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Showing posts from May, 2012

President Barack Obama: Commute the 36-month sentence of Dr. Shakir Hamoodi.

Dr. Shakir Hamoodi Dr. Shakir Hamoodi has worked tirelessly to ease the tensions between many different faith groups and organizations. He was sentenced to 36 months Federal prison and 36 months probation after that for violating the Iraqi sanctions when he sent some money directly to his family and families of several friends in Iraq. The government investigation concluded that there was no evidence that any of this money went to the Iraqi government, or to any nefarious groups. Some more of his activities include being the founder of a local private religious school, being a tireless activist for peace and social justice, and speaking to university classes and civic clubs on many topics, including Islam, Iraq, and social justice. He has been an active speaking member of the Mid-Missouri Peaceworks, was a founding member of the Mid-Missouri Peace Coalition, and a recipient of the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr Peace Award. Dr. Shakri Hamoodi holds a PhD in Nuclear Engine

Bluesy New Version of Nazem El Ghazali's 'Aqulu wa Qa Na7at اقول وقد ناحت' Recorded by Dany Baladi

In the series of minimal recordings , here is an amazing new version of Ya Jarata (Nazem el Ghazali) that has been recorded by Dany Baladi with the musical guidance of the one and only Zeid Hamdan. A guitar, a Bass, a RS 7000 Drum machine and a brilliant singer ! Here is the 'old' version by Nazem El Ghazali followed by the lyrics in Arabic: اقول وقد ناحت / ابو فراس الحمداني بصوت ناظم الغزالي  أقولُ وقد ناحت بقربي حمامةٌ  أيا جارتا لو تشعرينَ بحالي  معاذَ الهوى ما ذقتِ طارقة النوى  ولا خطرتْ منك الهمومُ ببالي  أيا جارتا ما انصفَ الدهرُ بيننا  تعالي أقاسِمْكِ الهمومَ تعالي  أيضحكُ مأسورٌ وتبكي طليقةٌ  ويسكتُ محزونٌ ويندبُ سالي  لقد كنتُ أولى منكِ بالدمعِ مقلةً  ولكنَّ دمعي في الحوادثِ غالي  ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  يابا ويلي ويلي يابا معلم على الصدعات قلبي  قللي يا حلو منين الله جابك  حَزّن جَرِجْ قلبي من عذابك  جرح القلب من فرقاك خزّن  ما حد مثلي بمحبوبه تمحّن 

Grandma, A Thousand Times - Witness - Al Jazeera English

Grandma, A Thousand Times: The story of a feisty and sharp-witted Beirut matriarch as she contemplates the last stage of her life. To watch the full movie click on this link: Grandma, A Thousand Times - Witness - Al Jazeera English FILM TRAILER: This is the official trailer of Veritas Films' latest documentary release, Teta Alf Marra (Grandma, a Thousand Times) directed by award-winning filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour. It began touring the international festival circuit in October 2010. The film is a UAE/ Qatar/Lebanon co-production, made with the financial support of Doha Film Institute and Screen Institute Beirut. It also marks the first documentary film to be produced by a partner of twofour54, the content creation community in Abu Dhabi. The film will had its world premiere at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in Oct 2010, where it scooped the Audience Award for Best Documentary and a Jury Special Mention for filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour. It was presented by a 100,000$ cash priz

Arabology Ep 7 Podcast (May 24, 2012) ft Arabic Lecturer Dr. Eva Hashem, Student Cyana Chilton, Film Review, Music!

Episode 7 of Arabology aired on May 24, 2012 with guests Dr. Eva Hashem, Cyana Chilton, tons of alternative Arabic songs plus movie review of 'Monsieur Lazhar' by Ahmad Qousi (see more info below). LISTEN: DOWNLOAD: The 7th Episode of the 2nd Season of 'Arabology' (aired May 24, 2012) includes my interview with Arabic Lecturer Dr. Eva Hashem who discusses the challenges and benefits of teaching Arabic at Stanford plus an interview with Cyana Chilton, a Stanford studemt of Arabic who discusses her linguistic journey as well her stay in Morocco last year. Show also features a film review of 'Monsieur Lazhar' by Ahmad Qousi as well as music tracks by Yasmine Hamdan, Toot Ard, Tania Kassis, Dam, Mike Massy, Adonis, Tania Saleh, Joubran Trio, Cheb Khaled, Emel Mathlouthi, Zeid Hamdan, Dub Snakkr, and Martin Leon. Complete Playlist

Saudi Director Haifaa Al Mansour's Film 'Wadjda'

The film director who's not allowed to go to the movies - By Catriona Davies, CNN For full article see (CNN) -- Haifaa Al Mansour has just directed one of the first feature films ever to be made in Saudi Arabia. But she won't be able to watch it at her local theater, because cinemas are banned in the kingdom. The film, called "Wadjda," after its protagonist, is billed as the first to be filmed entirely in Saudi Arabia with an all-Saudi cast. It is currently playing in movie theaters and festivals worldwide.  Here is the trailer: Al Mansour, 39, worked for an oil company until the age of 30, when she decided to give up her job to pursue her passion. "When I turned 30, I really wanted to have a voice," said Al Mansour. "People don't listen to women in Saudi, they just jump to the next man to speak. I loved films and just deci

Gaza: Tunnels to Nowhere: Film at Stanford this Tues May 29

The Stanford Center for International Development invites you to a public screening of: Gaza: Tunnels to Nowhere A short documentary of the political economy of child labor in the smuggling tunnels presented by Visiting Associate Professor Miriam Abu Sharkh, SCID Tuesday, May 29, 2012 4:30 – 6:00 pm Followed by a discussion with the filmmaker. Gunn Building, 366 Galvez, Stanford University Koret-Taube Conference Room (#120) Refreshments will be served To attend, please  RSVP  by May 25 th to  or                  (650) 723-3859        

Englabic: A Poem by Marianne Nsour

Here is a poem by Marianne Nsour, an American from Fremont who lived in Jordan for about 11 years and speaks 'Jordanian' very well and has a passion for the Arabic language/culture. Englabic by Marianne Nsour For students of Arabic, life can be hectic. But before you panic please have a look At thirty-four words you already know: Bent means girl not out of shape. Rockabye is your neck at the nape. Fool are broad beans; lift means beets. A foreign’s an oven for baking a treat. Shanty’s a purse, not a worthless house And a far is a scampering, runaway mouse. Tell means hill and ghoul means tell And guess what beer is? A water well. Change she to he and he to who. Then to ask what, just say shoe. The girl’s name Anna is how to say I And mean is who and not a bad guy. Shy is tea and jelly, dishwashing. Bait is a house and not for fishing. If something is open, it’s really fat’ And when it‘s over, it’

New French PM Jean-Marc Ayrault's Last Name Causes Giggles in the Arab World

The new French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault's last name sounds like an Arabic slang word for 'his penis.' Pronounced properly in French, the last name sounds like a 'naughty' Lebanese and Palestinian term that is widely understood in the Arabic world.  The name has left broadcasters trying to determine if they should pronounce it as the prime minister does -- "ai-roh" -- or if they should resort to voicing the "L" and "T" in the written word. Here is a report from about this topic followed by a TV report, in Arabic, from the Arabic TV Channel Al-Jadeed. اسم رئيس حكومة فرنسا "ايرو"... مشكلة للصحافيين

Bassem Youssef in 'America in Arabic' (June 16) at College of San Mateo

This *LIVE* political satire features Bassem Youssef, an Egyptian TV host and political satirist, who has become famous throughout the Middle East. His show, first entitled as the 'B+ Show' and then 'El-Bernameg (the Program)', received wide acclaim, leading to over 50,000,000 downloads off of his YouTube channel. He is also a cardiothoracic surgeon who assisted the wounded in Tahrir Square during the 18 day uprising that led to the resignation of then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. He has been profiled throughout the Arab press, al-Jazeera, the Guardian (UK) and Bloomberg Businessweek (USA). Tickets now available on Guests include: Comedian Sammy Obeid ( http://www.rooft

Hedy Habra`s Short Story Collection 'Flying Carpets' Released

Hedy Habra`s short story collection, Flying Carpets has just been released from March Street Press (ISBN 1-59661-168-5). Habra`s 21 stories are steeped in memories of her childhood in Egypt and Lebanon, and offer a glimpse of a way of life, in an attempt to recapture voices, scenes, and situations through the transformative power of memory and imagination. Characters evolve from 1936 to the late seventies, then become less rooted in time and space, as surreal, dreamlike elements intensify. Stories in Flying Carpets recover lost, partially forgotten and imaginary spaces, progressing from the concrete to the universal with a touch of magic realism. Throughout the book, storytelling and fortunetelling evoke a mythical past that is at the same time lost yet alive. Love, loss, alternate worlds, the yearning for origin and the need to reinvent oneself through art permeate its pages. Hedy Habra`s FLYING CARPETS is a collection of enchantments and wonders charmingly recounted, deep

Podcast from Episode 6 of 'Arabology' (aired May 17, 2012) Available at

Arabology Season 2 Episode 6 Podacst a        The 6th Episode of the 2nd Season of 'Arabology' (aired May 17, 2012) was entirely devoted to showcasing the alternative/experimental music scene in Lebanon, including songs by Mashrou' Leila, Soapkills (ft Zeid Hamdan), Rayess Bek, Tania Saleh, Mike Massy, Ziyad Sahhab, Youmna Saba, Scrambled Eggs, Malikah, Adonis, Rima Khcheich, Darine Hamze, The New Government, Yasmine Hamdan and more. Show also features interview with Nour Chammas, an Arab-American attorney and expert in Immigration Law and Civil Liberties who discusses issues related to Arab American civil rights in today's America as well as offers his perspective on Lebanese music and culture. DOWNLOAD: TO LISTEN: Click  HERE

Hala Gabriel Speaks about her Documentary 'Road to Tantura' in San Jose

Hala Gabriel speaking in San Jose on May 15, 2012 Hala Gabriel, a Los Angeles based filmmaker, spoke about her film Road to Tantura at the 11th annual Palestinian Cultural Day on Tuesday, May 15 at the Santa Clara County Government Center in San Jose. Celebration also featured: Flag Raising and Proclamation followed by a Reception with Palestinian cuisine. This event was free and open to the public, sponsored by the Palestinian Heritage Committee. The Road to Tantura is a gripping documentary film by Hala Gabriel that follows a Los Angeles woman as she delves into the history of her family's past. In 1948, her family left their homeland of Palestine, forced into refugee camps in Syria, and years later landed as immigrants in Ann Arbor, Michigan. To view a short version of the film or read about it, see

Screening of Award-Winning Documentary 'Budrus' on Thursday 5/17 at Stanford

Budrus  is an award-winning feature documentary film about a Palestinian community organizer, Ayed Morrar, who united his community and Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village of Budrus from destruction by Israel's Separation Barrier. The screening of this film will take place at 8 PM on Thursday May 17 at Stanford University in the Haas Center (DK Room). Read more and see the trailer here .

Arabology Podcasts Available on Soundcloud

You can listen and/or download previous Arabology Podcasts at  or at

Yasmine Hamdan to Release New Album on May 21, 2012

Yasmine Hamdan's new self-titled album will be released on May 21 ( Kwaidan records/ Idol) Here is a song from the album titled Beirut: Lyrics:  بيروت شرب العرق شرب العرق لعب الورق خيل السبق صيد الحمام رسمال بيروت لبس الغوى شم الهوى اكل الهوى شاغل عقول سكان بيروت بيروت زهرة من غير أوانها بيروت محلاها ومحلا زمانها بيروت يا حينها وياضيعانها تدبل ما في عمل ما في امل برك الجمل ركب النحس تجار بيروت الغندرة والفنغرة والبهورة كتر البطر  هالك بيروت Beirut Arak drinkin'
Card playin' Race Horse cheerin'
 Pigeon huntin'
 The essence of Beirut Seduction crowd
 Cruisin' around Foolin' about
 Tis' all there is on the minds Of the citizens of Beirut Beirut
 A flower off its terrain
Beirut Oh her beauty, her good old days
 That dire end, all a waste
 Withering All unemployed Hopeless, ruined and Rusted Jinxed and accursed Those dealers of Beirut Oh the

Podcast of May 10 'Arabology' (Season 2 Episode 5) ft Poetess Sondos Abudamous, Tomer Perry, Torry Catsellano, More!,

To listen    The 5th Episode of the 2nd Season of 'Arabology' features interview with Arab poetess Sondos Abudamous who reads one of her poems in Arabic (along with DJ Ramzi's English translation). Show also includes interviews with Tomer Perry who presents a song by Israeli and Palestinian youth members of HEARBEAT and Torry Castellano (former band member of The Donnas) who speaks about the band's hit 'Take It Off' as well as her Arabic language studies. Additionally, this episode includes a review by Ahmad Qousi of Rahim Alhaj's May 5th concert in Berkeley, California. TO LISTEN: Click  HERE TO DOWNLOAD: Click  HERE PLAYLIST for Arabology, Thurs, 10 May 2012 (3 - 5pm) Artist/Track/Album/Label 1. Rousan, Yazan And Autostrad/Ya Salaam (Wow)/ Autostrad/ Planet Records 2. Joubran Trio/ Zawâj El Yamâm (Marriage Of The Doves)/ Asfar/ Harmonia Mundi France 3. Farroukh, Toufic/ Ya nassim alrouh / Tootya/O+ MUSIC

Poetess Sondos Abudamous Guests on Episode 5 of Arabology

  Poetess Sondos Abudamous سندس ابو دعموس was my guest on Episode 5 of Season 2 of Arabology (aired May 10, 12) where she read her poem ابواب [Doors] live in Arabic--along with my English translation.  The poem is taken from her book  مواسم للأمل  [Seasons for Hope]. You can hear the podcast of this episode at Or, you can download at Here are some pictures from my interview with Sondos Abudamous on May 120. 2012: You can hear the podcast of this episode at Or, you can download at Here is the original poem in Arabic followed by an English translation of Sondos Abudamous's poem 'Doors' which she read in Arabic on Episode 5 of Season 2 of Arabology (Listen here ).  Below the translation are links to learn more about Sondos Abudamous. أبواب خلف الأبواب المغلق

Bukra Fi Mishmish by HEARTBEAT

Bukra Fi Mishmish by HEARTBEAT For original source see Bukra Fi Mishmish (Arabic for "when pigs fly" or for when the impossible happens) Written and performed by Israeli and Palestinian youth members of Heartbeat (ages 16-20). HEARTBEAT is an international community of musicians, educators, and students using music to build mutual understanding and transform conflict. Founded in 2007 under a grant from Fulbright and MTV, Heartbeat empowers Israeli and Palestinian musicians by creating opportunities and spaces for musicians from both sides to work together, hear each other, and amplify their voices to influence the world around them. Here is teh video clip for the song followed by the lyrics: Lyrics: (Siwar) Say what you want to say. I just want to play. Give me my violin. Smile for a brighter day! (Moody - in Arabic) If there's hope, the power to work, and art, then there's life. My lyrics can move mo

Film Review: 'Man Without a Cell Phone' Honors Palestinians in Israel

Film Review: Palestinians in Israel honored in debut comedy feature This article was written/publsihed by  Maureen Clare Murphy  on 10 May 2012 Razi Shawahdeh and Bassem Loulou in Man Without a Cell Phone Man without a CellPhoneThe under-recognized steadfastness of Palestinians who clung onto their land in the areas of Palestine upon which the State of Israel was declared is lovingly praised in Sameh Zoabi’s lighthearted debut feature Man Without a Cell Phone. Man Without a Cell Phone was a selection of the 11th annual Chicago Palestine Film Festival which took place last month, and will be screened this Saturday at the Houston Palestine Film Festival . It is also one of only a few recent feel-good Palestinian films that I can think of (Cherien Dabis’s Amreeka comes to mind). The main protagonist of Zoabi’s film is Jawdat (Razi Shawahdeh), a young man whose charms with women go further than is good for him. Where Jawdat has had success in finding multiple girlfriends (relationshi

Concert Pictures & Bio: Rahim Alhaj in Concert

The concert by Rahim Alhaj w/ Issa Malluf which took place at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA on Saturday, May 05, 8:00 pm.left audiences in a trance, some moved to tears, and others simply astounded by this twice Grammy-nominated oud virtuoso and composer.  Palestinian-American percussionist, Issa Malluf, accompanied the performance. 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, establishing new conc

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