Tuesday, June 25, 2013

May Nasr Records 'Ouhibouka' with Lyrics by Ghada Al Samman

Music Composition/Sung by: May Nasr
Instrumental orchestration by: Lou Salloum
Lyrics: Ghada Samman

See lyrics in Arabic and in English translation below, followed by interview with May Nasr in which she discussed this new release.


Here are the lyrics by Syrian writer/poet Ghada Al Samman in Arabic and in English translation:

I love you..
Because you are only capable of loving yourself..
You make no effort to conceal this fact..

I have loved you for a thousand years..
Because, to this date, I am still incapable of truly knowing you..

I love you...
For you are both my storm and refuge...my freedom and my prison...

I love you..for your beauty and creativity....
A divine poet...unworthy of trust...
Finger tips of color and light...screaming out with the perfume of jasmine...

I love you...
For you are gypsy traveler...
You embody pure poetry...
Your inflamed body is a raging storm....!

I love you.....simply because I love you......

أحبك ..
لأنك لا تعرف كيف تحب غير ذاتك ..
ولا تبذل مجهوداً لإخفاء ذلك !

أحبك ..
من ألف عام
لأنني مازلت حتى اليوم أجهلك !

أحبك ..
لأنك العاصفة والمرفئ في آن ..
والحرية والقفص !

أحبك ..
لأنك جميل ومبدع ..
وشاعر لا يؤتمن جانبه
أصابعه اللون والضوء .. 
والصرخة وعطر الياسمين !

أحبك ..
لأنك ضجري الترحال المستقر ..
لأنك القصائد
لأن جسدك الحار قليل الأعصار !

أحبك ..
لأني .. أحبك !

My interview with May Nasr for my Arabology radio program (May 2013):

Palestinian Contestant Wins This Year's 'Arab Idol'

Photograph: Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images

22-year-old Gazan singer Mohammed Assaf won the Arab Idol singing contest final held in Beirut on Saturday June 22 after distinguishing himself over the past several week's as a singer with a unique voice and a memorable stage presence.. After the victory Assaf was named by the UN as its first youth ambassador to Palestinian refugee camps in the territories and neighbouring countries.

Here are some clips from his performances beginning with the song he sang upon his victory:



Here is a clip of Mohammad Assaf along with other contestants singing excerpts from the the Arabic version of Les Misérables:

Rythms of the Desert: Berkeley Event on July 28

Rhythms of the Desert at Ashkenaz in Berkeley: A night of soulful rhythms & songs from North Africa, Israel, & Yemen featuring Dror Sinai, Eliyahu Sills & Bouchaib Abdelhadi.  With special opening set of songs of longing & love from Rachel Valfer (vocalist from The Qadim Ensemble)

Sunday, July 28 Rhythms of the Desert
Doors at 7:30 pm
Show at 8:00 pm

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Jordanian Artist Sadouf Salem: Painting Exhibition in Amman through July 7

Renowned Jordanian artist Sadouf Salem is holding an exhibition featuring 101 of her paintings at Zara Center/Wadi Saqra in Amman, Jordan throughout the month of Ramadan which began this week all over the world.

Here are a couple of pictures showing Sadouf's art which is as diverse as it is poignant. For more info see https://www.facebook.com/groups/158661640821693

Art Gallery of Sadouf Salem Original Paintings.  For any queries please contact sadouf_salem@yahoo.com or mobile: +962 79 5605008

Monet and Picasso:  Piece by Sadouf Salem

Um Kulthum Portrait by Sadouf

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The 40th Day: Film Based on Short Story by Dr. Ramzi Salti

The 40th Day:  Short film based on short story by R. Salti

'The 40th Day' is a short film (5 min) that is loosely based on one of my short stories titled titled 'Vivian and Her Son' which was originally published in my book The Native Informant and Other Stories.

The film/story is about a Middle Eastern mother who is forced to deal with the death of her son by coming to terms with their relationship and by reflecting on the things she might have done differently.

I applaud the director/producers/writers etc for their ability to broach so many social issues that often remain undiscussed in many Arab-American and/or Middle Eastern communities, even in the diaspora. Also kudos to the actors--especially main actress Nina Nayebi for her amazing portrayal of the mother in the film.
  • For more info about the film (IMDB) click HERE
  • To read 'Vivian and Her Son' (by Ramzi Salti) upon which this film was based, click HERE
  • For film screenings and more see Asiansonfilm.com or click HERE.

Here are some screenshots from the film followed by the full credits:

Nina Nayebi in 'The 40th Day'

Screenshot from 'The 40th Day' courtesy of Eric Chenjie Pan

Screenshot from 'The 40th Day' courtesy of Eric Chenjie Pan

The 40th Day: Film Credits

Writing credits(in alphabetical order)
Scott Eriksson writer
Ramzi Salti story

 Hassan Mahmoud ... Edris
 Nina Nayebi ... Samira
 Andrew Chen ... Mike
 Moe Alafrangy ... Omar
 Fariba Skobin ... Sahara

Lida Ranjbaran ... Mira
Hilary Montez ... Funeral Guest
Cristina Antuna ... Funeral Guest

Michael 'Pugita' Kobayashi .... stunt coordinator

Monday, June 17, 2013

Two Arabic Versions of 'Les Miserables' Musical in Arabic

 Egyptian version of Les Miserables by Fabrika music ensemble
The world famous Les Miserables musical, which has been translated from the original French soundtrack and sung into many languages, is now making its way into the Arab world via two different versions--both in Arabic--from Egypt (in Egyptian dialect) to Lebanon (Levantine dialect).

This moving performance from the Egyptian version of the famous musical Les Misérables was recently broadcast during Egyptian TV talk show host Bassem Youssef 's 'Al Bernameg' (Egypt's John Stewert).  It was performed by the Egyptian ensemble Fabrika فبريكا  and was especially poignant because there was a demo outside the studio in support of the fine arts including ballet which Morsi's government (before being overturned) was threatening to ban.

Watch the performance below with Arabic captions which you can follow:

A few weeks later, the popular Arab Idol show showcased their own version of Les Miserables in Arabic, this time in the Levantine/Lebanese dialect and featuring the main contestants from this show. Arab Idol is recorded in Beirut and ended this season with the victory of the Palestinian contestant Mohammed Assaf who is included in this performance:

Now the main question:  Which version do you like best?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Season Finale of Arabology (aired June 13) Available

The 4-hour season finale of DJ Ramzi's Arabology aired on Thurs June 13, 2013 and featured music by some of the Arab world's best alternative musicians/artists, along with commentary (in English) by DJ Ramzi.  Part 4 includes interview with Director Rami Musa Alayan (who discussed his film Private Sun) as well as with the film's soundtrack composer Frank Gelat.

Download at http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/69116

PART ONE ft music by Joussour, Michel Sajrawy, Mike Massy, Tania Saleh, Egyptian Projet, Rim Banna, Dal'ouna, Ramzi Aburadwan, Omar Offendum, La Tlateh, Hiba, DAM, Macel Khalife (ft Mahmoud Darwish)

PART TWO ft Pangia, Mashrou' Leila, Donia Masoud, Maryam (ft Zeid Hamdan), Rasha, JadaL, Toot Ard, Aziz Maraka, Tamer Abu Ghazaleh.

PART THREE ft Emel Mathlouthi, Eliyahu Sills, Yassir Chadly, Joubran Trio, Elizabeth Ayoub, Charbel Rouhana, Rahim Alhaj, May Matar, Oumeima El Khalil, Yasmine Hamdan, Cheba Djenet.

PART FOUR ft El Rass (w/ Al Sayyed Darwish, Ramy Essam , Kamel Badarneh, Ancient Future, Toufic Farroukh, Fairuz, May Nasr and an interview with Director Rami Alyan and composer Frank Gelat.

Download Program Podcast
DOWNLOAD (click on arrow to play or right-click to save):
Download Full Podcast in 4 Parts below
 KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM


Part 1 of 4 00:53:42 160Kbps mp3
(63MB) Stereo
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Part 2 of 4 00:55:24 160Kbps mp3
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Part 3 of 4 00:59:41 160Kbps mp3
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Part 4 of 4 00:50:54 160Kbps mp3
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Or Download at http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/69116


Friday, June 14, 2013

Opportunities at 'Think Unlimited' (Jordan)

For more info: http://www.thinkunlimited.org/
Are you committed to helping improve education in Jordan? Do you want to provide a transformative learning experience for young people? Did the events of the Arab Awakening inspire you to take action? If so, then Think Unlimited has just the opportunity for you!

Think Unlimited is looking to hire eight (8) outstanding youth of Arab descent to work in pairs as Mindset Mentors and help us launch our newest education program, Mindset Matters, for Jordanian university students. Mindset Mentors will facilitate and lead a semester-long course on mindset and motivation, build strong, meaningful relationships with program participants, and give us important feedback on on the curriculum.

We are looking for applicants of Arab heritage, who are fluent in both Arabic and English, and who can commit to living and working in Jordan from September to December 2013. For more information, a full description of the position, and application materials, please see the links below.

Overseas Applicants: If you are currently a resident of or a student in either the US/Canada, please download the application here and email it toinfo@thinkunlimited.org. The deadline for Overseas Applicants is May 31st, 2013.

Local Applicants: If you are currently a resident of or a student in Jordan, please download the application here and email it to info@thinkunlimited.org. The deadline for Local Applicants is June 15th, 2013.

For more info: http://www.thinkunlimited.org/

Friday, June 7, 2013

6/6 Arabology Podcast Spotlights Yasmine Hamdan

Download: http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/68917

The first 90 min of the June 6, 2013 Arabology podcast feature a musical interview with Lebanese born singer/songwriter/actress Yasmine Hamdan who has redefined alternative Arabic music as part of Soapkills (with Zeid Hamdan) before working with Mirwais as YAS on the 'Arabology' album and eventually launching a solo career of her own. (Listen at http://snd.sc/12x7nUa or click on arrow below or download entire podcast at http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/68917)

The second part of this podcast (30 min) includes songs by Oumeima El Khalil, The Egyptian Project, Pangia, Rima Khcheich, El Far3i, El Ras. (Listen/download at http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/68917)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

May 30 Arabology Podcast Spotlights Mashrou' Leila

The May 30 episode of 'Arabology' (Season 5 Episode 8) highlights the music and career of Lebanese music band Mashrou' Leila whose music style and socially conscious lyrics have reshaped the alternative music scene in the Arab world. Show includes pre-recorded interviews with band members Hamed Sinno and Omaya Malaeb, various songs by the group and commentary by DJ Ramzi.

TO LISTEN: http://www.radio4all.net/files/author30@gmail.com/4294-1-Arabology_S5E8.mp3

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...