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Showing posts from January, 2014

Jakarta Records Releases 'Sawtuha' Featuring Female Singers of the Arab Spring

A little less then three years ago the political situation in many countries of the Arab world changed dramatically. Uprisings started in rural areas of Tunisia and from there spread to various countries in the region. Millions gathered in the streets united by their demand for more democracy, rights and participation in the political process. In most cases the reaction of the governing dictators were relentless and severe towards every form of protests. Violence in the streets of Cairo, Tunis and Bengasi escalated and resulted in the overthrow of the governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. A year later a group of female singers and musicians from Tunisia (Nawel Ben Kraiem, Badiaa Bouhrizi, Medusa, Houwaida), Libya (Nada) and Egypt (Donia Massoud, Maryam Saleh, Youssra El Hawary) met in Mohsen Matri Studio in Tunis to sing- against corruption, despotism, patronization and narrow-mindedness. The song with Syrian artist Rasha Rizk was recorded some months later in her political as

Bilbaal Project Aims to Connect Palestinian philanthropic Initiatives and Organizations around the World.

BILBAAL is A socially engaging online platform created by by Dana Salloum and Rasha Kashkoush (UAE) dedicated to connecting pro-bono resources to Palestinian philanthropic initiatives and organizations around the world.  For more details check out You can support this project (crowdfunding till Feb 23, 2014) at

Lebanese Singer Aline Lahoud Wows 'The Voice' Judges

Aline Lahoud: Click on photo above to watch video Lebanese singer Aline Lahoud, daughter of late singing legend Salwa Al Katrib, wowed the judges of France's 'The Voice' TV show by singing 'Khedni Maak,' one of her late Mom's songs. Watch Aline's video at Here is the original version of the song as recorded by Aline Lahoud's late Mom, the legendary Salwa Al Katrib: Compare to Aline's version of her Mom's song during 'The Voice'at Aline Lahoud's song and performance were discussed during the Jan 30, 2014 episode of Arabology .  Listen at

Arab Women Speak Frankly on TEDTalks

From comediennes to architects, Arab women are using TEDTalks as a platform to speak about many aspects of Arab society that are rarely discussed in public. Here is a sample. Maysoon Zayid: I got 99 problems... palsy is just one Arab-American comedian Maysoon Zayid takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her adventures as an actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled. Shereen El Feki: A little-told tale of sex and sensuality Shereen El Feki traveled through the Middle East for five years, talking to people about sex. Suad Amiry - My work My Hobby . Suad Amiry is a Palestinian architect whose motto is 'Simply look inside you never at others'. Bahia Shehab: A thousand times no Art historian Bahia Shehab has long been fascinated with the

Jan 23 Podcast Spotlights New Arabic Versions of Classic Songs

Dr. Ramzi Salti hosts 'Arabology' The Jan 23, 2014 Arabology Podcast spotlights spotlights Arabic versions of Western songs and new, revamped versions of old Arabic classics. You can listen to the podcast below or at Below is the playlist for Arabology Thurs, 23 Jan 2014 4-6 pm DJ: Ramzi S Each song in followed by the name of the artist who originally recorded that song. ARABIC VERSIONS OF WESTERN SONGS 1. Rachid Taha/ Now Or Never/ Zoom/ Naive [Elvis Presley] 2. Mashrou' Leila/ Ghadan Yawmon Afda/ Mashrou' Leila [The Gorillaz] 3. Sofia Marikh/ Tahwak/ Tahwak/ Rotana [Barbra Streisand] 4. Mariem Labidi/ La Ma Twade3nish/ Labidi [Jacques Brel] 5. Faudel/ Bambino/ Bled Memory/ Mercury (France) [Dalida] 6. Ramy Ayash & Abir Nehme/ Belaaks/ Riachi [Lila Downs, Cake] 7. Jowan Safadi + Samak/ Mahbalni/ Safadi [Nirvana] NEW VERSIONS OF ARABIC CLASSICS 8. Jadal/ Al-Tobah/ Arabic R

Yasmine Hamdan Performs at globalFEST 2014

A solo artist based in Europe after a childhood split between Lebanon, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Greece, the co-founder of the groundbreaking duo Soapkills blends new material with reworked traditional songs in a smoky-cool electro-pop setting. For more see

7th Season 'Arabology' Debut Showcases Arabic Musical Genres

The 7th Season premiere episode of 'Arabology' (aired Jan 16, 2014) showcases and discusses different musical genres that are emerging from the Arab world, including but not limited to Arabic Rock, gorgeous ballads, Arabic Hip Hop, Electro Shaabi + Sufi music, songs and poetry (along with English translations), Listen below or download at Playlist for Arabology Thurs, 16 January 2014 4-6 pm DJ: Ramzi S. Artist/Track/Album/Label 1. Mike Massy/ Ya Zaman/ Ya Zaman/ Falak Productions 2. Jam3 Tkseer/ Qaseeda shrera/ Ghanni 3n al Ta3reef/ 3. Jadal/ El Makina/ El Makina/ Mahmoud Radaideh 4. Khalas/ Ghana Al Hawa/ Arabic Rock Orchestra/ Zidani 5. Akher Zapheer/ Akherto Lahen Hazeen/ Counter Culture/ Eka3 6. Lena Chamamyan/ Henna Wa-Zahr/ Qanun/ Ghazl El Banat/ Lena Chamamyan/Self 7. Sharq/ 3ajibtu minka wa minni (Al Hallaj) /Sharq/ Sharq 8. Mohamed Abozekry and Heejaz/ Sur La Route/ Chaos/ Neonovo 9. Karim Baggili, Kar

'Ablution' Explores Sexuality and Spirituality in Iran

Ablution is a brave new film exploring sexuality and spirituality under the veil of a conservative Muslim woman living in war-torn Iran (see promo below). You can support the film via Kickstarter at  (5 days left). This film takes place in Tehran, Iran in 1985 ― at the peak of the Iran-Iraq war. We meet Neda and Omid, two very sheltered adult siblings who live with their single mother in a dingy one-bedroom apartment. Caught in a web of war, strict social laws, and a mentally unhinged mother, Neda and Omid find spiritual refuge wherever they can. Neda, shunned by Iranian society as an "old maid" at a mere 27 years of age, buries herself in Islam. Omid dreams of escaping into a music video fantasy of the West. When an unexpected visitor moves in, Neda and Omid are forced to come of age in a remarkable yet unspeakable way. The film was written by Melissa Recalde, Parisa Barani and Amin El Gamal and its traditional narrative is intersp