Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Arabology Interviews Souad Massi (in English, Arabic and French)


I am proud to share my interview with Algerian French singer Souad Massi about her new CD "El-Mutakallimûn" and about her film debut in Najwa Najjar's "Eyes of a Thief" along with Egyptian actor Khaled Abol Naga خالد ابو النجا.  The interview was conducted in English, Arabic and French and recorded by phone whilst Souad Massi was in France (March 2016).

You can listen to the interview below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/souadmassi

  • Read a review of Souad Massi's new CD "El Mutakallimun" at THIS LINK
  • Read this recent article about Souad Massi at THIS LINK
  • Listen to my radio interview with Souad Massi below or at THIS LINK.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

My Favorite Sayings

Health is the greatest of life's gifts, but we take it for granted; it hangs on a thread as fine as a spider's web and the smallest thing can make it snap, leaving the strongest of us helpless in an instant. And in that instant, hope is our protector, and love, our panacea.--Jennifer Worth
“She does not love you. Your metaphors thrill her. You are her poet. But that's all there's to it.”― Mahmoud Darwish, Almond Blossoms and Beyond 

If nothing changes, then nothing changes. When we no longer reach out to explore new ways of seeing, of being, of interacting with the world, then we lock ourselves within the cell we built with the key around our necks--Denmo Ibrahi 

"ان يكرهك الناس لصراحتك خيرا من ان يحبوك لنفاقك " _ ابن خلدون 

ويل لأمة تحسب المستبد بطلاً، وترى الفاتح المذل رحيماً ويل لأمة لا ترفع صوتها إلا إذا مشت في جنازة، ولا تفخر إلا بالخرائب، ولا تثور إلا وعنقها بالسيف والنطع. ويل لأمة سائسها ثعلب، وفيلسوفها مشعوذ، وفنها فن الترقيع والتقليد. ويل لأمة تستقبل حاكمها بالتطبيل وتودعه بالصفير، لتستقبل آخربالتطبيل والتزمير. ويل لأمة مقسمة إلى أجزاء، وكل جزء يحسب نفسه فيها امة ويل لامة حكماؤها خرس من وقر السنين ورجالها الاشداء في اقمطة السرير ويل الويل لأمة كثرت فيها طوائفها و قل فيها الدين ... الويل لها الويل لأمة تلبس مما لا تنسج و تشرب مما لا تعصر لامة مقسمة الى اجزاء وكل جزء يحسب نفسه أمة ويل لامة حكماؤها خرس من وقر السنين ورجالها الاشداء. في اقمطة السرير. ويل لامة مقسمة الى اجزاء وكل جزء يحسب نفسه أمة - جبران خليل جبران . 

عمري ما بشكي لغير الله هو لوجعي وألَمي دواه مروان خوري-- 

"Yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is but today's dream." --Kahlil Gibran 

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally used up and worn out, shouting '...man, what a ride!' --George Carlin. 

زي الحلاق يضحك على الاقرع بطقطقة المقص 
[Like a hairdresser that fools the bald man in his chair by clicking his scissors needlessly in the air] --Popular Arabic Proverb 

الغائب عذره معه (من رسالة أحمد بن تيمية لأمه )
(Don't judge someone who is absent for he may have a good reason for being away) 

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself. --Oscar Wilde "The Picture of Dorian Gray"

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. --Oscar Wilde, Lady Windermere's Fan, 1892, Act III 

One's real life is often the life that one does not lead. --Oscar Wilde, L'Envoi, 1882 

إذا أصبحتَ فلا تنتظر المساءُ ، اليوم فحسْبُ ستعيشُ ، فلا أمسُ الذي ذهب بخيرِهِ وشرِهِ ، ولا الغدُ الذي لم يأتِ إلى الآن. عمرُك يومٌ واحدٌ --الدكتور عائض القرني في كتاب لا تحزن-- 
[When you wake up in the morning do not expect to see the evening - live as though today is all that you have. Yesterday has passed with its good and evil, while tomorrow has not yet arrived. Your life’s span is but one day.] --'Aaidh ibn Abdullah al-Qarni in "Don't Be Sad" 

Until the lions find their storytellers, stories about hunting will always glorify the hunter --African Saying 

Well behaved women seldom make history --Laurel Thatcher Ulrich 

اسمع اسمع يا رضا كلشي عم يغلا ويزيد مبارح كنا عالحديدة وهلأ صرنا عالحديد --Ziad Rahbani زياد الرحباني 

مسكت القلم لأكتب همومي فبكى القلم قبل أن تبكي عيوني
 (I held the pen to write down my sorrows But it was so tear-filled that it drowned my paper) 

قال : السماء كئيبة ، وتجهما قلت : ابتسم يكفي التجهم في السما قال : الصبا ولى فقلت له ابتسم لن يرجع الأسف الصبا المتصرما قال : المواسم قد بدت أعلامها وتعرضت لي في الملابس والدمى وعلي للأحباب فرض لازم لكنّ كفي ليس تملك درهما قلت : ابتسم يكفيك أنك لم تزل حيا ولست من الأحبة معدما ايليا ابو ماضي , من قصيدة ابتسم--
[He said: The sky is gloomy and grey. I said: Smile; isn't the gloom in the sky enough?. He said: My youth has passed. I said: Smile, for regret will not bring back one's fleeting youth.] --Elia Abu Madi 

فمسرحية الخيانة أبطالها أناس سُلِبت منهم العقول ردينة مصطفى الفيلالي--
 [A stage play that centers on betrayal necessarily stars mindless people] --Rodayna Al-Filali 

Before you echo 'Amen' in your home or place of worship, think and remember...a child is listening. --Mary A. Griffith following the suicide of her son Bobby Griffith (1963-1983) 

Pour éviter les habitudes Je m'habillais de solitude Jusqu'à toi
[Before I met you I would avoid daily habits By clothing myself with solitude] --Dalida, Tiré de la chanson "Julien" 

القرد في عين أمه غزال 
(A monkey, in his mother's eyes, is a gazelle) --Popular Arabic Saying 

لاَ تَقُلْ شئنا فَإِنَّ الحَظَّ شَاء --ابراهيم ناجي(الاطلال) 
(Don't say that you willed anything in your life; it is all up to chance) --Ibrahim Naji 

"Your children are not your children... they are the children of life" --Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, 1923 

"I want to sing like the birds , sing not worrying about who hears or what they think ! " --Jalal al-din Rumi, 13th Century 

"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about" --Oscar Wilde
"Love is letting go of fear. Love is letting go of chains that tie your spirit down" --Olivia Newton-John, 2006 

Dreaming permits each and every one of us to be quietly and safely insane every night of our lives. --William C. Dement 

كل طعنة من الخلف في ظهري تؤكد لي انني ما زلت امشي في المقدمة غادة السمان في كتاب الرقص مع البوم ص ١٠٧-- 
[Every stab in my back reminds me that I am walking in the forefront] --Ghada Al-Samman 

Toutes ces choses n'existaient pas puisqu'on n'avait pas le droit d'employer les mots qui les désignaient. [All of these things didn't exist since we didn't have the right to use the words that designate them] --Marie CARDINALE, Les Mots pour le dire 

On ne meurt qu'une fois, et c'est pour si longtemps [You only die once, and it's for such a long time] --MOLIÈRE, Le Dépit amoureux, acte V, scène 3 

Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait [Youth is wasted on the young] --French Proverb

Il faut casser le noyau pour avoir l'amande [You have to crack the shell if you want to get the nut] --French proverb 

لا تسـألوني... ما اسمهُ حبيبي أخشى عليكمْ.. ضوعةَ الطيوبِ والله.. لو بُحـتُ بأيِّ حرفٍ تكدَّسَ الليـلكُ في الدروبِ نزار قباني من ديوان أنت لي-- 
[Do not ask me the name of my lover For revealing it would be like wasting precious perfume I swear, were I to utter a single letter, Lilacs would sprout along every street and road] --Nizar Qabbani 

لو كان قلبي معي ما اخترت غيركم ولا رضيت سواكم في الهوى بدلا - لكنه راغب فيمن يعذبه وليس يقبل لا لوما ولا عذلا عنترة العبسي-- 
[If I were the owner of my own heart I would have chosen to hold you all within it But, alas, my heart is desirous of he who torments it and, as such, cannot be held liable] Antara Al-Absi (525-615) 

أي شيءٍ في العيد أهدي إليك يا ملاكي وكل شيءٍ لديك ـ أسواراً أم دملجاً من ُنضار لا أحب القيود في معصميك ـ أم خموراً وليس في الأرض خمرٌ كالذي تسكبين من عينيك ـ أم وروداً والورد أجمله عنــ ــدي الذي قد نشقتُ من خديك ـ أم عقيقاً كمهجتي يتلظى والعقيق الثمين في شفتيك ـ ليس عندي شيءٌ أعز من الرو ح وروحي مرهونة في يديك إيليا أبو ماضي 1889-1957--

خدعوها بقولهم حسناء والغواني يغرهن الثناء أتراها تناست اسمي لما كثرت في غرامها الأسماء أحمد شوقي 1868-1932 -- 1

اعتيادي على غيابك صعبٌ واعتيادي على حضورك أصعب --نزار قباني-- 
[Getting used to your absence is difficult but getting used to your presence is even more so] --Nizar Qabbani 

حامل الهوى تعب يستخفه الطرب
إن بكى يحق له ليس ما به لعب --أبو نواس-- 
[He who is in love is always exhausted/ And seeks solace in song He has every right to cry/ His is not a easy ordeal] --Abu Nuwas 

إذا كان ذنبي أن حبك سيدي فكل ليالي العاشقين ذنوب الأخوان رحباني--
[If making your love my master is considered a crime Then all nights that lovers share should be outlawed] --Rahbani Bros. 

أعطني الناي وغنِّ وانس داء ودواء
إنما الناس سطورٌ كُتبت لكن بماء جبران خليل جبران-- 
[Give me the reed and sing instead, forgetting illnesses and cures For mortals are but mere lines that have been etched in water] --Kahlil Gibran 

يوم الك ويوم عليك دير بالك فتح عينيك 
[One day is yours, another is not; be aware and keep your eyes open] --Popular Arabic Saying 

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away". 

 في عالَم بالحب طيور وعالَم مثل الصيّادي من أغنية طير صغير لوليد توفيق --
 [In Love, there are two kinds of people: those who are like birds and those who are like hunters]
كُلّ مَن سارَ عَلی الدّربِ وَصَل
 [He who who persists and weathers the storms will eventually arrive] 

"For it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." --Alfred Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam A.H.H., 1849 

فرخ البط عوام 
[The son of a duck is a natural floater] --Arabic Proverb 

Time is very slow for those who wait, Very fast for those who are scared, Very long for those who lament, Very short for those who celebrate, But for those who love, Time is eternity. --William Shakespeare 

قالولي السعاده حالة واشتري أواعيك من الباله وقالولي السفر هماله والجنس لعبة سفاله متواسي هاني--
“بكوب الشراب المرصع باللازورد.... انتظرها على بركة الماء حول المساء وعطر الكولونيا.... انتظرها بصبر الحصان المعدّ لمنحدرات الجبال.... انتظرها بذوق الأمير البديع الرفيع..... انتظرها بسبع وسائد محشوة بالسحاب..... انتظرها بنار البخور النسائي ملئ المكان.... انتظرها برائحة الصندل الذكرية حول ظهور الخيول..... انتظرها ولا تتعجل،فإن أقبلت بعد موعدها فانتظرها وان أقبلت قبل موعدها فانتظرها وان أقبلت عند موعدها فانتظرها ولا تُجفِل الطير فوق جدائلها وانتظرها لتجلس مرتاحة كالحديقة في أوج زينتها.... وانتظرها لكي تتنفس هذا الهواء الغريب على قلبها.... وانتظرها لترفع عن ساقها ثوبها غيمة غيمة.....و انتظرها وخذها إلى شرفة لترى قمرا غارقا في الحليب وانتظرها وقدم لها الماء قبل النبيذ ولا تتطلع إلى توأمي حجل نائمين على صدرها وانتظرها ومُس على مهل يدها عندما تضع الكأس فوق الرخام كأنك تحمل عنها الندى وانتظرها تحدث إليها كما يتحدث نايٌ إلى وترٍ خائف في الكمان كأنكما شاهدان على ما يُعِد غد لكما وانتظرها إلى أن يقول لك الليل لم يبقى غيركما في الوجود، فخذها إلى موتك المشتهى وانتظرها” ― محمود درويش 

قلبي على ولدي وقلب ولدي على الحجر --Popular Arabic Saying 

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” ― Barack Obama

أعذر من أنذر Forewarned is forearmed

أعط كل ذي حق حقه Give the devil his due

إذا ابتليتم فاستتروا Don't wash your dirty linen in public

الطيور على أشكالها تقع Birds of a feather flock together

إن تذكر الشيطان يحضر فورا Talk of the devil and he'll appear

الأفعال أبلغ من الأقوال Actions speak louder than words

الأقربون أولى بالمعروف Charity begins at home

االإتحاد قوة Union is strength

الجمال جمال النفس Beauty is skin deep

الجوع كافر A hungry man is an angry man

الحب أعمى Love is blind

الصبر مفتاح الفرج Patience is a remedy for every grief

الصديق وقت الضيق A friend in need is a friend indeed

الضرورة تبيح المحظورات Make a virtue of necessity

العين بالعين والسن بالسن An eye for an eye

الغاية تبرر الوسيلة The end justifies the means

رضا الناس غاية لا تُدرَك  (ألشافعي)  There no pleasing some people

ضَحِكْتُ فقالوا ألا تحتشم -- بَكَيْتُ فقالوا ألا تبتسم!
بسمتُ فقالوا يُرائي بها -- عبستُ فقالوا بدا ما كتم!
صَمَتُّ فقالوا كليل اللسان -- نطقتُ فقالوا كثير الكَلِم!
حَلِمتُ فقالوا صنيع الجبان -- ولو كان مقتدراً لانتقم!
بسلتُ فقالوا لطيشٍ به -- وما كان مجترئاً لو حكم!
يقولون شَذَّ إذا قلتُ لا -- وإمَّعةً حين وافقتهم!
فأيقنت أني مهما أردت -- رضا الناس لابد من أن أُذَم!
When I laughed, they said "aren't you embarrassed?"
So I cried, and they said "why can't you smile?"
So I smiled, and they said "he is full of himself!"
So I frowned, and they said "what a negative person you are"
So I just kept quiet, and they said "he can't even talk"
So I spoke, and they said "he talks too much"
I let things go, so they said "he is just a coward
incapable of avenging himself or others"
So I mustered up my courage and they said "he is too boisterous
and would not make a good leader were he to rule"
If I say "no" they say "he is strange"
Yet when I go with the flow, they call me "idiot"
One thing is certain, no matter what I do,
People will always find something to criticize
(There's no pleasing some people).

Friday, March 25, 2016

Arabology 10.1 Podcast Features Various Musical Genres

Arabology kicked off its tenth season on March 23, 2016 with a special show that featured various genres in indie Arabic music from electronic, hip hop, and dub to jazz, ballads, remixes, and instrumentals.

Arabology is a radio program that is hosted by Dr. Ramzi Salti, Lecturer at Stanford University, showcasing music and other cultural productions from the Arab world. 'Arabology' airs on KZSU 90.1 FM and previous podcasts are available at this link.

Playlist for Arabology 23 March 2016 DJ: Ramzi S.
1. Soapkills (Rawi Mossa)/Galbi/Rawi Mossa Remix/Zeid Hamdan
2. Fairuz/ Akher Ayyam (Weela Remix/ Weela Rahbani/Weela
3. Zebda The Spy from Cairo/ Taksim Square/ Arabadub/ Wonderwheel Recordings
4. Apo and the Apostles/ Lina/ Under the Zeitun Tree/ Chimichanga Records
5. Janan/ La7za/ Single/ Janan
6. Zaid Bawab ft Jeena Haddadin/ Habib El Rouh/ Single/Bawab and Gus Kahn
7. Badiaa Bouhrizi (Neyssatou)/ Interlude/ NA
8. Didi and the Jempress/ Feen Nelqak/ Diapazone/ Idris Nadi
9. 3xoj (Othmane Jmad)/ Lawrence of Arabia (ft Asmahan)/ Diapazone/ Othman Jmad
10. Zaou (Maher Zaouali)/ Ya Msafir Wahdak Remix/NA
11. City of Djinn/ Insan Haywan/ Ether and Red Sulphur/ Somnimage
12. AlBsmeh Al3rbieh/ Malleyt/ Single/NA
13. Alhajez (Ahmed Hegazi)/Bayan/ Single/Rahal Beats
14. Naima Shalhoub/ Qaddouka Al Mayyas/ Live in SF County Jail/ Naima Shalhoub
15. Tarabband/ Misteniyak/ Ashofak Baden/ Kap Syd
16. Yarub Smarait/ Balad Al Mahboub / Ya Salam/ Yarub Smeirat
17. Mohamed Najem/ Hal Asmar El Loun/ Floor No 4/ DARNA
18. Tarek Yamani/ Ah Ya Zein (Afro Dabke Style)/ Lisan Al Tarab: Jazz Conceptions in Classical Arabic/ Edict Records
19. Ibrahim Maalouf/ Alf leila wa Leila / Kalhoum/M'ister Productions
20. Rahim Alhaj/ The Loving Mother/ Infinite Hope/UP Music

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Arab Film Festival Joins Arab Cinema Center at the Berlinale

The Arab Cinema Center (ACC) has revealed its list of partners and sponsors during Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) (11-21 February), the festival that witnessed the Center’s launch back in 2015. As part of a new strategy targeting more than 20 international festivals and film markets, the ACC opened the year with a strong participation at 45th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR).

Arab Cinema Center (ACC) is operating as an international promotional platform for Arab cinema as it provides Arab filmmakers with a professional window to connect with filmmakers from all over the world through a number of events that it organizes and provides networking opportunities with representatives of companies and institutions specialized in co-production and international distribution, among others.

The Center’s activities vary between Film Market main wings, introduction sessions for Arab and foreign filmmakers, welcome parties, meetings with international organizations and festivals, in addition to releasing an ACC guide to be distributed among the Film Market visitors.

Encompassing 26 organizations and companies, the ACC list of partners include: Arab Cinema in Sweden- ACIS (Sweden), Arab Film Festival (USA), Arab Radio and Television Network-ART (Saudi Arabia), Birth Mark Films (Egypt), Crystal Dog (Egypt and UAE), Fortress Film Clinic (UAE), iProductions (Egypt), MAD Solutions (Egypt and UAE), Malmo Arab Film Festival-MAFF (Sweden), Odeh Films (Palestine), Minaa (Jordan), MoviePigs (USA), Red Star (UK), Robert Bosch Stiftung (Germany), Royal Film Commission (Jordan), S Entertainment (Egypt), Salam PROD (Tunisia), Screen Institute Beirut-SIB (Lebanon), Seat 26 (Lebanon), Support Arab Cinema (UAE), Tharwa Productions (UAE), The Friends (Egypt), The Imaginarium Films (Jordan), The Producers (Egypt), The Zayed University Middle East Film Festival-ZUMEFF (UAE), and TV.AE (UAE).

Previously, the ACC revealed its year-round partnership with Variety magazine as the Center’s media partner; in addition to a digital partnership with Festival Scope and a technology sponsorship with Striim.in to promote the ACC’s events in 2016.

During Berlinale, Variety magazine will offer its Best Arab Filmmaker of 2015 Award under the umbrella of the Center. The Center will also launch a magazine listing the partners, festivals and film markets hosting it this year and will also highlight the latest updates in the Arab film market.

Arab Cinema Center (ACC) opened the year with intensive activities at 45th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), Netherlands, which ended on February 8th 2016. As part of the new strategy in 2016, Arab Cinema Center will take part in more than 20 international festivals and film markets, including Hong Kong International Film & TV Market (FILMART) (14-17 March). More details about festivals and film markets where ACC will be present will be revealed on a later date.

source: iloubnan.info

Friday, March 11, 2016

Arabology Interviews El Morabba3

Arabology is proud to feature a new interview with the Jordanian post-rock indie group El Morabba3 (Muhammad Abdullah, Odai Shawagfeh, Dirar Shawagfeh) to coincide with the release of their second album "Taraf El Khayt" on April 2,2016.

The interview was recorded on March 9, 2016; and aired on KZSU 90.1 FM (San Francisco Bay Area). You can listen below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/elmorabba3

In 2008, songwriter/bassist/vocalist Muhammad Abdullah (a.k.a Abdullah) decided to form a group. As he looked for other band members, he met Dirar Shawagfeh, who has been described by recommenders as "a drummer that is just different". After 3 sessions, a roommate of a friend of Abdullah, guitarist/producer Hamza Arnaout from the band Autostrad recommended inviting Dirar's brother Odai Shawagfeh for a jam, which at the time was not of an interest because the yet-to-be formed band was not looking to add a guitarist to the band, but Arnaout said "If you are not looking to add a guitarist then invite Odai anyway", which provoked their curiosity. The meeting happened, a bassist/songwriter with smooth yet edgy voice and dreamy lyrics, and the Shawagfeh brothers, a drummer with very creative grooves and a guitarist/producer who makes the guitar say something new every time, and fills the space with his minimal style and layers of keys/Synth sounds.

"El Morabba3 to us is the window in which we see things we want to express...being from a region that had seen a lot and still does every day. This window serves as our escape and our return all together" - El Morabba3

تتألف فرقة المربّع من محمّد عبد الله، بصوته و كلماته الناقدة، و عدي شواقفة، الذي يخلق الأصوات البعيدة و القريبة التي تملأ الفراغ بين الكلمات، و ضرار شواقفة، بإيقاعاته التي تحمل الكلمات و الألحان و الأصوات و تضيف لحنا ايقاعيا عليها.

المربّع هو نافذة نرى من خلالها أشياء نريد التعبير عنها..يمكنكم التخيّل ماذا نرى في هذا الجزء من العالم.."

El Morabba3 (ft El Far3i): 'Ya Zein': https://youtu.be/BHMrZjgI4H0

El Morabba3: El Mokhtalifeen: https://youtu.be/fTfTx12CtE4

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...