Stanford University Vigil for Victims of Christchurch Terror Attack


Hundreds of Stanford University students and community members gathered Friday afternoon to mourn the 49 terror victims killed at two mosques in #Christchurch, New Zealand. 

See my pics below and read more at this link.





Read this piece from the Otago Daily Times at this link

Read "The Faces of the Victims" in The Otago Daily Times at THIS LINK

Read this Opinion Ed by Khaled Beydoun at THIS LINK.

Also read this piece in The Stanford Daily at  THIS LINK



New Graphic Novel Featuring a Jordanian-American Hero is an Indie Hit



Identity Stunt Vol. 1: The Fall Guy, starring a Jordanian-American stuntman, is now for sale in bookstores and comic shops worldwide!  The 100-page action-thriller odyssey is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, DriveThruComics, and more

Writer/Creator Joe R. Khachadourian singing the praises of his latest work
"It's hard to believe we've made it to the finish line," exclaimed writer/creator Joe R. Khachadourian. "It's been quite an adventure for Sami Nasser, myself, and the creative team, and we could not be more proud of the final product! It's my wish that the joy we cultivated while creating the book is shared with those who read it.” 

“This story moves at a break-neck pace,” says artist J. Briscoe Allison, “so to have all of the issues collected in one volume is going to satisfy the 'binge watcher' in all of us! I'm really picky about which projects I work on, but as soon as I read the script, I fell in love! The depth of the characters, the witty dialogue, the insane action...I mean, there's a ten-page car chase!! Who does that?!? Buckle up, friends!”

“Taps microphone: THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL IS ABOUT A JORDANIAN-AMERICAN STUNTMAN!!! Someone option the rights and hire me to direct the screen adaptation!”
Lexi Alexander (Green Street Hooligans, Punisher: War Zone)

“Khachadourian and Allison take everyone for a fun ride with Identity Stunt, featuring snappy dialogue and solid storytelling that sets up a fun and exciting world that draws you right in.”
Jimmy Palmiotti (Harley Quinn, Daredevil, All-Star Western)

“Identity Stunt does several things right when it comes to plot and tone: it tries to pose a twist on the ‘secret identity revealed’ trope, and it also toys with having both a serious enough tone to make its villain seem actually dangerous (and deranged), as well as keeping things light and tongue in cheek where they count, to make the characters seem relatable and fun. That’s what makes it a fresh read (hence the title) in a sea of repetitive, trope-y plots and hero-types.”
Costin Becheanu, Gung-Ho Geeks



Last year, Identity Stunt crashed through the independent comic book industry, leaving a trail of excitement and praise in its wake:

Now, Markosia Enterprises is pleased to announce the release of Identity Stunt Volume 1: The Fall Guy, collecting issues #1-4 of the digital-first critical smash, plus some never-before-seen bonus material.

Jordanian-American stuntman and National Guardsman Sami Nasser is trying to simplify his complicated life -- fulfilling his work commitments, managing his best friend’s self-destructive behavior, and navigating a complicated separation from his ex-wife. Just as he’s getting a handle on things, "Sam" is publicly accused of being the alter ego of Beatdown -- his hometown's notorious and unhinged vigilante -- by the nefarious ganglord Dominus Smith, Beatdown's own arch-nemesis! Squarely in the spotlight, Sam’s caught in the crosshairs of the media, law enforcement, and a slew of sociopaths. Under threat from all sides with his face plastered globally across mainstream media, Sam must battle to reclaim his identity by circumventing the police, outsmarting augmented mercenaries, and protecting his family before things take a turn for the deadly!

Capturing the bombastic tones of '80s and '90s action films, writer Joe R. Khachadourian (Transformers: Mosaic) and artists J. Briscoe Allison (Sweet Lullaby), Ruairi Coleman (KISS/Army of Darkness), and Tone Rodriguez (Shadowhawk) bring you a relentless odyssey involving complex characters, a touch of romance, and a fistful of masked lunatics!

This is what happens when the fall guy fights back.

Identity Stunt Volume 1: The Fall Guy is available now, digitally at DriveThruComics, and in print at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and more!
Identity Stunt #1 and #2 are sold out in print, with second printings on the way. Further details can be found at the Identity Stunt Store.

#ABeatdownIsComing2019

(c) 2019 Joe R. Khachadourian

IdentityStunt.com fb.me/IdentityStunt
###

Arabology Interviews El Far3i (Tareq Abu Kwaik)


Here is my 2-part radio interview with Tareq Abu Kwaik (El Far31 الفرعي) who, with 47SOUL, will be performing at Slim's in San Francisco on March 13, 2019. Tickets at this link.

Listen to PART ONE below or at  https://soundcloud.com/arabology/elfar3i1


Listen to PART TWO below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/elfar3i2



El Far3i is a groundbreaking songwriter, percussionist and vocalist, currently based in Amman and London.  He is the Founder of an Arabic Folk and Acoustic Rap solo act (El Far3i) and Hip-Hop Mc Far3 El Madakhil.

These interviews were conducted at KZSU 90.1 FM by Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti, Host of the radio show "Arabology" which airs throughout the San Francisco bay area.  Previous episodes available at soundcloud.com/arabology

يمكنكم الآن الاستماع الى حواري الاذاعي مع طارق أبو كويك الماقب بالفرعي وهو يتحدث عن بداية رحلته في عالم الموسيقى لحين انضمامه الى فرقة السبعة وأربعين. تتكون هذه المقابلة من جزئين متوفرين عبر الرابطين التاليين:.
للاستماع الى الجزء الاول أنقر هنا

للاستماع الى الجزء الثاني أنقر هنا

47Soul in Concert in San Francisco on March 13 (Promo ft El Far3i)


Don't miss 47Soul live in concert at Slim's in San Francisco on March 13, 2019 at 8 pm PST.  For info and tickets, please go to THIS LINK.

Here is an excerpt from my forthcoming Arabology interview with 47Soul band member Tareq Abu Kwaik (El Far3i) in which he discusses the group and promotes the upcoming concert at Slim's in San Francisco (listen below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/47soulsfpromo)



47SOUL is an Electro Arabic Dabke (Shamstep) band formed in Amman Jordan in 2013.


The current lineup includes: Z the People (vocals & synths) El Far3i (darbouka, Mc/Vocals) Walaa Sbeit (percussion, Mc/vocals) El Jehaz (guitar & vocals).

For tickets to the San Francisco concert on March 13, 2019 please go to:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/47soul-slims-tickets-55540759908

Arabology Interviews Arab American Poet/Stanford Student Maya Salameh

Listen to the interview at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/mayasalameh

Recorded in February 2019 at KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford University)

Stanford Lecturer + Arabology radio host Dr. Ramzi Salti interviews Arab American poet Maya Salameh, a full time student at Stanford, who recites her poem "My Other Mouth," forthcoming in The Greensboro Review.

Listen to the interview below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/mayasalameh



Read the poem below ©Maya Salameh ©The Greensboro Review

my other mouth //


if you ask me if I am fluent in Arabic / I will speak

of mispronunciation / I will tell you of the vast spaces / between

letters / I will tell you / my Arabic is words / wracked with labor

pains / village / in the pads of your feet / the roots of verbs / I conjugate

the hooked nose / the unruly hair / the holy in me /

if you ask me if I am fluent in Arabic / I will tell you / my Arabic / wonders how torture tastes on the tongue / I will tell you / I have known words like /

go & bitch & home & brown /

if you ask me I will tell you / my Arabic fell in love / with

a couple tongues / who never loved it back / my

Arabic / is a voice full of seashells / has birthed cities / men / empires / if you ask me / if I am fluent in Arabic / I will tell you about

gradations of skin color / I will say / I am more parts storm / than organs /

if you ask me I will tell you / I don’t know how to translate

purpose / from my mother tongue / but my Arabic

loves like mint / in stalks & leaves /

is a mouthful of holy water / the splintering of ships / the crucifix / on my grandfather’s wrist / if you ask me if I am fluent /

I will answer / I take my canines out

with my earrings every night / I inventory

my edible parts / I will answer / I am not a pretty girl /

if you ask me I will tell you / I am not a pretty girl /

but my Arabic is beautiful / I have caught glimpses / the rolled r’s running through

my wrists / the calligraphy of my coastline shoulders / the forgotten

syntax of my full lips / if you ask me if I am fluent

I will tell you / I am a poet / & a poet /

owes a language her tongue / hands / toes /

I will say / before its arrival / the world was prose /

if you ask me if I am fluent I will confess / my Arabic is

poetry / & in a certain quarter of the city / on such & street / I will be remembered / as the one whose stories ate her alive / whose poetry

gutted her / in slashes of five / seven / five /

I will remind you / I have always fallen in love

too easily / I will tell you / the only language I know /

is moments of misspeaking / I diplomat my teeth /

I constellation my stammer /

if you ask me if I am fluent / I will say / a language / is just

the stars / forgetting their grammar.

©Maya Salameh ©The Greensboro Review

Arabology Interviews Syrian Poet Lubna Kayyali

 Listen to the interview at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/lubnakayyali

Stanford Lecturer+ Arabology radio show host Dr. Ramzi Salti interviews Syrian Poet Lubna Kayyali who recites her poem ما زلت لا أنجح [I Still Do Not Succeed] in Arabic + English Translation.
This interview was recorded at KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford University) in November 2018.
Listen to the interview below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/lubnakayyali


For a video excerpt of Lubna Kayyali reciting her poem in Arabic, watch below or go to: https://youtu.be/gTCvVikQDKE



Here is the poem in Arabic + English Translation ©Lubna Kayyali


I have been told
To reap the fruits, you must labor
To prove that the earth rotates,
You must subtract five from ten
and become a scientist
Your ethnic color will dim
And you will raise up your gender

I was told
To reign over the language
You must memorize its alphabet
And chant in rhymes
For only then would you attain civility
Your dialect will fade
And your star will shine bright

I was told
To understand, you must read
And to succeed, you must understand
So I labored, memorized, recited, read, understood
But I did not succeed
I dared to inquire: why?
They replied:
Your star is still dim
So I seized a golden thunderbolt and struck my star
It tilted, straightened, then shone bright
In the sky of defeated stars
But, still, I do not succeed
So, again, I asked: why?
They answered:
Your dialect is Aleppian and you exude Damascene jasmine and lilies
So, I stole a foreign tongue
Chewed on it for hours, days, and decades
But my mouth swelled and my ​Dadd* transformed to a broken, frail Ghain**
But, still, I am not succeeding
Perplexed, I asked: why?
They answered:
Your gender is feeble and contemptible
It was, after all, created from a rib
Doomed to live in life’s margins
With bread and meat at its very core
And countless children as its ultimate end
So I skinned my soft flesh
Replaced it with scales of steel
Ripped out my perfumed hair
And wore my grandfather’s ancient fez instead
I plucked out my rosy nails
And affixed, in their place, tyrannical claws
But, still, I was not succeeding…
Baffled, I asked: why?
They answered:
Your color remains Arabic
Its shadow is Syrian
And you are now in the land of Giants
They hate the Arab
And loathe the Syrian
So I scurried to the box of crayons
And painted myself in white, green, and blonde
I spoke and walked my colors
Until I mastered them
Until I forgot the land of my ancestors
Until I forgot my father’s Kufic​*** pen
Until I forgot my grandmother’s Rifa’i cuisine

Then they spoke to me again
But to whom were they speaking?
They said: you!
But who am I?
...
And I still do not succeed




*​Dadd (الضاد     ): a letter unique to the Arabic language.
** Ghain (الغين    ): a soft-sounding letter in
Arabic.  

*** Kufic (كوفي    ): the oldest calligraphic form of the various Arabic scripts.

قد قیل لي
 إن اجتهدتِ حصدتِ
 إن طَرَحْتِ خمسة من عشرة أثَبتِ أن الأرض تدور
  وغدوت عالمة
 لونك یشُف وجِنْسكِ یرقى

  قد قیل لي
 إن حفظتِ الأبجدیة ونشدتِ القافیة تمَلَّكْتِ اللغة
 وأصبحت راقیة
 لهجتُكِ تبْهَت ونجمكِ یسطع


 قد قیل لي
  إن قرأت فهمت وإن فهمت نجحت
 فاجتهدت وحفظت ونشدت وقرأت وفهمت
  ولكنني لم أنجح
 استقصیت: لماذا؟
 أجابوني
  مازال نجمك خافت
 فأخذت صاعقة ذهبیة وضربت نجمي
 فمال واعتدل وسطع في سماء النجوم الخاسرة
 ولكنني مازلت لا أنجح
 سألت: لماذا؟

أجابوني
 لهجتك حلبیة وریحك تفوح یاسمین دمشقي وریحانا
 فسرقت لسان أعجمي
 ولكْتُهُ ساعةً ویومًا وعقودا
 فتهیج فمي وتبدلت الضاد إلى غیْنْ لینة مكسورة
 ولكنني مازلت لا أنجح
 تعجبت: لماذا؟
  أجابوني
 جنسك خسیس واهن
  قد خلق من ضلع مهشم
 وهاهو یعیش حیاة مهمشة
 محورها خبز ولحم ومآلها أطفال معددة
 فسلخت جلدي الناعم
 وركبت حراشف فولاذیة
 واقتلعت شعري المعطر
 وارتدیت طربوش جدي المعتق
 ونزعت أظافري الزهریة
 وثَّبتُ مخالب مُسَتِّبدة
 ولكنني مازلت لا أنجح
 ذهلت: لماذا؟
 أجابوني
 مازال لونك عربي
وظله سوري
 وأنت على أرض العمالقة
 یكرهون العربي
 ویحتقرون السوري
  فهرعت إلى علبة الألوان
 وتلونت بالأخضر والأبیض والأشقر
  وأتقنت ألواني فنسیت أرض أجدادي
 ونسیت قلم أبي الكوفي
 ونسیت مطبخ جدتي الرفاعي
 فكلموني
 ولم أعرف من یكلمون
 قالوا لي: أنت
 فقلت: ومن أنا؟
….
 ومازلت لا أنجح


 ©Lubna Kayyali

Listen to the full interview below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/lubnakayyali










Ramzi Salti Interviewed by Ahmed Tharwat

I was honored to be interviewed by Ahmed Tharwat for his show Bilahdan (AhmediaTV) which airs in Minnesota.

The interview centered on the way the music of the Arab Spring has continued to flourish--despite current realities--and to inform indie/alternative Arabic music today.  This segment showcased such musicians as El General, Emel Mathlouthi and Ramy Essam.

Watch below or at https://youtu.be/riClAt07044



For more info see THIS LINK

 Read more at this link (AhmediaTV)
Read more at this link

Stanford MENA Forum on March 9: Empower Change


For info + tickets go to https://www.stanfordmenaforum.com

On March 9, 2019 Stanford University will host its very first Middle East and North Africa Forum, ever!  The event is organized by Stanford GSB Middle East and North Africa Club +  The Arab Student Association at Stanford (ASAS).  Info and tickets at https://www.stanfordmenaforum.com

The event, which begins at 1 pm, will also feature a music talk by Stanford Lecturer + Arabology radio host Dr. Ramzi Salti at 5:30 pm.  That Cultural segment will also feature poetry readings and a musical performance by the Stanford Middle East Ensemble.

Stanford MENA Forum aims to educate 100 future business leaders about the region’s latest trends, opportunities, and challenges to inspire them to drive change and create local as well as global impact. The Forum will bring together leaders in entrepreneurship, investments, technology, and innovation and showcase the diverse and colorful culture that the MENA region has to offer.

Here are the Speakers who are scheduled between 1:30-5:30 pm.




The Cultural Segment begins at 5:30 and will feature the following:

5:35-5:45 pm: Dr. Ramzi Salti's Talk "Music as a Vehicle for Change"
5:45-6:00 pm: Poetry readings by Lubna Kayyali and Maya Salameh
6:00-7:00 pm: Dinner + Performance by the Stanford Middle East Ensemble

EVENT PARTNERS:



For info, schedule, tickets, go to https://www.stanfordmenaforum.com/