Thursday, May 31, 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 Engineering and a BS in Islamic Law. His wife holds a BS in Islamic Law and MS in Teaching foreign languages. His daughter holds an MS in Elementary Education, his first son is finishing a Master's degree in Economics and is pursuing Medical School, his second son is graduating from Stanford University and is pursuing a Masters degree, his third son just graduated from High School and will attend Wesleyan Unversity in Connecticut, and his youngest son will enter 10th grade in the Fall. His children owe their successes to their parents' constant involvement and active participation in their lives.

You can sign the petition at this link.
View the Facebook Page at:

The Facebook page (link above) is for people who want to show their support for Dr. Shakir Hamoodi and his family. Donations to 'Hamoodi Family Benefit Trust' can be sent to Attorney Craig Van Matre 1103 East Broadway, P.O. Box 1017, Columbia, MO 65201

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

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 

هل هذا نصيبي وانجبر بيه 

لا آني أتوب ولا الله يهديه 

قللي يا حلو ش جابك عليّا 

كملت الألم والهمّ أذيّة 

وآني اللي جرحت ايدي بايديّا 

ريتك وانتا مغترّ بجمالك

Monday, May 28, 2012

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


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 prize by legendary actor Robert de Niro. The film has since won 5 other awards, and became a NY Time Critic's pick following its release in NYC and LA as part of its Oscar qualification campaign in 2011.

The documentary's awards are:
1.Best Film: London International Documentary Film Festival 2011

2.Best Film: Mumbai Film Festival 2011 (Celebrate Age Category)

3. Audience Award for Best Documentary : Doha Tribeca Film Fest 2010
(a 100,000$ cash prize presented by actor Robert de Niro)

4. Audience Award for Best International Documentary: Dox Box Film Festival 2011 ( a 3000$ cash prize)

5. Special Jury Mention for filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour: Doha Tribeca 2010

6. Special Jury Mention at DocsDF Mexico for filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour for "an outstanding way of telling a story."

For more on the film please visit:
Twitter : @TetaAfMarra 

To watch the full movie click on this link: 

Old age and a sense of life's ending cannot dampen the spirits of a feisty Beirut matriarch in this magical film about family, love and aging.

Fatima or Teta (grandmother) Kaabour is an 83-year-old family matriarch and sharp-witted queen bee of an old Beiruti quarter. She has been gripped as of late by the silence of her once-buzzing household where she raised children and grandchildren. Resigned to argileh smoking and day-long coffee drinking on a now empty balcony, Teta invokes the deepest memories of her violinist husband who died 20 years ago. She claims a preparedness to re-unite with him.

Filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour, Teta's favourite grandson and the bearer of his grandfather's full name, has also been preoccupied for years with the memory of his grandfather. Prior to his death, the violinist had audio taped heart-wrenching violin improvisations in the privacy of his room in that same flat.

The filmmaker's anguish is compounded at the thought that this personal and cultural heritage, as well as his grandma's own stories, rare recipes and naughty humour, will go with her when she parts this life.

This award-winning film brings together grandfather, grandmother and grandson in a documentary that aims to defy a past death and a future one. It documents with great intimacy the larger-than-life character of Teta Kaabour, her telling of the trials of her violinist husband and his Beirut, as well as her imaginings of what awaits her beyond death.

"The Music of Mahmoud Kaabour Al-Rasheedi as featured in Grandma, a Thousand Times" was released last year. The seven improvisations that haunted me for years and were the impetus for this film are now available on iTunes, Amazon and in stores in Lebanon and the UAE. It feels like a load off my shoulders and an invitation for new obsessions

Full/Original article at:

Saturday, May 26, 2012

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).


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.

My Interviews with Eva Hashem and Cyana Chilton

Saudi Director Haifaa Al Mansour's Film 'Wadjda'

The film director who's not allowed to go to the movies -

By Catriona Davies, CNN

(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 decided to become a filmmaker."

She studied film in Sydney, Australia, and has previously made three short films and a documentary. She is Saudi Arabia's first female film director, according to the production company.

The film, written and directed by Al Mansour, tells the story of an 11-year-old girl growing up in traditional society in the suburbs of Riyadh and desperate for a bicycle, which she's not allowed.

"I have a niece, she is very bright and always wanted to do things, but her family is traditional and as she grew older wanted her to stay at home like everyone else," said Al Mansour. "I based the story around her.

"Outdoor activities like riding a bicycle are not allowed for girls. It's not exactly against the law, but she would get into trouble."

Al Mansour hopes that Wadjda will help to change attitudes to both women and films in Saudi Arabia. "I hope it will inspire many girls in Saudi to become filmmakers," she said. "That makes me very proud.

"People have contacted me with death threats, but that doesn't matter to me. Everyone in the media business in Saudi receives death threats."

For full article see

Friday, May 25, 2012

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 25th

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’s really mat.
Something coming later is so bad
And if it stays a while, indeed it’s sad.
Sin means tooth, not degradation
And boom’s an owl, not detonation

Gal is not girl; it means he said
And deign is a loan to put you in red.
Dean is religion with its saving grace.
Tomb is the mouth, not the burial place.
A little bull-bull is a talking bird
And not disclaimers of spoken words
And what-what is another bird that
We westerners call the bat.
Men means from, not the plural of man
And once upon a time is simply can.
Hat and hack are give and take
And hub the world go round does make.

Now you know thirty-four words so don’t despair.
Soon you’ll speak Arabic with a fluent flair
And every time you say a mouthful,
You’re on your way to being a bull-bull.

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’s really mat.
Something coming later is so bad
And if it stays a while, indeed it’s sad.
Sin means tooth, not degradation
And boom’s an owl, not detonation

Gal is not girl; it means he said
And deign is a loan to put you in red.
Dean is religion with its saving grace.
Tomb is the mouth, not the burial place.
A little bull-bull is a talking bird
And not disclaimers of spoken words
And what-what is another bird that
We westerners call the bat.
Men means from, not the plural of man
And once upon a time is simply can.
Hat and hack are give and take
And hub the world go round does make.

Now you know thirty-four words so don’t despair.
Soon you’ll speak Arabic with a fluent flair
And every time you say a mouthful,
You’re on your way to being a bull-bull.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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

Comedian Mo Na 

Sword Martial Artist Osama Nasser
Multi-instrumentalist Mohammad Nejad
The Aswat Women Ensemble

Event proceeds will benefit the Egypt Cancer Network 57357 and AFNCI (ECN).

Monday, May 21, 2012

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, deeply imagined, and composed with lyrical exactitude. It belongs to that rare tradition of books whose spells grow increasingly seductive with each new story. "

Stuart Dybek, author of Coast of Chicago and Sailing With Magellan

The culmination of twenty years of work, Flying Carpets is a book of self-reflection. Some of the stories evoke the fascination with divination powers, others portray the efforts of a woman to resist a controlling husband, an old nanny whose survival relies on her abilities to invent new stories to put the children to sleep, a woman who returns after decades to the house where she was born and confronts her past in an unexpected way.

Hedy Habra, born and raised in Egypt, is of Lebanese origin. She has lived in both countries as well as in Greece and Belgium before making her home in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She received her MFA and a PhD in Spanish Literature from Western Michigan University where she currently teaches. Her poetry and fiction in French Spanish and English have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Parting Gifts, Puerto del Sol, The New York Quarterly, Cider Press Review, Nimrod, Poet Lore, Inclined to Speak and Dinarzad`s Children Second Edition. Her critical essays have appeared in literary journals such as Chasqui and Latin American LiteraryReview.

Her scholarly book Mundos alternos y artísticos en Vargas Llosa is forthcoming from Editorial Iberoamericana/Vervuert.


Press Release:

Gazette article

Radio interviews:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

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.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

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

Monday, May 14, 2012

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:


شرب العرق
شرب العرق
لعب الورق
خيل السبق
صيد الحمام
رسمال بيروت

لبس الغوى
شم الهوى
اكل الهوى
شاغل عقول
سكان بيروت

زهرة من غير أوانها
محلاها ومحلا زمانها
يا حينها وياضيعانها

ما في عمل
ما في امل
برك الجمل
ركب النحس
تجار بيروت

كتر البطر 
هالك بيروت

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
 A flower off its terrain
Oh her beauty, her good old days

That dire end, all a waste

All unemployed
Hopeless, ruined and Rusted
Jinxed and accursed
Those dealers of Beirut
Oh the Strutting
That fancy livin'
Excess of splurging
Exploded vanity
Smothering Beirut

Kwaidan Records - Pre-order Yasmine Hamdan on iTunes
FR :
US :

Lyrics: Omar el Zenni
Music: Kevin Seddiki / Yasmine Hamdan
produced by Marc Collin / Kwaidan records

Director : Antonin Fourlon
(c) 2012 Contrejour Films - Kwaidan Records

Listen to the album on Deezer :

Special thanks: Nadim Asfar - Satellite my love Production, Alain Dib, Maxime Setzer, Mamali Shafah, Rafic Majzoub

Album France : "Yasmine Hamdan" -
Digital release april 23th ( Kwaidan records/ Idol)
Physical release april 23th ( Kwaidan records/ Idol)

Follow @YasHamdan @Kwaidan_records on Twitter!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

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.



PLAYLIST for Arabology, Thurs, 10 May 2012 (3 - 5pm)

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
4. Massy, Mike/ Ya Zaman/ Ya Zaman/ Falak Productions
5. Mashrou' Leila/ Wajih/ El Hal Romancy/ Mashrou' Leila
6. Harrison, Joel & Lorenzo Feliciati/ That Evening/ Holy Abyss/ Cuneiform Records
7. Kulna Sawa/ Wayn A ramallah/ Kulna Sawa/ Syria
8. Adonis/ Ma Kan Mafroud/ Daw L Baladiyyi/ Forward Music
9. Mouzanar, Khaled & Nadine Labaki/ Yammi/ Where Do We Go Now (Soundtrack)/ naïve
10. Interview with Sondos Abu Damous + poetry reading in Arabic and English
11. Banna, Rim/ Miraya Al-Ruh (Mirrors Of My Soul)/ Al-Rawa'i (Greatest Hits)/ Laser
12. Diab, Amr/ Youm Ma 'itabelna (The Day We Met)/ Banadeek Ta'ala (I'm Calling You, Come)/ Laser
13. Interview with Tomer Perry
14. Heart Beat/ Bukra Fi Mishmish/ Bukra Fi Mishmish/ Heart Beat
15. Interview with Torry Castellano
16. Dam/ Ngh'ayer Bukra (Change Tomorrow)/ Ihda' (Dedication)/ Redcircle Music
17. Dominguez, Chano/ Serpent's Tooth/ Flamenco ketches/ Blue Note
18. Dalida/ Lebnan/ Paroles D'ailleurs/ Universal UK
19. Halo, Abdel Hadi Fatouma/ Abdel Hadi Halo & El Gusto Orchestra Of Algiers/ Honest Jon's Records
20. Ahmad Qousi's Review of Rahim Alhaj Concert in Berkeley
21. Alhaj, Rahim & Amjad Ali Khan/ Common Destination/ Ancient Sounds/ Self Release



Friday, May 11, 2012

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

Here are some pictures from my interview with Sondos Abudamous on May 120. 2012:

You can hear the podcast of this episode 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.


خلف الأبواب المغلقه 
وطن مهجور 
خريطة لم تكتمل 
و فنجان قهوه ما زال ينتظر الوعد 

خلف الأبواب المغلقه 
أنين لا تسمعه سوى المدفأه 
و خوف صامت يرقب دقات الساعه 
و كلمات اختنقت في حلق جاف 

خلف الأبواب المغلقه 
جده تبتهل 
و أم تتوسل الامل 
و بكاء متروك في سرير طفل 

خلف الأبواب المغلقه 
نسيان يلملمه الحنين 
بهجه اصطدمت ببدايات الرحيل 
و أمل يحتضر 

خلف الأبواب المغلقه 
فراغ يداعب ورقة مستلقية على حافة منضده 
صدى يرتد ذكرى صداه بين النافذة و المرآه 
و رنين هاتف مله الانتظار 

خلف الأبواب المغلقه 
نوافذ مشرعه 
شهوات مؤجله
طرقات متوعره و مسافات 
و أنا...و أنت....و مجرد احتمالات 


Behind the closed doors...
A deserted homeland
An incomplete map
A cup of coffee still awaiting a promise

Behind the closed doors...
A moaning only heard by a warm fireplace
A silent fear gazing at the ticking clock
Stifled words in a dried up throat

Behind the closed doors
A grandmother, kneeling in prayer
A mother beseeching hope
Teardrops left in a bed of a child

Behind the closed doors...
A nostalgic longing for something forgotten
A joy, encumbered by a sudden departure
A hope that is dying

Behind the closed doors...
Empty space that playfully cajoles a paper on a desk
A lonely echo that repeats the memory between a window and a mirror
A ringing phone that has grown weary of waiting

Behind the closed doors
Revealing windows
Deferred desires
Run down roads and distances

Behind the closed doors
Me..and you..and mere probabilities


You can follow Sondos Abudamous on :

Sondos Abudamous " You-tube " channel :

الى عمان من قلبي سلام :

مواسم للأمل :

عادتي المفضلة :

على حافة الهاوية :

Follow  Sondos Abudamous on Good Reads site :

Sondos Abudamous's book " Mawasem Lel Amal or Seasons For Hope " is also available here :

مواسم للأمل متوفر عبر المكتبات التالية

أونلاين عبر مكتبة نيل و فرات أكبر مكتبة الكترونية عربية

في الأردن عبر دار أزمنة للنشر و التوزيع - شارع الشريف ناصر بن جميل - عمارة 55 أو عمارة الدوحة طابق 4 - مقابل حدائق الملك عبدالله

Jordan : books@cafe:
Jordan : READERS Bookshop at Cozmo 7th Circle

في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية و اون لاين عبر مكتبة جرير و مكتبة الكتاب

تابعوا سندس ابو دعموس على موقع " خبرني " الالكتروني - الأردن / من خلال طبع اسمي الأول في خانة البحث

عملت في صحيفة الرأي الأردنية

حائزة على المركز الثاني في مسابقة الكتابة الابداعية على مستوى الجامعات الأردنية الخاصة و الحكومية

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bukra Fi Mishmish by HEARTBEAT

Bukra Fi Mishmish

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:

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 mountains. There's music and equality.
Without fear there's no patience, 'cause you don't know what you would lose.
(That means if you know what you'll lose, you'll get scared. Then you know you need to be patient.)
Tomorrow will be better! Try to create and believe, Yes YOU Can.
There's the sun and its rays, yes there's hope down here.
The moon and even a bit of light, there's hope, even if it's small.
An important step in your life is to hope.
Take your step towards change.
Make your anxiety disappear.
To be free, you have to liberate yourself!

(Guy - in Hebrew)
All day I'm looking through my window and I understand whatever is his is mine and whatever is mine is yours. We are supposed to even be brothers, but to me it seems that doesn't really matter to you.
We'll break down the walls, and take down the flags and then we'll discover a world where everything is possible. When we understand that we're all human beings then forever and ever we will be able to live.
We will be able to live!
released 09 April 2012

A HEARTBEAT Production

Words and Music by:
Talia Ishai, Tahel Garion, Siwar Mansour,
Guy Gefen, Dekel Adin,
Moody Kablawi, Ami Yares,
Ziv Sobelman-Yamin, Hasan Nakhleh,
Yonatan Feiner

Performed by:
Guy Gefen: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards,
Drum Programming, and Steel Drum
Moody Kablawi: Vocals and Claps
Siwar Mansour: Vocals and Violin
Dekel Adin: Recorder, Electric Guitar, Bass,
Saxophone, Vocals, Keyboards
Ami Yares: Oud
Tamer Omari: Darbukka, Drum Programming, and Claps
Aaron Shneyer: Drum Programming, Claps
Drums inspired by Ziv Sobelman-Yamin.

Directed and Produced by Aaron Shneyer

Additional music production by
Tamer Omari, Guy Gefen, and Dekel Adin

Special thanks to:
The Fund for Reconciliation, Tolerance, and Peace,
Noa Yammer, Tamer Omari,
Michal Gefen, Shoshana Gottesman,
Ami Yares, Jon Goldstein,
Am Kolel, Marcia and Ira Wagner,
Cheb Kammerer, Rob and EIleen Coltun,
Avi Salloway, Amitai Gross,
Luz Maria Uribe, Sarina Hahn, Jesse Kahn,
and all who have helped bring Heartbeat,
and specifically this song to life.

Bukra Fi Mishmish

© 2012 Heartbeat | New Sound Foundation, Inc.

All Rights Reserved.
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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

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

Film Review: Palestinians in Israel honored in debut comedy feature
Article by Maureen Clare Murphy in The Electronic Intifada
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 (relationships maintained via cell phone, which eventually go awry) he lacks ambition in all other areas of his life. Repeatedly failing the Hebrew language requirement for a nearby Israeli university, Jawdat is engrossed in his cell phone at the family dinner table and uninterested in helping his father tend to their olive orchard, next to which an enormous cell phone antenna has been installed by the Israeli government.
War on antenna

Jawdat’s father, Salem (Bassem Loulou), declares war on the antenna, believing it to be causing cancer in the town, Iksal, and killing his neighbor’s bees. The escalating struggle against the tower drives the plot of the film, and in doing so, is a vehicle to show Israel’s racist system which is intended to drive Palestinian citizens from their land.

The antenna becomes a character in itself once a security camera is installed on it. The audience sees Jawdat, Salem and their community through Israel’s eyes as objects of monitoring — an existential security threat — as Zoabi comically cuts to black-and-white footage of the camera following the characters’ movements.

Meanwhile, Jawdat’s seemingly perpetual adolescence is linked to the system which “doesn’t want him educated,” as he is told more than once in the film.

Jawdat reclaims his manhood once he joins his father’s resistance against the cell phone tower, joining Salem and other town elders around a table as they draft a petition to have the antenna removed. Jawdat takes their draft petition and invigorates it with nationalist rhetoric, putting it into the context of the wider repression of Palestinians in Israel.

The group canvasses the town (where “no one’s been taught to stand up for their rights,” Salem says) for signatures, and proudly present their petition to their town councilor — only to find that he serves as a Palestinian gatekeeper to the Israeli government. It is an unflattering commentary on the role played by Palestinian citizens who go along with the system at the expense of their community’s rights. But as Salem tells Jawdat later on in the film (I won’t spoil the ending for the reader), “They have won the battle, but we will win the war” — this single line poignantly summarizing the experience of Palestinians in Israel who have been under constant attack since the Zionist state was established in 1948, yet still remain.
Absurdist tradition

Zoabi’s film fits into the absurdist tradition of Palestinian filmmaking — perhaps only absurdism can begin to make sense of the monumental injustice thrust upon the Palestinian people — but does so in its own way. Zoabi’s first feature film may not boast the same mastery as Elia Suleiman’s films, but it is far kinder to the elder generation of Palestinians in Israel than are Suleiman’s earlier works. Man Without a Cell Phone also showcases fine and funny performances from unknown actors, particularly Bassem Loulou as the curmudgeonly father.

It is to Zoabi’s credit that he has found a novel way to tell Palestine’s story of colonization and oppression by Israel that doesn’t pound the viewer on the head, and may likely be equally appreciated by an audience of Palestinians in Haifa as would be by an audience in Chicago.

Zoabi’s sweet story is a welcome addition to the remarkable breadth of Palestinian filmmaking which makes events like the Chicago and Houston Palestine film festivals well worth returning to year after year.

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...