Showing posts with label Arab Americans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Arab Americans. Show all posts

Monday, May 11, 2020

Artist Talk at Stanford: Jordanian American Artist Ridikkuluz Re-imagines Cultural Icons from the Arab World

Video at https://youtu.be/WA5wTeaEaAs

Jordanian American artist Ridikkuluz recently wowed Stanford University by giving an impressive  audio visual talk (by Zoom) in which he focused on his Arabic iconography pieces--ranging from Fairuz and Umm Kulthum to the King and Queen of Jordan. The talk, which took place on April 27, 2020, was by special invitation from Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti and attracted a diverse, global audience including Stanford students, faculty, and artists in/from the Arab world who rallied together in support of the young artist whose groundbreaking work served as a way to connect communities by broaching issues related to Arab identity, Arab American art, gender, marginalization and postcoloniality.

The talk--which included a stunning PowerPoint presentation by the artist--was followed by a lively Q&A in English and/or Arabic.  Please note that the (edited) video from the talk below now includes English subtitles where needed and that NO STUDENTS APPEAR IN THIS VERSION.

For more on Ridikkuluz, see his website at ridikkuluz.com and/or follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

Watch the edited version of the talk below or at https://youtu.be/WA5wTeaEaAs


Although Ridikkuluz has amassed a diverse body of work through the years, this talked specifically focused on his "Arabic Iconography" oeuvre including his series on cultural icons and Western (mis)representations of the Other.  

Ridikkuluz with his piece titled "Stop Staring" ©Ridikkuluz

The King and Queen of Jordan ©Ridikkuluz

Ridikkuluz poses with his renowned piece featuring Arabic cultural icons
©Ridikkuluz 

ABOUT THE ARTIST (see https://ridikkuluz.com)

RIDIKKULUZ (ᴘʀᴏɴᴜɴᴄɪᴀᴛɪᴏɴ : “ridiculous”/ʀɨˈᴅɪᴋəʟəᴢ/ ʀɪ-ᴅɪᴋ-ə-ʟəᴢ) b. 1994 is a New York-based, Jordanian fine artist working in painting, sculpture and video. His work encompasses identity, duality and intense emotion all while bridging the gap between Western and Arab culture. Using a surrealistic context infused with an urban influence, his provocative portraiture projects the vulnerability of the artist’s insecurities. Through his artistry, he inverts the systemic equation of counterfeit-confidence and privilege amounting to success with transparent diligence and the beauty of weakness. RIDIKKULUZ attempts to build a space of simplicity where the complex cultural symbolism of his objects and figures can have the same weight of paintings that appeals to the upper echelon of society.The Rowaq al Balqa foundation in Jordan gave him an artistic premise early on; he furthered his studies abroad in France, Spain and Italy. RIDIKKULUZ’s work has since been featured in the music videos of Lupe Fiasco and Kiing Sky. In 2018, He was interviewed by Amman Radio for his depiction of the Royal King and Queen in Jordan. Press features include The Journal News, Aziz Art Magazine, the Daily 49er, Hors Centre: French Embassy & Queens College Newsletter and most recently in Arts Westchester Magazine. RIDIKKULUZ has exhibited in Westchester, New York City and Jordan.

ARTISTS WHO ATTENDED RIDIKKULUZ'S STANFORD TALK
Watch video at https://youtu.be/WA5wTeaEaAs

This Stanford talk by Ridikkuluz attracted a diverse global audience, ranging from such distinguished Stanford faculty members as Thouraya Boumehdi to such Arab artists as Sadouf, digital artist Tamer Al Ahmar (see Tamer Al Ahmar Art), Fares Rizk, and even a shoutout by Jordanian icon Rania Kurdi of The Rania Show).

FOR MORE ON RIDIKKULUZ:




Saturday, March 2, 2019

Arabology Interviews Arab American Poet/Stanford Student Maya Salameh

Listen to the interview at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/mayasalameh

Recorded in February 2019 at KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford University)

Stanford Lecturer + Arabology radio host Dr. Ramzi Salti interviews Arab American poet Maya Salameh, a full time student at Stanford, who recites her poem "My Other Mouth," forthcoming in The Greensboro Review.

Listen to the interview below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/mayasalameh



Read the poem below ©Maya Salameh ©The Greensboro Review

my other mouth //


if you ask me if I am fluent in Arabic / I will speak

of mispronunciation / I will tell you of the vast spaces / between

letters / I will tell you / my Arabic is words / wracked with labor

pains / village / in the pads of your feet / the roots of verbs / I conjugate

the hooked nose / the unruly hair / the holy in me /

if you ask me if I am fluent in Arabic / I will tell you / my Arabic / wonders how torture tastes on the tongue / I will tell you / I have known words like /

go & bitch & home & brown /

if you ask me I will tell you / my Arabic fell in love / with

a couple tongues / who never loved it back / my

Arabic / is a voice full of seashells / has birthed cities / men / empires / if you ask me / if I am fluent in Arabic / I will tell you about

gradations of skin color / I will say / I am more parts storm / than organs /

if you ask me I will tell you / I don’t know how to translate

purpose / from my mother tongue / but my Arabic

loves like mint / in stalks & leaves /

is a mouthful of holy water / the splintering of ships / the crucifix / on my grandfather’s wrist / if you ask me if I am fluent /

I will answer / I take my canines out

with my earrings every night / I inventory

my edible parts / I will answer / I am not a pretty girl /

if you ask me I will tell you / I am not a pretty girl /

but my Arabic is beautiful / I have caught glimpses / the rolled r’s running through

my wrists / the calligraphy of my coastline shoulders / the forgotten

syntax of my full lips / if you ask me if I am fluent

I will tell you / I am a poet / & a poet /

owes a language her tongue / hands / toes /

I will say / before its arrival / the world was prose /

if you ask me if I am fluent I will confess / my Arabic is

poetry / & in a certain quarter of the city / on such & street / I will be remembered / as the one whose stories ate her alive / whose poetry

gutted her / in slashes of five / seven / five /

I will remind you / I have always fallen in love

too easily / I will tell you / the only language I know /

is moments of misspeaking / I diplomat my teeth /

I constellation my stammer /

if you ask me if I am fluent / I will say / a language / is just

the stars / forgetting their grammar.

©Maya Salameh ©The Greensboro Review

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Arabology Interviews Rabih Alameddine


I am truly honored to share this interview with Lebanese American writer Rabih Alameddine which was recorded in a quaint San Francisco café along with my dynamic co-host Nadia Barhoum (whose thoughtful questions made for a spectacular interview).

Click below or on this link to listen or download: https://soundcloud.com/arabology/rabih



Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels Koolaids, and I, the Divine, The Hakawati, the story collection, The Perv, and most recently, An Unnecessary Woman. He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002 and was the 2014 California Book Awards Gold Medal Fiction winner and the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for his latest book, An Unnecessary Woman. For more info see http://rabihalameddine.com

Listen or download the interview at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/rabih

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Im Hussein: The Arab World's Version of 'Dame Edna'


Dame Edna (left) and Im Hussein (right)

Australia may have Dame Edna, a character created and performed by Australian dadaist performer and comedian Barry Humphries, but for the past quarter of a century the Arab world has laughed with their own version of the Dame--the hilarious Im Hussein, a character created by Najee Mondalek who performs the part, in drag, to thousands of Arab audiences worldwide.

Najee Mondalek is an Arab-American actor/comedian who is best known as his 'drag' personality, the hilarious Um Hussein. He is currently touring the USA with his latest show titled the “Im Hussein Jubilee Show” which celebrates 25 years of comedy staged by the Ajyal Theatrical Group, the first Arab-American theatrical group in North America.  For more info see http://www.imhussein.com/

Mondalek founded the AJYAL Theatrical Group in 1988 and continuously performs for Arab-American audiences in The United States, Canada, Australia and the Middle East. The everyday lives of Arab-Americans, including their their mistakes and mishaps, constitute the subject of the Ajyal Theatrical Group's shows.

Ajyal has been the one constant for Mondalek. He writes a new show nearly every year. In September 1994, his theatrical life underwent a transformation. The centerpiece of his creative life, Im Hussein has become his Dame Edna, starring in six hit comedic plays since "Smile You Are in America," a comedy about immigrants trying to adjust to their new country. The main character was an older woman named Im Hussein. Three days before the first performance the father of the actress playing Im Hussein died. Mondalek couldn't find anyone to replace her. Thinking about Robin Williams as Mrs. Doubtfire and Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie, Mondalek took the part himself.

Here is an interview with Najee Mondalek, followed by pictures from the Im Hussein Jubilee Show (in San Francisco) which took place at the Palace of Fine Arts on September 13, 2013.

Interview with Najee Mondalek who plays Im Hussein:

Interview with im hussein play actors and writer in Scottsdale, Arizona. from breekmedia on Vimeo.

Pictures from the  Im Hussein Jubilee Show in San Francisco on September 13, 2013:





With Najee Mondalek (3rd from left), the actor who plays Im Hussein

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Arab American Stories: New Documentary Series on PBS

Arab American Stories: New PBS Series in the USA
Description
ARAB AMERICAN STORIES is a 13-part series for Public Television that features stories of Arab Americans of all walks of life to put a human face on the Arab American experience. Hosted by NPR’s Neda Ulaby, each half hour episode centers on a particular theme and features three character-driven short documentaries which profile Arab Americans making an impact: in their community, their profession, their family or the world at large. 

Arab Americans have been immigrating to this country since the mid-19th century, they come from over 20 countries, practice many different faiths and live in all 50 States. While ARAB AMERICAN STORIES will not visit all 50 states, it will highlight the diversity of the Arab American experience in an attempt to educate, enlighten and entertain American audiences.

All the episodes can be watched online on YouTube at THIS LINK.  See below for the description of each episode and a link to view each episode.

PROMO (Full episodes below):

ALL EPISODES (Watch all episodes at THIS LINK):

Episode 1: Diane Rehm, Robby Ameen, Rabih Dow (Watch at http://youtu.be/4REsyQX5_34)

Episode 2: Omar Offendum, Frederique Boudouani, Aliya Suayah (http://youtu.be/XYekSbnTmG4)

Episode 3: Fahid Daoud, Nawal Motawi, Moose Scheib (Watch at http://youtu.be/q-Rb6MTPQF4)

Episode 4: Alicia Erian, Hugette Caland, Hassan Faraj (Watch at http://youtu.be/Rwtq1fBX3Nc)

Episode 5: Imad Mahawili, Amir Abo-Shaeer, Brian Leon Dewan (Watch http://youtu.be/kn8FrNK0EuE)

Episode 6: Abercias, Ali-El-Sayed, Kamal Al-Faqih (Watch at http://youtu.be/JQmZMiJPZQ0)

Episode 7:  Judy Habib, Maha Freij, Father Shalhoub (Watch at http://youtu.be/-Ttp2y6C5Cw)

Episode 8: Shora Bros, Mahmoud Traina, Mike Abdeen/Sherif Morsi  (http://youtu.be/YQ28qNdAlLs)

Episode 9: Hanan Al-Attar, Najla Said, Adnan Charara (Watch at http://youtu.be/rB1OcEz8CGA)

Episode 10: Yemeni organizers family, Ferial Masry, Dean Obeidallah (http://youtu.be/_QU7Fy8Okfg)

Episode 11: Rahim Al-Haj, Rami Kashou, Malika Zarra (Watch at http://youtu.be/GNnZxj867A8)

Episode 12: Linda Sarsour, Mother Mosque/Imam Taha Tawil, Zerhouni (http://youtu.be/YDxGK-ePnjs)

Episode 13 - Alia Shawkat, Mariem Masmoudi, Ace Montaser (Watch at http://youtu.be/igsQRNjLcMM)

FOR MORE INFO:


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Comedian Amer Zahr Wishes You a "Happy Ramadan"


Amer Zahr is one of the most popular Arab-American comedians around. He has traveled the world performing, and loves making people LAUGH!  He is also a writer and commentator. See his site and blog at http://www.amerzahr.com/

Amer Zahr's latest video is his rendition of a song he calls "We Wish You a Happy Ramadan." Here is his video clip:



Other hilarious videos by Amer Zahr in the past have included this "Dance Like an Arab" video:



For more on Amer Zahr see  http://www.amerzahr.com/
Amer Zahr's YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/remarhaz




Ramzi Salti's Arabology Radio Show Counts Down Top 20 Indie Arabic Songs of 2018

Listen to this episode at  https://soundcloud.com/arabology/top2018 The latest episode of the popular radio show Arabology , which air...