighted to put you in touch with some of these inspiring women who contributed to the book.



The Global Fund for Women is a grantmaking foundation that seeds, strengthens and links women's human rights groups worldwide.  For more info, go to  http://www.globalfundforwomen.org


Podcasts from first TWO Episodes of 'Arabology' Available



The Podcasts from the first and second episodes of 'Arabology' are available for free listening and downloading.

The show premiered on Thursday January 19, 2012 and the second episode aired on Thursday January 26, 2012.  It will air every Thursday from 4-6 PM live on KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM and will stream live at http://kzsulive.stanford.edu

PODCAST FROM EPISODE 1 (aired Jan 19)

You can download by going to this link:  http://radio4all.net/index.php/program/57249

To listen directly, simply CLICK HERE

PODCAST FROM EPISODE 2 (aired Jan 26)


You can download by going to this link:  http://radio4all.net/index.php/program/57317

To listen directly, simply CLICK HERE


NEW 'ARABOLOGY' FACEBOOK PAGE

If you are on Facebook, please 'Like' my 'Arabology' Page at www.facebook.com/arabolgy.



DJ Ramzi

My New Radio Show 'Arabology' Premiered on Jan 19, 2012 on KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM



After two successful seasons, My Hi, Keefak, Ca Va? Radio Show is done and, as of January 19, 2012, I will have a new weekly radio show titled Arabology and showcasing music from all over the Arab world.

The show will air on the same day and time as my old program:  Thursdays from 4-6 PM (PST) on KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM.  You can listen to the live broadcast every week by going to kzsulive.stanford.edu at that time.

If you miss a live show, then you can also find my previous podcasts at http://author32.blogspot.com/p/all-my-kzsu-podcasts.html

Many thanks to Ahmad Q for the beautiful logos and artwork for the show's Facebook Page which can be found at www.facebook.com

If you are on Facebook, then please go to the Arabology Page then click on 'Like.'

If you would like to write to me, then please email author30@gmail.com


Ramzi Salti, Ph.D.                                           الدكتور رمزي سلطي
Lecturer, Author & Radio DJ            كاتب،مذيع ومحاضر في اللغة العربية وآدابها
Stanford University                                             جامعة ستانفورد
CA 94530-2006                                                 ولاية كاليفورنيا
USA                                                              الولايات المتحدة الامريكية




Canadian TV Program Highlights 'Sex in Lebanon'

In collaboration with Canada's TV Channel 5, a TV series titled Le sexe autour du monde  [Sex around the World] has recently dedicated an entire episode to the taboo subject of sex in Lebanon.  In this program, several notable Lebanese figures were interviewed candidly about their differing Lebanese views of sex and sexuality.

You can watch the episode at the link below but please note that it is in French with occasional dialogue in English during some of the interviews.  Click on the link below to watch.

http://video.tv5.ca/le-sexe-autour-du-monde-2/liban 

NPR Report on Music Scene in Iceland and LEBANON!

To listen to the report from the NPR Website (Dec 31, 2011) , go to this link then go to Minute 4:28:  m=1445266http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=144444523&85


You can also follow the transcript below (NPR All Rights Reserved)



Now, to Beirut, where our local music critic Sam is on the scene.

WAHAB: The first band I'm going to talk about is Adonis. These guys are a folk rock band who sing in Arabic.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DAW L BALADIYYI")

WAHAB: They just released a video of their single called "Daw L Baladiyyi," which means streetlight. And the good thing about the video is they take black and white photos of pre-civil war Lebanon and go to those exact same locations right now and they hold up the photo, and it's a nice contrast of where we were and where we are.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DAW L BALADIYYI")

WAHAB: So the next band I'm going to talk about is a group called Zeid and the Wings. They're a band that started last year and have released an album just recently called "Asfeh," which means the storm, which is also the title track of the album which you're listening to right now.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ASFEH")

WAHAB: An interesting thing about Zeid and the Wings is when you check out their album, you'll see that it's got everything from Arabic folk to reggae to rock and to electro. And the vocal harmonies, seeing as you have three female backup vocalists, it's a really nice mix.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ASFEH")

WAHAB: The last band we're going to talk about is called Lazzy Lung. And these guys are Lebanon's new rock alternative.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONSTANDBY")

WAHAB: So this Lazzy Lung track is called "Onstandby." Lazzy Lung is a really good radio-friendly pop band that actually has a message, and they sing in English. And that's very rare for most bands here in Lebanon.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONSTANDBY")

LAZZY LUNG: (Singing) Well, I got this thing I can't fix, and I don't know why. Seems I can't recall any of the night, oh why. Time wasted (unintelligible) again, oh, who's this here beside me? Oh, here we go again.

WAHAB: So Lazzy Lung recently won an award, and they'll be making their way to Los Angeles to meet with Capitol Records and represent Lebanon sometime next year. And they're definitely an incredible live band that, you know, you should watch out for.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONSTANDBY")

LUNG: (Singing) I got a girl got me going on, going on, going on...

SHEIR: That's the song "Onstandby" by Lazzy Lung, recommended to us by music writer Samir Wahab in Beirut, Lebanon.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONSTANDBY")

LUNG: (Singing) Going on...

SHEIR: You can hear this song and more pop music from Iceland and Lebanon at our website, npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONSTANDBY")

LUNG: (Singing) Left out again...

You can read the full article on the NPR site at this link.

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