Monday, February 28, 2011

Ramzi Salti Premieres New "test" Radio Program Tomorrow Tues. March 1 at 8pm (PST)

Please tune in TOMORROW Tuesday March 1 at 8 pm (PST) for the "test debut" of my new Radio Program called "Hi keefak ça va?" on KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford). Premiere will be 3 hours long. Live listeners anywhere in the world can listen live by going to

Ramzi Salti Premieres New "test" Radio Program Tomorrow Tues. March 1 at 8pm (PST)

Please tune in TOMORROW Tuesday March 1 at 8 pm (PST) for the "test debut" of my new Radio Program called "Hi keefak ça va?" on KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford). Premiere will be 3 hours long. Live listeners anywhere in the world can listen live by going to

Mounir El Shami Self-Releases His First Single منير الشامي - بغيتك والله

Nice new song tiled "Bghitek Wallah  بغيتك والله"  [I Wanted You, by God!] by a talented young Moroccan musician, Mounir El Shami, who also composed & wrote the tune.  Here's to a rosy future for this young, talented singer.

Mounir El Shami Self-Releases His First Single منير الشامي - بغيتك والله

Nice new song tiled "Bghitek Wallah  بغيتك والله"  [I Wanted You, by God!] by a talented young Moroccan musician, Mounir El Shami, who also composed & wrote the tune.  Here's to a rosy future for this young, talented singer.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Amr Diab Launches "Masry Begad" [Seriously Egyptian] Campaign on His FM Station

Amr Diab (center) at the launch of the 'Masry' Begad' Campaign in Feb 2011

Today is the launch of the 'Masry Begad' [Seriously Egyptian] campaign and program. Amr Diab attended the launch and discussed with some of Diab FM team some of the guidelines and every one shared by new ideas which can help in rebuilding Egypt. Some of Diab FM team started the soft launch by donating blood at the Vacsera in Mohandeseen. Masry Begad campaign invites all Amr Diab's fans to participate in Masry Begad weekly campaigns; every Friday. So, if you have any idea which you would like to share with Diab FM team, send it on and you can be hosted in Diab FM studio to further discuss your idea. So, listen TODAY to the first episode of Masry Begad program from 8:00pm to 9:30pm C.L.T.

Diab FM had its soft launch in June 2010 by 3 programs; Koll El kalam, Aktar Wahed Beyhebak & Hekaytak Eh. Diab FM has also discovered talents in presenting by holding 2 competitons for presenters; 6 presenters have won in the first one & 4 presenters have won in the second competition held in October 2010. The full launch of Diab FM now includes other programs like Ghany Men Albalk, Ne Oul Eh & Amr Diab Academy. This is in addition to other programs that will launch very soon.

Additionally, the Egyptian singing superstar launched last month the first episode of Amr Diab Acadmy at 10:00pm to 12:00pm CLT. Amr Diab Academy in season one is a talent search project searching for lyricists & composers. It is presented by Mohamed Ezz El-din & Dina Gouda. Amr Diab Academy is a talent search project for various talents. It will be held every year searching for different talents in different fields.

Phase one of Amr Diab Academy will be aired exclusively on Diab FM, every Sunday and Tuesday at 10:00 PM. Re-run every Monday and Wednesday at 10:00 PM.

Winners of Amr Diab Academy will have the privilege to work with Amr Diab in his upcoming album.

Amr Diab Academy is keen to find new talents in different fields. It has proven to be a success with the talent discovery of the presenters on Diab FM.

Pianist Tala Tutunji: What Does Contemporary/Modern Arabic Music Mean?

Pianist Tala Tutunji from Jordan discusses classical music, touring the world, and the state of contemporary/modern Arabic music today.

تدرّبت على الموسيقى الغربيّة الكلاسيكيّة و اليوم تعمل على الموسيقى العربيّة المعاصرة و التجريبيّة السؤال : شو يعني موسيقى عربيّة معاصرة؟

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Soundtrack to the Arab Revolutions (Guardian UK)

Soundtrack to the Arab Revolutions

Rapper El Général helped spark the uprising in Tunisia, and in Egypt musicians bravely played their part in their nation's transformation with these impassioned and incendiary tracks

Protesters sing in Tahrir Square in Cairo
Protesters sing in Tahrir Square in Cairo Photograph: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

The soundtrack to the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt is brilliantly reported by Andy Morgan elsewhere on this site. Andy used to manage the Tuareg band Tinariwen, but is now a full-time journalist, with his own blog devoted to world music. Here, with videos culled from YouTube, are some of the acts he describes in his piece on how the Arab world found its voice.


Tunisian rapper El Général uploaded his song "Rais Le Bled" (President, Your Country) to Facebook on 7 November. "Within hours," as Andy Morgan writes, " the song had lit up the bleak and fearful horizon like an incendiary bomb." Here it is with English subtitles.


"Leave" by Ramy Essam, with lyrics comprising all the most popular chants and slogans of the revolution heard on the streets. This song became the hit of the uprising, going viral on YouTube. Essam lived in Tahrir Square's tent village for the entire revolution, composing songs, and playing almost every hour on one of the many stages that sprouted there.


"Egyptian Intifada", the lyrics written by the poet Ahmed Fouad Negm, sung by Sheik Imam.


Egyptian folk act El Tanbura and others from the El Mastaba Centre for Egyptian Folk Music filmed in the streets of Cairo with a cut titled "Tahrir Square Jam".


"Rebel" by Egyptian rappers Arabian Knightz, sung in English, its lyrics rewritten by the group's Karim Adel Eissa, aka A-Rush, on the night of Thursday 27 January.


Cairo rock luminaries Amir Eid, Hany Adel and Sherif Mostafa with their rousing anthem to the revolution "Sout Al Horeya" (The Voice of Freedom).


Iraqi rapper Narcicyst with other MCs from the Arabic rap diaspora in North America, including Omar Offendum, Freeway, Ayah and Amir Sulaiman, with "#Jan25" – a reference to both the date the protests began in Egypt, and its prominence as a trending topic on Twitter.


"Ezzai" by one of Egypt's best-known musicians, Mohamed Mounir.

Check out my podcast in which I discuss/play the music that fueled the Arab Uprisings:

DJ Ramzi Premieres "Hi, keefak, ça va?" this Tuesday March 1 at 8pm PST

KZSU 90.1 FM is giving me the opportunity to "test-run" my own radio show which I am calling Hi, keefak, ça va? this Tuesday March 1 at 8pm PST.  The premiere will run for 3 hours and it would be great if you could tune in to the program--even partially--since the station checks to see how many listeners are streaming the live broadcast.

DESCRIPTION & SCHEDULE: (See in March 2, 8pm box)


Thank you, merci, shukran!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bushra El Turk: Classical Composer Influenced by Her Lebanese Roots

Bushra El-Turk's music of '...ironic...', '...arresting...' and 'limitless imagination' forebears the influence of her Lebanese roots and life as a Londoner.

Bushra El Turk: Composer with Lebanese roots

Bushra El-Turk (b.1982) was born in London where she studied 'cello with Ingrid Perrin and Robert Bailey, piano with Catherine Riley and composition with Simon Speare at the Centre for Young Musicians. She then went on to study composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Julian Philips, where she graduated with a Bachelor and then gained a Master in Composition, supported by a PRS Foundation Scholarship, with Distinction.

She has written various works for the concert hall, most recently with her piece Le Fantôme de Rebecca Griffiths for Wind, Brass and Percussion performed at the City of London Festival and a concert in aid of the children of Lebanon at St John's Smith Square which included her piece, Ta'atallat Loughatul Kalami for singing cellist and piano.

She has had a particularly fruitful artistic partnership with choreographer Aya Jane Saotome, with whom she has exchanged dealings with the surreal and absurd in music and movement with the dance productions Tende(r)age and Peck! (The PlaceTheatre, London).

Most notable theatre productions include I Capture The Castle (dir. Christian Burgess) and Twelfth Night (dir. Christopher Luscombe).

Recent projects have included a piece for Orkest de Ereprijs after being selected to participate in the 13th International Young Composers Meeting with Louis Andriessen in the Netherlands following on from a recent invitation to the Sentieri Selvaggi International Composers Masterclass in Milan with Julia Wolfe.

Her string quartet, Eating Clouds, was among the five selected pieces in the University of Aberdeen International Music Prize and was performed by members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in April 2007.

She was pleased to be invited to participate in the 'Composing for Voice' scheme with Opera Genesis at the Royal Opera House in London.

Her collaborations include the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera House, OrchestUtopica, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Manchester Camerata, Ensemble Nox, Opera Holland Park, Orkest de ereprijs and Wissam Boustany amongst others.

With the pianist Tala Tutunji, she has established the Chelsea Music Academy, a centre for music education, inter-cultural events and research specialising in Middle-Eastern and Western idioms, which was launched at the start of 2010. Please check out:

For more, see

An amazing piece titled "Ta'attalat Loughatul Kalami" based on Ahmad Shawki's love poem to Zahlé (her home town in Lebanon).   It premiered in July 2006 with the mezzo/cellist Cordelia Weil and pianist Phil Richardson.

Bushra's Influences:

.. Shostakovich, Sofia Gubaidulina, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Schnittke, Tchaikovsky, Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Bartok, David del Tredici, Ravel, Henri Dutilleux, J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Berio, Xenakis, Haydn, Richard Ayres, Oliver Knussen, Jonathan Harvey, Simon Holt, Peter Sculthorpe, György Kurtág, Astor Piazzola, Ginastera, Thomas Ades, Julian Philips, Mauricio Kagel, Louis Andriessen, Valery Gergiev (cond.), Gabriel Garcia Marquez (lit.)Fernando Pessoa (lit.), William Shakespeare (lit.), Tarab Music (classical Arabic), Eastern European Folk Music, Indian Music, Milan Kundera ..

For more, see
Also see

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Salam: A New Eclectic Musician from Jordan

Salam Hmoud's music has been heard over the airwaves of Amman FM since June 2007, and has been subject to lots of positive feedback. His music was also featured in a film by the RFC. He is described by many as an eclectic musician; this is mainly due to the variation in style, from instrumentals to songs with lyrics in both English and Arabic, each song with its own unique flavor.

Winner of the 2008 Jordanian Band Competition, Salam performed in various events and festivals in Jordan, the latثst being Jordan Festival 2010, and toured Egypt this fall accross Alexandria and Cairo.

      Music & Lyrics by Salam Hmoud from the FINAL of "Band Competition" 2008.

Band Members:
Salam Homoud - Vocals, Guitars
Munzer Jaber - Bass guitar
Yarub Smairat - Violin
Mohammad Jaber - Drums
Lawrence Razzouq – Keyboards
Enas Al-Said – Guest Vocalist

For more on Salam, check out this page on

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Amr Diab Releases Song Honoring Egyptian Revolution مصر قالت - عمرو دياب

Amr Diab has just launched a pro-revolution song a week, dedicated to the "the martyrs of January 25فا" entitled "Masr Alet" [Egypt has Spoken], written by Magdy al-Najjar, composed by Amr Diab and arranged by Adel Haqi.

The song (and video clip) are dedicated to those young people who lost their lives during the Egyptian uprising.

Below are the lyrics (in Arabic) followed by the song (and clip) in Arabic WITH OPTIONAL ENGLISH SUBTITLES.

مصر قالت صوت ولادي كلمة الحق في بلادي
هما دول سر التحدي, هما دول زهرة جهادي 
هما دول هما الشباب
مصر قالت الكرامة عزة النفس بشهامة
هما دول أكبر علامة, كل حي وله قيامة
زي ماقال الكتاب
مصر قالت أنحيازي عمره ماكان لأنتهازي
مستحيل هقبل تعازي, في الشهيد رغم أعتزازي
ألا من بعد الحساب
مصر قالت الحقيقة في العزيمة والأرادة
هما دول سر الريادة, والعمل افضل عبادة 
تستحقي 100 ثواب

Amr Diab in the studio recording "Masr Alet" 

Below in the promo for the song:

The popular web site reports that the release of this song is not without controversy.  Click here to read their article.

Here is an excerpt from their article:

At the time Amr Diab came out to defend himself, denying his escape from Egypt with the start of the Egyptian revolution, our "Wikeez" correspondent in Cairo knew from sources in Cairo International Airport that Amr Diab had traveled to London on January 25 with his family and children, and came back on Monday.
As a result, Amr's fans and public considered that he let them down by escaping to London, and launched an aggressive campaign against him on Facebook: "Goodbye Amr Diab, you better stay home" and asked him to quit singing because he has lost his audience. (Source:

To read the full article on, see

Friday, February 18, 2011

Ramzi Salti Guests on "The Lunch Special" this Monday Feb 21 at Noon (PST)

I will be guesting on "The Lunch Special" radio program on KZSU 90.1 FM this Monday Feb 21 (Presidents' Day) at noon (PST) where I will be featuring fresh tracks by exciting new Middle Eastern musicians as well as discussing the role of Hip Hop music in fueling the uprisings in the Arab world.  

I will also be premiering an amazing new song by the Israeli band "Stereo-tip" as well as a gorgeous ballad by Umaima Khalil, a Palestinian singer with a beautifully haunting voice.

From the Maghreb, I will feature a great song  by Imad Nafai Feat Hicham Moaatabar as well as a song titled "Oummi" by Les Boukakes ft. Imed Alibi..

Additionally, I will be showcasing the talent of Tala Tutunji, a Jordanian pianist whose pieces have been receiving critical acclaim worldwide.

Plus, of course, music from Fairuz and many others.

The show will stream live at

Hope you can all tune in!  Your support is most appreciated.

"DJ Ramzi"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rage, Rap and Revolution: Inside the Arab Youth Quake (Time Magazine)

Tunisian Rapper "El General" 

Rage, Rap and Revolution: 

Inside the Arab Youth Quake

A generation once dismissed as politically supine has toppled two dictators and shaken up regimes across the Middle East. Who are the Arab youth, and what do they want?

At 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 15, as thousands of people gathered to protest against their ruler at a busy intersection in Manama, the capital of the small island nation of Bahrain, you could just about hear over the general hubbub the anthem of the young people who have shaken regimes from North Africa to the Arabian Gulf. It wasn't a verse from the Koran. It wasn't a traditional tune from the region. It was rap. A reedy female voice shouted out, several times, the first line of "Rais Lebled," a song written by the Tunisian rapper known as El Général. "Mr. President, your people are dying," the woman sang. Then others joined in. "Mr. President, your people are dying/ People are eating rubbish/ Look at what is happening/ Miseries everywhere, Mr. President/ I talk with no fear/ Although I know I will get only trouble/ I see injustice everywhere."

Bahrain, as it happens, doesn't have a President; it's ruled by a King, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. No matter. The protesters in Bahrain knew that "Rais Lebled" was the battle hymn of the Jasmine Revolution that brought down Tunisia's dictator, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, and that it was then adopted by the demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square who toppled Hosni Mubarak. Now it had come to Bahrain, as rage against poverty and oppression swept the Arab world from west to east. It isn't just songs that are being copied: in a nod to the Egyptians, organizers in several countries have dubbed their demonstrations Days of Rage, and the popular Tunisian chant, "The people want the regime to fall," has been taken up by protesters from Algeria to Yemen.
But the most important things 2011's protests have in common don't come from copying — they come naturally. All of the revolts are led by young men and women, many of whom are novices at political activism. All use modern tools, like social-networking sites on the Internet and texting over mobile phones, to organize and amplify their protests. And all have the same demands: a right to choose and change their leaders, an end to rampant corruption, the opportunity for employment and improvement. "Whether you're in Tunis or in Cairo or in Manama," says Ala'a Shehabi, 30, a Bahraini economics lecturer and political activist, "young Arabs are all on the same wavelength."

In less than two months, this generation has already wrought political change on a scale not seen since the end of the Cold War. The class of 2011 has felled two despots and forced other famously inflexible rulers to make concessions, some dramatic (Yemen's longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh has promised not to run for re-election) and some desperate (King Hamad has offered every Bahraini household the equivalent of $2,700). And all this was achieved by largely peaceful demonstrations and despite the absence of clear leaders.
There may be more to come. Growing protests in Bahrain and Yemen could lead to greater concessions from their rulers. And the Arab uprising has already given a boost to the flagging Green Revolution in Iran. (That, in turn, has provoked a fierce crackdown by government forces.) There have also been demonstrations in Libya against the regime of "Brother Leader" Muammar Gaddafi. So who are the Middle East's new revolutionaries? Where do they come from, and what do they want?

Getting the Young People Wrong
Even those who have watched this generation come of age in the Middle East struggle to explain its sudden empowerment. "These young people have done more in a few weeks than their parents did in 30 years," says Hassan Nafaa, a political-science professor at Cairo University. "They are the Internet Generation ... or the Facebook Generation ... or just call them the Miracle Generation."

Yet not so long ago, these were the men and women who were being called the lost generation. For years, Middle East experts had described Arab youths as frustrated but feckless: they disliked and distrusted their authoritarian rulers, they keenly felt their limited economic prospects, but they were too politically emasculated to press for change. They were thoroughly intimidated by the Mubaraks and Salehs, together with their ubiquitous, Orwellian spies and secret police; they were disillusioned by the failed attempts at rebellion by their parents' generation. Western observers were not alone in misreading this generation's potential. "If you had said some years ago that my students would be responsible for democratic change in Egypt, I would have laughed," admits Nafaa.
According to the old narrative, the only outlet for youthful dissent lay in Islamic extremism and violence. A much cited 2003 Brookings Institution report on Arab youths warned that they were being raised in an environment of religious radicalism and anti-Americanism. "These values," the report argued, "thus become the formative elements of a new and dispossessed generation, auguring badly for the future."
The auguries were wrong. In reality, Arab youths were a big part of the silent, moderate majority. In virtually every Arab country, more than half the population is less than 30 years old. And like young people everywhere, most of them prefer the freedom that comes with democracy to the straitjacket of political autocracy or rule by religious conservatives. A survey of youths in nine Arab states released in 2010 by the p.r. firm Asda'a Burson-Marsteller showed that they ranked democracy as a greater priority than good civic infrastructure, access to the best education or even fair wages.

Read more:,8599,2049808,00.html#ixzz1EIHsK4Vp

My Review of the Mashrou' Leila Album (on Zookeeper)

Mashrou' Leila / Mashrou' Leila
Album:Mashrou' LeilaCollection:World
Artist:Mashrou' LeilaAdded:02/2011
Label:B-Root Productions

Album Review
Ramzi Salti, Ph.D.
Stanford University
Reviewed 2011-02-17 
-All Tracks are FCC CLEAN EXCEPT *#4 ('Al Hajez)*

After just one album, the Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila (which started out as a music workshop at the American University of Beirut in 2008) have already reinvented the Arabic music scene. Their style, a unique blend of sharp Lebanese lyrics and Mediterranean pop music, sounds instantly familiar yet completely original. The topics of their songs defy conventionality, ranging from homoerotic desire, to inter-religious love affairs, to speaking out against political corruption. Their latest single (not included on this album) was inspired by the Gorillaz song 'Clint Eastwood' and released in Feb 2011 in support of the Egyptian uprising. All songs are in Arabic (Lebanese).

1. “Fasateen”: (Dresses)About a Lebanese guy in love with a girl not of his religion. Catchy tune, released in 2010, with amazing video clip.
2. “Obwa”: (Bomb) and the track sounds like a ticking that is set to music that feels volatile and flamable.
3. “Min el Taboor”: (Standing in Line), endlessly, monotone song to reflect the mundane action.
*4. “'Al Hajez”: (Checkpoint) recounts the experience of being stopped at various checkpoints in a Lebanon that was torn by civil war. Profanity used (in Arabic) to express the frustration. NOT FCC CLEAN!!
5. “Shim el Yasmine”: (Smell the Jasmine) A haunting melody by a guy lamenting his love for another male. First explicitly homoerotic song in Arabic music?
6. “Im-Bim-Billilah”: (Gibbersish) Like its title suggests, this song sounds jittery and disjointed--like a unedited rehearsal session by the band that as released as such.
7. “Latlit”: (Cheering) Clapping song about cheering when seeing something you like. Violin mixed in with lamentation and applause.
8. “Khaleeha Zikra”: (Memory) Indie pop, harsh, loud speakers, Arabic vocals deliberately strained. feels like a civil war.
9. “Raksit Leila”: (Leila's dance) was the first hit single by the band, instantly likeable song that sounds like gypsy music mixed with Oriental beats. Video clip released went viral on YouTube.
My picks: 1, 5, 9

Track Listing
1.Fasateen5.Shim El Yasmine
3.Min El Taboor7.Latlit
4.'al Hajez8.Khaleeha Zikra
9.Raksit Leila

10th Anniversary of Dr. Ramzi Salti's Arabology Program Features All Episodes on Soundcloud + YouTube (Click here)

All 13 seasons of Dr. Ramzi Salti's  Arabology  podcasts  are now available on Soundcloud, for a total of 101 episodes. Additionally, al...