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Showing posts from April, 2012

Meet Lebanon's Mike Massy: A Musician/Singer with a Style of His Very Own

MIKE MASSY (Info below taken from Mike Massy's website at Mike Massy is noted for his vocal and pianistic distinctiveness, and intuitive talent. He revisits the Lebanese Oriental music, proposing a unique fusion between the passion for Andalusia, baroque harmonies, and jazz rhythms. Songwriter, film score composer, performer and actor, Mike Massy was born in 1982 in Lebanon, and grew up fascinated by the inimitable voice of Fairuz, the nostalgic melodies of Zaki Nassif, and the poetry and authenticity of Brel’s and Aznavour’s texts. Mike's second album 'Ya Zaman' is receiving rave reviews and includes an amazing mix of gems that make this album both unique and distinctly alternative. Here is a short documentary on the making of the album (C) falak productions Here is a Live Studio Recording of an Oriental Improvisation on "Nature Boy" by Mike Massy (Vocal) and Osama Abdulrasol (Qanun): Here are three video clips that w

Lebanese Film 'OK, Enough, Goodbye' Screening at SF Intl Film Festival

The Lebanese film 'OK, Enough, Goodbye' طيّب خلاص يلا is screening several times at the San International Film Festival which is currently taking place in the bay area. The film screens on Apr 20 and 29 at the Kabuki (SF) and on Tue, May 1 at 8:50 at the PFA (Berkeley). PLOT (source: ): A middle-aged pastry shop owner in Lebanon, looking like an escapee from a film by Judd Apatow, is the unlikely protagonist of this marvelously crafted deadpan comedy. Business is so bad he is constantly giving away the pastries, although he seems to be the only one who wants to eat them. One day, his crabby mother, with whom he still lives, packs up and leaves without explanation. Left on his own, he searches cluelessly for maternal substitutes, meanwhile reluctantly befriending the ten-year-old rascal next door obsessed with toy guns. A friend cajoles him into hiring an Ethiopian maid to keep house for him. But lacking a common languag

April 26 'Arabology' Podcast Ft. Poetry Readings by Lizzie Harmon and Andrew Clauson

Pictured (top row to bottom): Marwa Farag, Lizzie Harmon, Andrew Clauson, DJ Ramzi, Ahmad Qousi To download/listen to this show, go to   The April 26 Podcast of Arabology (Season 2 Episode 3) features my interviews with Stanford students Lizzie Harmon--who recites and translates a poem by Nizar Qabbani--and Andrew Clauson who talks about his reads and discusses a poem by Ahmad Shawqi (see below for more details about these poems). Show also features a live interview with Egyptian Standord student Marwa Farag, (Features Editor for "The Stanford Daily" and Co-President of the Arab Student Association at Stanford) who discusses her views on the Egyptian revolt and her identity as an Egyptian student at Stanford. Show also includes a ticket giveaway to a concert by Aswat and songs by Mashrou' Leila, Darine Hamze, Emel Mathlouthi, Souad Massi, Fairuz, DAM, Jadal, YAS, Miryam Saleh (ft Zeid Hamdan), Trio Joubr

Tahrir's Troubadours

Meet the Muslim and Christian musicians singing their message of peace and unity in the tent city protest now occupying Cairo's Tahrir Square. For more on Fouad Hady's report, go to the SBS Dateline website...

Democratic Transition and Development in the Arab World (Stanford)

The third annual conference of the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy is taking place at Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law on April 26 and 27, 2012. The conference, Democratic Transition and Development in the Arab World, is free and open to the public and will take place at the Bechtel Conference Center at Stanford University. Notable academics and activists will convene to discuss a new integrated framework for development post Arab Spring. To RSVP and learn more about the conference, please refer to their website .

Podcast from April 16 'Arabology' (Season 2 Epsiode 2) Available

The April 19th episode of my 'Arabology' radio show includes my exclusive interview with Fadi Quran, the Palestinian Stanford graduate from the West Bank and U.S. citizen whose arrest in Hebron in February 2012 for allegedly pushing an Israeli soldier was caught on tape--causing an outcry at Stanford and abroad. The show also included music by Rahim AlHaj, Sabine, Emel Mathlouthi, Darine Hamze, Joubran Trio, DAM, and many others (see playlist below). TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST, CLICK HERE

Fadi Quran Interviewed on 'Arabology' (April 19, 2012)

Interviewing Fadi Quran at Stanford, April 16, 2012 The April 19th episode of my 'Arabology' radio show included my exclusive interview with Fadi Quran, the Palestinian Stanford graduate from the West Bank and U.S. citizen whose arrest in Hebron in February 2012 for allegedly pushing an Israeli soldier was caught on tape--causing an outcry at Stanford and abroad.  To listen to the episode (which includes the full interview in 2 parts) click here . TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST, CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PODCAST CLICK HERE Fadi Quran graduated from Stanford in 2010 with a double major--a BS in Physics and BA in International Relations--and is currently pursuing a Masters degree with a focus on Constitutional Law and Revolutions at Birzeit University. He has also been working in the alternative energy field while remaining a big advocate of nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. In 2011, Time Magazine called Quran “ the face of the new

Arab Satire Night at Stanford : A Huge Success

The Arab Satire Night at Stanford University was attended by a packed audience that came to laugh at/with the lighter side of the Arab Spring.  Congrats to Ahmed Benchemsi and Lina Khatib plus all the students who helped make the event such a success.  From Egypt to Tunisia to Syria and more, we were all treated to a much needed dose of laughter with substance. Here are some pictures from the event:

Rahim Alhaj w/ Issa Malluf to Perform in Berkeley on May 5, 2012

Rahim Alhaj w/ Issa Malluf Saturday, May 05, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm) Iraqi oud virtuoso/composer’s traditional Iraqi maqam with contemporary styling $24.50 advance / $26.50 at door Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse 2020 Addison Street / Berkeley, CA 94704 (510) 644-2020 / Twice Grammy-nominated oud virtuoso and composer, Rahim Alhaj finds in his ancient instrument a unique voice that speaks passionately to contemporary listeners of every musical background. Born in Baghdad, Rahim creates music that delicately combines traditional Iraqi maqamat(melodic modes) with contemporary stylings and influences, translating into intensely lyrical music the suffering, joy, and determination that he has experienced in his life as an Iraqi, a political refugee, and today as an American citizen. Maintaining a subtle dialogue of Eastern and Western sounds, his compositions flow gracefully from high-spirited, virtuosic displays to delicately nuanced pieces, e

Marcel Khalife in Concert at U.C. Berkeley

Marcel Khalife: Fall of The Moon-Homage To The Palestinian Poet Mahmoud Darwish Zellerbach Hall, University of California,Berkeley Berkeley, CA The Arab Cultural and Community Center ( ) and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies ( ) Present Lebanese Master Marcel Khaliféand Al Mayadine Ensemble who will perform the prophetic poems of the Arab World's most renowned and beloved poet, Mahmoud Darwish, in tribute to the Arab Spring. Resonating across the Arab world from the Middle East to North Africa, resounding above the din of conflict and poverty, Mahmoud Darwish's poetry ( ) Marcel Khalife's melodies ( ) sing instead of the shade of grapevines, the bright eyes of loved ones, the heartache of divisions and decline that can be healed, and love that can be returned. Marcel

Fadi Quran Speaks at Stanford on April 16, 2012

A fascinating discussion occured on Monday, 4/16 at 7 PM at Stanford University featuring recent Stanford Grad and Palestinian FreedomRider Fadi Quran (who just six weeks ago was arrested by Israel in the course of a peaceful protest in the West Bank), MLK's lawyer Clarence Jones (who compared the 'Freedom Rides' to his experiences in the Civil Rights movement in a  recent piece ) and Co-Director of the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation Allen Weiner.  Here are some pictures from  the  event: Omar Shakir, Clarence Jones, Fadi Quran, Allen Weiner

Podcast from Second Season Debut Episode of My Radio Show 'Arabology' Available

Jan 19, 2012 Podcast:   Arabology  (Season 2 Episode 1 Premiere)  The Second Season Premiere of 'Arabology' features DJ Ramzi playing and discussing alternative music from the Arabic speaking world including tunes by Joubran Trio, Darine Hamze, Jadal, Rami Khalil, Rahim Alhaj, and a special spotlight on the soundtrack to the controversial Lebanese film 'Beirut Hotel.' Show also features recorded poem by Rodaina El Filali. TO LISTEN: Click  HERE TO DOWNLOAD: Click  HERE