Arabology Seasons 1-2 Uploaded to Soundcloud

The first 2 Seasons of 'Arabology' have been uploaded to Soundcloud for free listening/sampling at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/sets/arabology-podcasts.

Season 1 originally aired live on KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford) starting on January 19, 2012 and ending on March 15, 2012.

Season 2  originally aired live on KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford) starting on March 14, 2012 and ending on September, 2012.

'Arabology' is a weekly radio program hosted by Dr. Ramzi Salti, Lecturer at Stanford University, which aims at showcasing (mostly alternative) Arabic music, along with commentary in English. The show also features interviews (in English) with individuals whose work informs the region.

Click below to listen to any podcast from Season One (January 19-March 15, 2012)



Click below to listen to any Podcast from Season Two (March 14-September 13, 2012):



For more info:
* Arabology on Facebook: facebook.com/arabology
* Arabology on YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/author30
* Arabology on Soundcloud: @arabology
* Arabology Contact: author30@gmail.com

Miss Nigeria Crowned Winner of Miss World Muslimah Pageant 2013




The Muslim world's own beauty Pageant, Miss World Muslimah 2013, resulted in the crowing of Miss Nigeria Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola this year as 'Miss World Muslimah 2013.' The contest took place in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sept. 18, 2013

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world-muslimah-2013-gallery-1.1460038#ixzz2fPhJnvFX




World Famous Male Dancer Tito to Perform in CA on Oct 5

Tito, the world's most famous male Bellydance artist, will perform in Los Altos, California on Saturday October 5, 2013. He will be accompanied by French Algerian Star dancer, Diana Tarkhan.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://titoshow.brownpapertickets.com/




Event Details:
Tito, the world’s most famous male Bellydance Artist, and for the first time in northern CA, French Algerian Star Diana Tarkhan perform in Los Altos

Website: http://www.HalaDance.com

Tito of Egypt, the world’s most famous male Bellydance artist performs in ONE SHOW ONLY in Los Altos on Sat Oct 5 at 7pm. He will teach 3-day workshops in Los Altos & San Jose onOctober 4, 5 & 6. Details on http://www.HalaDance.com

French Algerian dance star Diana Tarkhan, who will be here for the very first time will join Tito. Diana has been dancing in Cairo for the past 12 years and brings her wealth of knowledge and expertise in the Arabic culture and dance to her classes and shows.

What: Tito & Diana’s Dance Show
When: Saturday October 5, 7 – 11 pm. Doors open at 6:30pm.
Where: Mirage Hall (behind Pineapple Grill), 4926 El Camino Real, Los Altos, CA 94022
Info: www.HalaDance.com or 408-246-1129

Against all odds, one man, Tito of Egypt, defied traditions, demystified taboos and redefined Bellydance entertainment worldwide. He brings dances from the local festivals of Egypt to stages all over the world. With his depictions of authentic Egyptian dance, he's exposing the beautiful art that's been subject to many misunderstandings over the ages.

Tito’s innovation of dancing on the “Tabla” (Arabic drum) has become a worldwide phenomenon. He’s continually reinventing himself as well as the art of Bellydance entertainment. Tito interprets the music through incredible dynamic moves and his shows are an unparalleled experience that always delights, entertains and mesmerizes the audience.

French Algerian Diana Tarkhan is a world-renowned teacher and choreographer of Egyptian Oriental dance. Her dancing career began 20 years ago in Paris where she performed in famous nightclubs. She was then invited to dance internationally in Tunisia, Morocco and United Arab Emirates for prestigious hotels such as Hilton, Sheraton and Hyatt. She has now lived in Egypt for over 12 years. Her experience of the Egyptian culture plus her knowledge of Arabic music and dance forms, make her one of the most effective Oriental dance teachers and performers.


Im Hussein: The Arab World's Version of 'Dame Edna'


Dame Edna (left) and Im Hussein (right)

Australia may have Dame Edna, a character created and performed by Australian dadaist performer and comedian Barry Humphries, but for the past quarter of a century the Arab world has laughed with their own version of the Dame--the hilarious Im Hussein, a character created by Najee Mondalek who performs the part, in drag, to thousands of Arab audiences worldwide.

Najee Mondalek is an Arab-American actor/comedian who is best known as his 'drag' personality, the hilarious Um Hussein. He is currently touring the USA with his latest show titled the “Im Hussein Jubilee Show” which celebrates 25 years of comedy staged by the Ajyal Theatrical Group, the first Arab-American theatrical group in North America.  For more info see http://www.imhussein.com/

Mondalek founded the AJYAL Theatrical Group in 1988 and continuously performs for Arab-American audiences in The United States, Canada, Australia and the Middle East. The everyday lives of Arab-Americans, including their their mistakes and mishaps, constitute the subject of the Ajyal Theatrical Group's shows.

Ajyal has been the one constant for Mondalek. He writes a new show nearly every year. In September 1994, his theatrical life underwent a transformation. The centerpiece of his creative life, Im Hussein has become his Dame Edna, starring in six hit comedic plays since "Smile You Are in America," a comedy about immigrants trying to adjust to their new country. The main character was an older woman named Im Hussein. Three days before the first performance the father of the actress playing Im Hussein died. Mondalek couldn't find anyone to replace her. Thinking about Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire and Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie, Mondalek took the part himself.

Here is an interview with Najee Mondalek, followed by pictures from the Im Hussein Jubilee Show (in San Francisco) which took place at the Palace of Fine Arts on September 13, 2013.

Interview with Najee Mondalek who plays Im Hussein:

Interview with im hussein play actors and writer in Scottsdale, Arizona. from breekmedia on Vimeo.

Pictures from the  Im Hussein Jubilee Show in San Francisco on September 13, 2013:





With Najee Mondalek (3rd from left), the actor who plays Im Hussein

Im Hussein Comedy Show in San Francisco Tonight [Sep 13, 2013]

Join Im Hussein and the AJYAL Theatrical Group in San Francisco on Friday, September 13 for a fun-filled night of hilarity and laughs! For 25 years, Im Hussein and the gang have presented the Arab experience through comedy all over the United States and Canada. For more information, visit the official Im Hussein Facebook page.



Im Hussein Jubilee Show - $45+
Friday, September 13, 2013
8:00pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theater
Click here or call (415)392-4400 for tickets

The “Im Hussein Jubilee Show” celebrates 25 years of comedy staged by the Ajyal Theatrical Group, featuring the one and only Im Hussein. As the first Arab-American theatrical group in North America—and the first to take the show around the world—they have fulfilled their mission: to provide quality, affordable Arab theater, arts, and cultural experiences for Arab immigrants at home and abroad and to support the development of regional Arab arts and entertainment. The jubilee show showcases the best of the best skits—the zaniest of Im Hussein’s antics and activities—newly written or slightly refreshed but still providing plenty of opportunities for laughter.







Khobez wou Milih: Short Film about Making Food Not War [Subtitled]



'Khobez wou Milih' خبز وملح [Bread and Salt] is a short film of a much bigger story.  Watch the film below.

Seventeen Lebanese housewives, united by the work that they do at Souk El Tayeb and Tawlet, were invited to cook lunch for 600 of the top chefs and foodies in the world during the annual food event of MAD Symposium in Copenhagen.

Khobez wou Milih (Souk El Tayeb @ MAD Symposium 2013) from zeina on Vimeo.


Arabic and English Translations: Amoul
Calligraphy and Subtitles: Tania Salha Oakes
Sound Editor: John Kochanczyk
Filmed and Edited: Zeina Hurst
Producer: Ziad Oakes

Music from Audio Networks
'Passing Time' by Paul Mottram and recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, February 2008
'Nature' by Richard Lacy, David Bird and Richard Kimmings, 2013

Thanks to Ali Kurshat Altinsoy, Peter Kreiner, Mark Emil Tholstrup Hermansen and Gabriel Ulla at Noma and MAD food.

My CD Review: Mashrou' Leila - Raasuk "رقّصوك"



The much anticipated third CD by the Lebanese group Mashrou' Leila is an instant masterpiece that solidifies the band's standing as the Arab world's leading indie/alternative musical artists. This CD combines the distinct sound of the violin with different rhythms and instruments while showcasing the powerful vocals of lead singer Hamed Sinno. The lyrics in Arabic are as poetic as they are contemporary. Tracks melt into each other like inter-connected chapters within a literary epic.

1. Prologue (1:21) Instrumental piece featuring Swiss/French trumpeter Erik Truffaz that eloquently and elegantly sets up our musical journey through the tracks that will follow.
**2. Abdo (3:18) is a popular, folkloric, fictional name in Arabic that is equivalent to "Joe Shmoe" in American English. Here our 'aging counter-hero' is in love with a widow who won't return his affections, leading to Abdo's heartbreak--a story that is accentuated by the song's deliberately melodramatic violin strings and music that stays with the listener long after the song--and Abdo--are gone..
3. Ala Babu (4:37) [At His Door] Sultry tune, a plea by a rejected lover in which he is willing to demean himself for love.
4. Taxi (2:45) Upbeat tune that sounds like Polish or Russian music mixed with various genres and contrasted by powerful lyrics in which the taxi ride is equated with one's doomed life journey..
5. Skandar Maalouf (4:01) Vocals in this song sound like Mika if he were to sing in Arabic. Song showcases Sinno's vocal ability to carry a song in upper registers. Just who is Skander Maalouf? Speculations abound.
**6. Lil Watan (3:36) [For the Homeland] Strongest track on this CD, mid tempo, addressing patriotism, nationalistic slogans and conspiracy theories.
7. Bishuf (4:34) [He Sees] Slow, rhythmic beats that sound like a funeral procession. Lyrics about depression, consciousness, sadness and resignation. Haig Papazian's violin is haunting.
**8. Ma Tetrikni Heik (2:26) [Don't Leave Me Like This] The Lebanese version of Jacques Brel's ‘Ne me quitte pas' with organ music and Sinno's vocals crying out in pain and desperation. Sounds almost like a Church prayer or lamentation.
9. Raasuk (4:02) [They Made You Dance] Title track begins with a grave tone but picks up as song progresses. Like track #6, this song talks about notions of nationalism and choosing to 'dance' like a puppet.
10.Wa Nueid (5:06) [Ad Nauseam] Redundant clapping sounds define this track which emphasizes individual choices and capabilities. Less pessimistic than tracks 6 and 9.
11.Bahr (3:27) [Sea] Epic-like track showcases breathtaking trumpet playing by Erik Truffaz with lyrics that lament the death of a brother who has disappeared into the sea. A plea for the sea to return him.
** My faves (2, 6, 8)

Recent Reviews of this CD/Band:
Review in Arabic from Ma3azef.com: http://www.ma3azef.com/node/183
Review in English from Ahram.org: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/80793.aspx
The Economist: http://www.economist.com/blogs/pomegranate/2013/09/music-arab-world


Sample Tracks from 'Raasuk' CD:

'Abdo'


'Lil Watan'


'Ma Tetrikni Heik'


Sample Tracks from Mashrou' Leila's second CD 'El Hal Romancy':

'El Hal Romancy'


'Im El Jacket'


Sample Tracks from Mashrou' Leila's self-titled first CD:

'Fasateen'


'Arous'


Mashrou' Leila Video Clips:






Mashrou' Leila Live in Concert:








TV reports/interviews about Mashrou' Leila:

TV Report in English:


TV Interview in Arabic:


TV appearance on Bassem Youssef's Elbernameg - البرنامج TV Show:




Exclusive Pictures of Mashrou' Leila Performing in Beirut (2011)







My interview with Mashrou' Leila band member Omaya Malaeb (2011):










My interview with Mashrou' Leila band member Hamed Sinno (2011):








More Info about Mashrou' Leila:
Official Website: http://mashrou3leila.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/mashrou3leila
YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/Mashrou3Leila




Registration Open for my Beginning Arabic Night Course at Stanford (Starts 9/25)


If you live in the San Francisco bay area and are interested in learning Arabic from scratch this Fall...

Registration now open for my Beginning Arabic class at Stanford on Wednesday evenings 7-9 pm starting 9/25 for 10 weeks. Anyone is welcome and no prior knowledge of Arabic needed. Spread the word and/or register at https://continuingstudies.stanford.edu/courses/course.php?cid=20131_ARB+01

Beginning Arabic I

(ARB 01)
This course is intended for anyone interested in learning the Arabic alphabet as well as basic communication skills in Arabic. Instead of emphasizing the complex grammatical and syntactical structure of the language, this course will spotlight useful Arabic words, phrases, and sentences in a way that will equip students to communicate on a basic level with native Arabic speakers. The course will concentrate on using, pronouncing, and understanding Arabic expressions through interaction with fellow students and the instructor.
This is the first course in a two-course sequence. The textbook assigned for Arabic Level I will also be used for Level II. Students may enroll in this introductory course without intending to take both courses in the sequence.
Ramzi Salti, Lecturer in Arabic Language, Stanford
Ramzi Salti received a PhD in comparative literature (with a primary emphasis on Arabic literature) from UC Riverside. He received the Stanford Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2004 and an Honorable Mention for the Associated Students of Stanford University Teacher of the Year award in 2009. He was recently awarded the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship for “Favorite Professor 2013.”

Textbooks for this course:
(Required) Salti, Course Reader
Download the Preliminary Syllabus (subject to change)

Register at https://continuingstudies.stanford.edu/courses/course.php?cid=20131_ARB+01