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Showing posts from June, 2012

El Morabba3: Alternative Arabic Music Band from Jordan

CD Cover.  Ali Saadi Photography. Designed by :Tarik El-Khateeb El Morabba3 is a combination of 4 'angles' including Muhammad Abdullah's voice and lyrics; Tareq Abu Kwiak's voice and lyrics; Odai Shawagfeh's ambient guitar; Dirar Shawagfeh's melodic grooves.Their first album will be released on Thursday July 5th 2012. See HERE . Here is their video clip 'Ya Zein'--beautifully shot in HD quality: Here is their album Launch Concert Trailer 2012: El Morabba3's Facebook Page: YouTube Channel: Band Member Names in Arabic: المربّع  ضرار شواقفة: درمز و توزيع  محمّد عبدالله : باص جيتار و تأليف و توزيع و غناء  عديّ شواقفة : جيتار و ميدي افكتس و توزيع  ارق أبو كويك : تأليف توزيع غناء و ايقاع 

Tania Saleh Sings about Sunni & Shiite Fraternity

Tania Saleh's 'Omar W Ali' is a timeless song pleading for peace and fraternity between both the Shiite Muslim and the Sunni Muslim communities in Lebanon and the Middle East. This version has been recorded live during her performance at the Democratic Republic of Music in Beirut on December 2011. This song is available at For those who may be in Lebanon in July 2012, Tania Saleh will be performing live on Thursday, July 12, 2012 at 9:00pm in UTC+03.  LIVE at DRM. After the great success of Tania Saleh’s latest album “Wehde” released in 2011 and Nadine Labaki’s internationally acclaimed film "Where Do We Go Now" that she co-wrote the songs for, she decided to review all her repertoire at DRM where she will perform songs of her first and second album in addition to Nadine Labaki’s films songs.  She will also perform 2 new unreleased songs that she wrote for her next album. For reservations and information please call DR

Ghazi Abdel Hadi and the Communiqué CD Trilogy (2012)

Ghazi Abdel Baki is a Musician/composer/ producerwho began his music career in 1985 as a musician and played with many bands in Lebanon and in the USA, namely: Amnesia (Lebanon 1985 - 1987), Munir Khawli Group (Lebanon, 1988 and 1995), Nobody's Fault (New York, 1988-1991), Forcado (Lebanon, 1992), Bare Necessity (New York, 1993-1995), Ziad Rahbani (Lebanon, 1995-1996), Virus (Lebanon, 1997-1999), Grand Prix with Ziad Rahbani (2007). Proficient at mixing genres, Ghazi Abdel Baki interprets his own texts and those of poets such as Elia Abu Madi, Ahmad Shawki and Rabindranath Tagore to various styles such as bedouin-funk, Afro-Cuban, folk and jazz. His music is like Beirut: a crossroad of cultural fusion. He founded "Forward Music" in 2001 and has produced the works of the main contemporary artists of the region: Charbel Rouhana, Soumaya Baalbaki, Mustafa Saïd, Ghada Shbeir, Issa Ghandour, Gros Bras, Ziyad Sahhab, Paul Salem and Fareeq El Atrash. More recently, Ghazi

Adonis & Tina Yamout - Ma Kan Mafroud

'Ma Kan Mafroud' is a collaboration between Lebanese pop/folk band Adonis and singer/songwriter Tina Yamout, featured on Adonis' first studio album 'Daw L Baladiyyi', which was released in July 2010. Directed by Robert Cremona, written and composed by Anthony Khoury, recorded and mixed at Tunefork Recording Studios. Adonis is Anthony Khoury, Joey Abou Jawdeh, Fabio Khoury, Nicola Hakim & Vladimir Kurumilian. LYRICS: ما كان مفروض تكون موعود انّو بشي يوم ، معقولي تعود كبروا ولاد وصاروا جدود ولكانت دار، صارت حدود بحور بتطوف وجبال بتوقع  وفي شي منّا بعدو مفقود ناس بتروح وأجيال بتقطع ولراح ما بعمرو بعود من هوني جينا ، ولهوني من عود هوني ربينا ، جوانح وقيود هوني اللّيل ، وهوني الحبّ الموعود بدنيي بتبلّش وبتخلص بعيونك السّود ما بقي شي ، لا جنينة لا ورود حتّى الشّبّاك ، صار حيط مسدود وبترجع كل يوم ، وبايدك ورود وتحت الشّبّاك ، تنغّملا عالعود بتتغيّر دروب وقصايد بتبلى وغيابا كان والّه مقصود

Groundbreaking CD by Maryam (Saleh) Titled 'Mesh Baghanny'

Maryam .. an independent Egyptian artist. Singing and acting since the age of seven, Maryam worked with and cofounded a number of independent bands, sang semsemeya songs and was one of the most important singers of Sheikh Imam songs, after which she founded BarakA band, which is a unique blend between the oriental voice of Maryam, and Rock music. Maryam grew artistically at the hands of her father, director and playwright Saleh Saad and Sheikh Imam singer of the Egyptian resistance, and began her career at the age of seven. Maryam is now working on several new musical projects with different musicians from Egypt as well as from the Middle East (bio from Maryam's Debut Album - Mesh Baghanny . You can also buy Maryam's album at Check out Maryam's Website at Maryam's Facebook Page: Maryam on YouTube: مريم .. فنانة مصري

Arabic+: Amazing New App by Benjamin Holfeld

A rabic+ Benjamin Holfeld Category: Business Updated: Jun 25, 2012 Benjamin Holfield has created a brand new Arabic App that is sure to be of great use to anyone traveling around the Arab world.   Includes an efficient note system to store all your travel notes such as names of people, places, WiFi Passwords and more. Imagine you are in Cairo, Dubai, Amman or Baghdad and want to find your hotel. With this app you can ask anyone to help you, for example, find a taxi--and in the car you just need to show your notes, let the app speak, etc. and the cab driver knows where to go.  The audio recording is in Modern Standard Arabic so it will be understood in any of the 20+ Arabic speaking countries on earth and the audio quality is excellent.  The voice is that of Arabic native speaker Ahmad Qousi who eloquently delivers Arabic phrases and words in a professional, direct and helpful way. For more, see features and screen shots below. Arabic+: Your personal

Vote for Ramy El Gabry's Short Film 'This Time' Thru July 13, 2012

Egyptian Director Ramy El Gabry's short film titled 'This Time' has been selected as one of the 50 final entries in YouTube's 'Your Film Festival' competition. The 11-minute film is a masterpiece in short filmmaking and examines a mother-son relationship, an ungrateful son and a kind stranger. Ramy El Gabry is a truly talented Director/Filmmaker worthy of our support. You can watch the film and vote for his film (once a day thru July 13) at this link: Good luck Ramy!

My CD Review of Jadal's 'Arabic Rocks'

Jadal / Arabic Rocks Album: Arabic Rocks   Collection: World Artist: Jadal   Added: 06/2012 Label: Forward Music   Album Review Reviewed by Ramzi Salti, Ph.D. Reviewed 2012-06-13  Jadal is a Jordanian rock band, known for being the first successful group to record original rock songs in Arabic (Jordanian dialect). Arabic Rocks is Jadal's debut album, released in 2009, and consists of the tracks that they have played all along their career--tracks that made their audience double & triple throughout the past couple of years. The album also features a track co-created with the leading hip-hop crew DAM, named "Ya Bani Adam". 1. Iss (1:46) Rock instrumental retro **2. Salma (2.34) The most popular song on this CD, instantly likable, about a little girl named Salma who is also a niece of one of the band members. 3. Ya Bani Adam (ft. DAM) (3:12) A rock tune hailing all humankind to keep evolving. **4. Omr Jdeed (5:25) The most solid, typical track on thi

My Review of Yasmine Hamdan's New CD

Hamdan, Yasmine / Yasmine Hamdan Album: Yasmine Hamdan   Collection: World Artist: Hamdan, Yasmine   Added: 06/2012 Label: Kwaidan Records   Album Review Reviewed by Ramzi Salti, Ph.D. Reviewed 2012-06-13  Yasmine Hamdan's self titled CD cements the solo career of this Lebanese female vocalist who has already achieved much musical success as part of such Arab alternative bands as 'Soapkills' and 'YAS.'  In this album, she includes new songs plus old Arabic classics, re-recorded with her own voice, while making them distinctly experimental, grungy, disturbing, yet completely appealing. CD is produced by Marc Collin. 1. In Kan Fouadi (3:47) Old Egyptian song in classical arabic. Very trance-like. **2. Beirut (3:30) Based on a Lebanese song from the 1940s and set to 12-string guitar melody. 3. Samar (3:27) Has a Beduin feel. Sounds like a chant. Echoing vocals. 4. Baaden (3:26) Hypnotic tune sung with a Egyptian/ Palestinian dialect. 5. Ya Nass (3:15

'The War Around Us' San Francisco Bay Area Premiere on June 27

The Arab Film Festival is proud to present the Bay Area Premiere of THE WAR AROUND US and Q&A with director Abdallah Omeish In the winter of 2008 Ayman Mohyeldin was the only American living in the Gaza Strip. When the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was broken and the first bomb dropped on Gaza, Mohyeldin and fellow journalist and friend Sherine Tadros found themselves the only Western reporters there to capture it. This film chronicles the bonds of friendships under stress, the ethics of journalism in conflict and above all, the resilience of humans during war. With never-before-seen footage and testimonies reported from one of the most dangerous places on earth, the film bears witness to how Gaza changed them forever. Winner of Best Documentary at World Premiere for Newport Film Festival April 2012.  See screening dates and location below the preview. 75 mins. Wednesday June 27th at 7:30 only! advance tickets: VIP f

Two Arabic Short Films Featured in YouTube's Top 50 'Your Film Festival' Entries

Two Arabic short films have been selected for YouTube's Top 50 short films as part of their 'Your Film Festival' competition. The first is an Egyptian short film titled This Time هذا الةمان Directed By : Ramy El Gabry.  Starring : Awatef Helmy , Abdallah Alnahas , Khaled Megahd You can watch the film (with English subtitles) below and if you like it you can vote for it (once a day thru July 13) at this link: The second film is by Lebanese female director Niam Itani and it is titled Super.Full about a poor disabled couple chasing a dream in the richest city in the world. You can vote for these short films if you like them on YouTube.  To see all 50 entries, go to

New Film Reveals Masterpieces of Islamic Art (Narrated by Susan Saradon)

Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World New Film Reveals Masterpieces of Islamic Art Documentary to Air on PBS July 6th Narrated by Susan Sarandon SILVER SPRING, MD – June 11, 2012 – Perceptions and ideas around Muslim identity and culture vary widely and too few are aware of the significant works of art and architecture that make up a large part of Islamic civilization’s legacy. Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World , is a new documentary from award-winning Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) that brings to life this legacy and will be broadcast nationally on PBS July 6th 2012 at 9:00 p.m. EST. Narrated by actor, Susan Sarandon, this 90-minute film takes audiences on a global journey across nine countries and over 1,400 years ofhistory to present the stories behind the masterworks of Islamic art and architecture. Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World is the ninth film by Executive Producers Michael Wolfe and Alex Kronemer and UPF (Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophe

Quelle Revolution: A Short Film by Lina Khatib

Shot on location in 2005 and first screened in 2006, this film ("What Revolution") takes a pessimistic stance towards Lebanon's so-called "Cedar Revolution", commenting on its conflation of patriotism with consumption, and doubting its casting of a lasting legacy on national unity. The film has not been shown in public since its last screening in 2007.  Filmmaker Lina Khatib is making it available to the public now--five years later--as the issues it depicts are sadly still pertinent in today's Lebanon. The genre of the work is experimental documentary, and it's an almost silent film, save for speech captured off-camera. It has screened at: - April 2007: Doc à Tunis international documentary festival, Tunis, Tunisia. - November 5-12, 2006: DocuDays Beirut International Documentary Festival, Lebanon. - September 2-December 17, 2006: The Museum of Contemporary Art, Roskilde and August 31-17th December: Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, Codin

New Web Site on Arab Contemporary Art Launched

To view the site: Launched in 2012 Arab Contemporary Art Online Gallery has the primary goal of promoting the art of Arab Artists worldwide by introducing their work through the web to the masses. It is an address that encourages established as well as emerging artists to showcase their creations and be part of a connected regional and international community of the visual arts. Artists are invited to join the site by creating an online profile to display their work and provide a commentary on their Art, themselves, and their experience and philosophy. Artist Lina Kassis, whose work is showcased on the site, has this to say about it: "True Art is not what it has been dictated to be. True Art is special to each and every individual's artistic identity and only through appreciation becomes the source of inspiration for generations to come' (Lina Kassis) To view the site: For more info see  https://ww

International Alternative Music Festival in Carthage, Tunisia

An amazing event is taking place from June 14-20  in Carthage, Tunisia, showcasing alternative music from around the (Arab) world including performances by Mashrou' Leila, Yasmine Hamdan, Maryam & Zeid, Khiam Al-Lami, Kamilya Jubran, LaBess, Barbaroots, Boomj. The schedule is as follows: Thursday June 14: Badiaa Bouhrizi / Yasmine Hamdan Friday June 15:Fadhel Boubaker/ Mar-yam &Zeid / Boomj Saturday June 16: Tamer Abu Ghazaleh / Neshez  Monday June 18: Barbaroots / Labess Tuesday June 19: Mashrou’ Leila Wednesday June 20 : Khyam Allami / Kamilya Jubran  For more info see Or see

Yasmine Hamdan Feature in the New York Times

This article was originally publsihed in The New York Times on April 12, 2012 (all rights reserved) at Arabic Music's Modern Voice By TARA MULHOLLAND PARIS — It was a familiar Paris hipster scene. The crowd behind the discrete façade of the Tigre club in the First Arrondissement were in skinny jeans with carefully tousled hair and clutching expensive drinks. Marc Collin, co-founder of the cult electropop collective Nouvelle Vague was setting up vintage keyboards on a tiny stage. The female drummer picked up her drumsticks and the skinny-cool guitarist settled into place. Then the singer, in jeans and a black vest, looking out from behind long dark hair, took the mic and began to sing. In preparation for the release of her new, self-named album, the Lebanese singer Yasmine Hamdan was doing a small gig in Paris, and as the crowd swayed to the music, their eyes fixed on the stage, it didn’t seem to matter if

Stanford Grad Wows Aaron Sorkin, Lands Role on 'The Newsroom'

Amin El Gamal--Photo by Daniel Reichert (Los Angeles, June 11, 2012) Rising star Amin El Gamal (Drama and English, '08) will make his TV debut playing the title character on the fifth episode of Aaron Sorkin's highly anticipated show The Newsroom (premiering June 24 on HBO). El Gamal plays an Egyptian amateur reporter who wins the hearts of the newsroom staff (played by Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, and Dev Patel) and becomes their rogue correspondent during the 2011 Egyptian revolution. The episode also marks the first ever Hollywood portrayal of the Arab Spring. “As an Egyptian-American, the revolution had a profound effect on my family and me.” El Gamal said. “And I was thrilled to play an Arab man who’s not associated with violence and hate. I felt a responsibility to properly represent the incredible people who finally got a voice during those 18 days in Tahrir Square.” That responsibility lead El Gamal to collaborate with Sorkin on some of the character details.

Last 'Arabology' Podcast of Season 2 (aired June 7) Available Already

The 4-hour Season Finale showcases this past season's best Arabic alternative music along with commentary by DJ Ramzi plus a reading by Ahmad Qousi of Marianne Nsour's hilarious poem 'Englabic' (see poem below). To download this Podcast (in four 1-hour segments): DJ Ramzi (right) with Ahmad Q at KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM (June 2012)   OR: To listen to Part 1 Click HERE (See Playlist below) To listen to Part 1 Click HERE (See Playlist below) To listen to Part 1 Click HERE (See Playlist below) To listen to Part 1 Click HERE (See Playlist below) To read 'Englabic' (Poem by Marianne Nsour read by Ahmad Qousi on the show) click HERE PLAYLIST Playlist for Arabology DJ: Ramzi S.Thu, 7 Jun 2012 / 1300-1700 (Artist/Track/Album/Label) PART 1 (Listen at ) Dam/Mukadime (Introduction)/ Ihda' (Dedication)/ Redcircle Music Adonis/ Ma Kan Mafroud/ Daw L Baladiyy

French Interview with Yasmine Hamdan in 'Stiletto'

YASMINE HAMDAN: "J'AI PEUT-ÊTRE UN RÔLE DE PASSEUR, JE RAMÈNE LES CHANSONS DU PASSÉ AU PRÉSENT, AVEC RESPECT." Elle sortait il y a trois ans un album, en duo avec Mirwaïs, sous le nom Y.A.S. Auteur, compositeur et interprète, originaire de Beyrouth, Yasmine Hamdan défend aujourd’hui un projet en solo, qui porte son nom, portée par sa voix vibrante, presque liquide. Un voyage dans l’Orient des années cinquante et soixante, celui des grandes productions, enregistrées à Beyrouth, au Caire, en Irak ou au Koweit. Des titres qu’elle a dénichés dans sa propre collection de disques oubliés, des mélodies dont elle s’empare, qu’elle répète et qu’elle étire jusqu’à en obtenir quelque chose de parfaitement moderne. Entretien. Comment est né ce projet? J'avais déjà commencé à travailler sur certaines chansons pendant que je faisais la promo pour mon album précédent, Y.A.S. J'avais envie de revenir vers quelque chose de plus acoustique, de travailler sur des morceaux où la

Arabic Version of Dalida's 'Bambino' by Lili Boniche

Lili Boniche (Élie Boniche - b. 1921 - d. March 6, 2008) was born to a Sephardic Jewish family in the Kasbah area of Algiers and was a singer of Andalusian-Arab music. He died in Paris. In addition to writing music for commercial release, he also was a film composer. His version of the song Bambino--memorably recorded by the late Dalida in French and Italian back in the 1950's--is a gem of a song that can be found on Boniche's 2001 album Tresors de la Chanson Judee-Arabe . Its Arabic lyrics are faithful to the original and retain the playful nature of the song. Here is Dalida's 1957 version in French: Here is Dalida's later version in French (live): Here is another version of Dalida singing 'Bambino' with a nice montage/original footage from various shows: Finally, here is a re-worded version of 'Bambino' performed by Dalida and Enrico Masias on French TV. Note the way the two performers greet each other in Egyptian Arabic: