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Showing posts from December, 2011

Raafat Majzoub's Book Reviewed in Kalimat Magazine

Original Post may be found in Issue 04 (Winter 2012) of Kalimat Magazine Book Review of Raafat Majzoub's Book Fetish Systems It was the writer Italo Calvino that suggested a writing that—rather than pointing at or recreating an object or character—envelops, surrounds like a fine mist. This suggests their existence rather than attempts to simply recre- ate them, allowing the reader a measure of engagement and creation with the text. The writing in Fetish Systems, a new written work by multi-talented Lebanese author Raafat Majzoub, warrants this comparison. His bio alone which adorns this slim volume is merely suggestive: “he is trained as an architect, yet refuses the title – he is currently working on several construction projects, a few books, something that might be a painting, a table and would like this bio to end with an et cetera.” “To live in Beirut, is to know that one must accept circumstance. We have become numb—all of us—numb—in a state of trance, where ‘elastic’ wou

List of Top 20 (alternative) Arabic Songs for 2011 at Stanford University

The Season Finale of my radio show Hi, Keefak, Ca Va? counted down the Top 20 Arabic songs according to an unofficial poll by/with students at Stanford University.  To hear the songs (listed below) and commentary about each, feel free to download the Podcast in 2 Parts at You can also Listen to Part 1 at and Part 2 at

My Season Finale Podcast Counts Down Top 20 Arabic Songs 2011

THIS WEEK (Season 2 Episode 11/ Dec 15, 2011): The Final Episode of my radio show Hi, Keefak, Ca Va? counts down the Top 20 (alternative) Arabic songs of 2011 according to an unofficial tally by/of Stanford University students.  Download at OR Listen to Part 1 at and  Listen to Part 2 at

Lebanese Film Titled 'Beirut Hotel' Banned in Lebanon

Beirut Hotel,  the third long feature film by Lebanese director Danielle Arbid , is a 2011 Lebanese  film. It has just been banned in lebanon. The film premiered during the 2011 Locarno International Film Festival . Plot One evening, a married young singer Zoha meets the French lawyer Mathieu in a night club in  Beirut . Mathieu will become suspected of spying, while Zoha is trying to flee from her husband. Despite these problems, the two will witness a love story for few days mixed with violence and fear. Cast: Darine Hamze as Zoha Rodney El Haddad as Hicham Charles Berling as Mathieu Karl Sarafidis as Rabih Fadi Abi Samra as Abbas Nominations:  Golden Leopard during the 2011 Locarno Film Festival Here is a note from the Director about the ban: I JUST BEEN NOTIFIED THAT MY LATEST FEATURE FILM BEIRUT HOTEL CANNOT BE SHOWN IN LEBANON ! ITS RELEASE IN BEIRUT, ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR 19 JANUARY 2012, HAS JUST BEEN CANCELLED. THE CENSORSHIP COMMITTEE ARGUED T

Muslim comedians fighting prejudice on NBC

For original article see:   By Sharaf Mowjood Rock Center Jihad, homegrown-terrorism, Sharia law, and mosques. Mention any of these terms and most people in America will associate it with Islam and Muslims. Say the word "Muslim Comedian" and most will think it is an oxy-moron. Can Muslims really be funny? Dean Obeidallah, and Negin Farsad are not only professional comics, they are also Muslim and are quite funny. "It could be more challenging for us, they could give us hurricane names," says Dean Obeidallah. "Turn on the news, ‘Hurricane Mahmoud is coming! Run for your life, Mahmoud’s a killer’". Born in New Jersey and living in New York City, Obeidallah, a former attorney, has found his calling as comedian. Addressing controversial issues and stereotypes through the lens of comedy, he has created a niche as an Arab-American comedian, workin

Fairuz Performs in Lebanon this Month, Adds Extra Concert

Fairuz in concert at Platia Jonieh, Lebanon.  December 2011 The long awaited concerts of Fairuz started this week at Platia Jonieh, Lebanon, one year after her concert in Biel where her album “Eh Fi Amal” was launched. Fairuz is performing for 4 nights this month: last Friday and Saturday the 9th and 10th of December plus 2 more concerts on December 16th and 17th--all at 8:30 pm. It seems that all 4 concert dates were not enough for every single Fairuz fan out there and so many did not get the chance to buy their tickets because they were sold out so quickly. As a result, a fifth concert date has just been announced. That concert will be held on December 23rd, 2011 same place, same time, Platea, Sahel Alma, Lebanon. Tickets are on sale at all Virgin Ticketing Box Offices.

Syrian "Pressure Pot" Band to Perform Live in Lebanon

Under a series of international, and especially Arabic, humanitarian pressures, a Syrian pressure pot emerged translating this state into musical expression. The band is known as Pressure Pot - طنجرة ضغط and they will be performing Live at Walimat Wardeh Restaurant in Lebanon on Tuesday December 20, 2011 at 9:30 pm. Sofar al falahin e From: PressurePotband | Dec 9, 2011 Genre: Progressive Rock Members: Khaled Omran: Bass and Vocals. Tarek Khuluki: Guitar and Vocals. Nareg Abajian: Keys. Dany Choukri: Drums The cooking duo in Lebanon:  Khaled Omran and Tarek Khuluki Hometown: Damascus / Beirut Record Label: eka3 Biography  Khaled Omran -1982 (Bass – Vocal) Graduated from the higher institute of music in Damascus (the conservatory) He played with several bands and famous artists in Syria and around the world like: - The Syrian Symphony Orchestra - The Syrian Jazz Big Band - Fattet Le3bet - Hiwar Band - Lena Chamamian Khaled was a player, arranger and composer in many projects, at th

How will Egyptian Election Results Impact Women?

 December 13, 2011 With the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary elections drawing to a close, the Global Fund for Women asked Mozn Hassan, who’s based in Cairo, for her feminist perspective and analysis on results to date. Mozn, who will vote in the second round, is an Egyptian activist and executive director of grantee-partner, Nazra for Feminist Studies. Since the January uprisings, Egyptian women and girls have taken center stage in the country’s democratic revolution, challenging the common stereotype of Arab women as being powerless, submissive and isolated from political events. Nazra embodies the spirit of the Egyptian revolution. The group is bold, fearless, and hungry for justice and equality. Global Fund: Are women turning out in higher numbers to vote? Mozn: My analysis is that women in rural and Upper Egypt were used to vote, and that men mobilized those women to vote. This time, the number [of women voters] was higher in these places. While there is no gender analysis

Sniper's New Song & Video Clip 'Arabia' about Arab Spring

French hip-hop group Sniper formed in the suburbs of Paris in 1997. Rappers El Tunisiano (born Bachir Baccour) and Aketo (Ryad Selmi), dancehall toaster Black Renega (Karl Appela), and DJ Boudj originally adopted the moniker Personnalité Suspecte, but changed the name prior to the 2001 release of their debut album, Du Rire aux Larmes. Following the release of 2003's Gravé Dans la Roche, Sniper came under attack from French Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy, who filed a lawsuit to combat their street-smart, often political lyrics, which he dubbed "violent, racist and abusive." A judge later dismissed the case, but the resulting controversy made the group a cause célèbre and galvanized record sales. Trait Pour Trait followed in 2006. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi Here is their video clip "Arabia" عربية followed by the lyrics (in French): CONCERT à LA CIGALE le 3 février 2012 : Album disponible sur iTunes: Le t

Color Divine – Zeid and the Wings

This is the new video clip by Zeid and and the Wings:

Museum as Hub: Beirut Art Center

Museum as Hub: Beirut Art Center New Museum, New York December 14, 2011 - February 5, 2012 Tony Chakar. A Retroactive Monument for a Chimerical City  "Museum as Hub: Beirut Art Center” is a project which includes an exhibition, the presentation of Beirut Art Center’s Mediatheque and a series of events. The exhibition entitled “Due to unforeseen events …”, examines specific cases in which the production or presentation of an artwork in Lebanon was altered from its original idea, hence raising unexpected questions and unfolding new meanings. The exhibition features descriptions of each case in addition to new commissions, in which artists respond to the alteration of their original ideas or intentions, using archival documentation as well as new texts, images, and objects. The aim is to question issues that are relevant to contemporary art practices and the recent history and politics of Lebanon, such as the relation between art and public spaces, the critical recep

Lowe's Pulls Out Ads from TLC's 'All-American Muslim'

Parts of this article appear at Lowe's Home Improvement has found itself facing a backlash after the retail giant pulled ads from a reality show called All-American Muslim about American Muslims. The show airs on TLC (The Learning Channel) Sundays @ 10/9c and, in my opinion, is eye-opening and respectful to Muslims as well as all Americans without advocating any kind of violence or alleged 'Islamic agenda.'  The reality show simply shows 5 American Muslim families leading their lives in Dearborn, Michigan--a Detroit suburb with a large Muslim and Arab-American population--and is both educational and entertaining.  Lowe's stopped advertising on TLC's " All-American Muslim " after a conservative Florida group known as the Florida Family Association complained, saying the program was "propaganda that riskily

My Dec 8 Podcast ft Interview with Director Najwa Najjar

The Dec 8 Podcast from my show 'Hi, Keefak, Ca Va?" (Season 2, Episode 10) includes my exclusive interview with Najwa Najjar, Director of the Palestinian movie "Pomegranates and Myrrh." (see pics and film trailer below). This Podcast also includes a reading excerpt from Arin Mango's essay "Wearing the First Amendment on My Head" (published in Avicenna Autumn 2011 Vol 2 No 1). To see full essay, click here . To download the Podcast (in 2 Parts): OR To directly listen to Part 1 Click below: To directly listen to Part 2 Click below:   Interviewing Najwa Najjar in Amman, Jordan (Summer 2011) FILM T

A Day in the Life of a Hijabi at Stanford University

It's not what's ON your head; it's what's IN your head" December 1-2, 2011 saw two important events at Stanford.  The first was World AIDS  Day  which is celebrated on December 1 each year around the world and has become one of the most recognised international health  days  and a key opportunity to raise awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services. (see pics below). The second event was titled “A  Day  in the  Life  of a  Hijabi ," (see pics below) which a campus-wide challenge that encourages Stanford students to explore a Muslim woman’s choice and decision to wear the  hijab , or Islamic headscarf, while upholding her right to choose her form of dress and self-expression.  This  day  of activism challenges Stanford females to wear a scarf around their head in solidarity with the right of women to choose, as an opportunity to explore a culture that many times is

American Student of Arabic Offers Arabic One-Liners to Hit on Arab Girls.

'The Arabic Student' has been been blogging or about 3 years now and has had a great response from Arabs and those learning Arabic alike. On his blog, , he often teaches and discusses various phrases in Arabic and English in a often humorous and poignant ways. Here, he offers one liners in Arabic to hit on Arab girls: Check out thearabicstudent's blog at Check out his YouTube Channel (user name saxquiz) at

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