Showing posts with label Lebanon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lebanon. Show all posts

Friday, March 13, 2020

Stanford Commemorates the Life and Works of Lebanese Poet Jawdat Haydar

Some of the event attendees - Photo by Tadashi Moriguchi

A memorable event commemorating the life and works of Lebanese poet Jawdat Haydar took place at Stanford University on February 27, 2020 and included remarks and speeches by Dr. Khalid Obeid, Rima Makdisi, Dr. Alexander Key, Dr. Rula Yazigy, Dr. Ramzi Salti and Mr. Ed Shiner. 

The video segment below features Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti reading some of the Jawdat Haydar's own words (in Arabic) and reciting 3 of Haydar's poems (in English): "To A Friend" and "Lebanon" and "Mahatma Gandhi" (taken from the book 101 Selected Poems by Jawdat Haydar, Vantage Press, New York, 2006). This excerpt includes main video footage by Tadashi Moriguchi and close up video footage by Thoraya B. Edited by Ramzi Salti.  Watch below or at https://youtu.be/_FJ4y2q3fgI


Below are some photos from the event which was filmed in its entirety and and will be available soon elsewhere. 


Mr Ed Shiner
Dr. Ramzi Salti
Dr. Rula Yazigy
Dr. Khalid Obeid

Dr. Alexander Key

Below are some of poet Jawdat Haydar's works which were recited and read during the event:





Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Slides from Dr. Ramzi Salti's Talk about Lebanon at Stanford


Here are the video highlights + slides accompanying Dr. Ramzi Salti's talk about Lebanon which took place at the Markaz (Stanford University) on November 5, 2019 at 5:30pm.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Watch video highlights from this talk below or at https://youtu.be/R-0_JSc9gyc



SLIDES FROM TALK





PICS FROM EVENT:
  

Monday, December 10, 2018

Ramzi Salti Interviews Director Nadine Labaki + Khaled Mouzanar


I am proud to share my radio interviews with (1) Lebanese Director Nadine Labaki and (2) Producer/Musical Composer Khaled Mouzanar who composed the Capernaum كفر ناحوم soundtrack as well as the score for Labaki's previous films Caramel and Where Do We Go Now?




At the Arab Film Festival in San Francisco, November 2018

This interview was recorded in San Francisco on November 18, 2018 while Labaki and Mouzanar--who are married in real life--were promoting the film for Sony Pictures Classics. The film is set for its U.S. theatrical release on on December 14, 2018.

My interview with Nadine Labaki: https://soundcloud.com/arabology/nadinelabaki

My interview with Khaled Mouzanar at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/khaledmouzanar

This film has just been nominated for a Golden Globe award and has been selected as a candidate for the 2019 Oscar race. It also won the Prix du Jury at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival as well as "Best Foreign Language Film" at the 24th annual Critics' Choice Awards.

46634476_271092643483570_2654994425557549056_n.jpg

For more info about the film, see https://sonyclassics.com/capernaum/

To watch the movie trailer, see https://youtu.be/ULUo0048xZE



Short video of Nadine Labaki and Khaled Mouanar greeting Stanford students + Arabology listeners in Arabic: https://youtu.be/dttkISpBjWM



With thanks to Sony Pictures Classics, The Arab Film Festival and The Arab Film and Media Institute.

To listen/share my Arabology interviews and podcasts, please go to https://soundcloud.com/arabology

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Ramzi Salti Discusses Music of Arab Spring Using Zoom Video Communications

Watch at https://youtu.be/zNaTLgmmJ4s

On November 16, 2018, Stanford Lecturer + Arabology radio host Dr. Ramzi Salti discussed the music of the Arab Spring with a remote audience using Zoom Video Communications, a company operating from San Jose, California that provides remote conferencing services using cloud computing. 


You can watch the lecture below or at this link: https://youtu.be/zNaTLgmmJ4s



This lecture  was meant to along with this YouTube Playlist (or scan below to get to Playlist): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

Scan code above to go to Playlist

This lecture was presented to the fellows in the Stanford Global Studies Education Partnership for Internationalizing Curriculum (EPIC) program. More info below.

 Arab Spring Music: From Revolution to Revelation
An Audio Visual Lecture by Dr. Ramzi Salti (author30@gmail.com) 
Lecturer at Stanford University + Radio Host of ‘Arabology’ @KZSU 90.1 FM 

Dr. Salti's Arab Spring Music YouTube Playlist

1. Noor - Don't Wanna (Arab Spring / ربيع العرب)

2. El général, the voice of Tunisia, english subtitles

3. My word is Free ( كلمتي حرة ) , English Subtitled (Tunisian revolution)

4. Emel Mathlouthi - Kelmti Horra (Orchestral Version) (+English, French and Arabic Lyrics)

5. Revolutionary Art: Ramy Essam and The Protest of Tahrir Square

6. Ramy Essam at 60 Minutes - CBS News تعذيب رامى عصام 9 مارس

7. Music Amidst Revolution

8. Ramy Essam - Bread Freedom

9. Cairokee - Ethbat Makanak - (English subtitles)

10. Cairokee ft Aida El Ayouby Ya El Medan (English Subs)

11. Massar Egbari - Wana Kol Ma2ol | وأنا كل ماقول - مسار إجباري

12. Massar Egbari - E2ra El Khabar | مسار إجباري - اقرا الخبر

13. Massar Egbari - Read The News

14. Eskenderella Short Report

15. Eskenderella – Safha Gedeeda

16. Youssra El Hawary - El Soor

17. Ibn Thabit feat. MC Swat - Victory or Death (English Subtitles)

18. Ibn Thabit نداء لشباب ليبيا إبن ثابت

19. Khaled M ft Lowkey - Can't Take Our Freedom

20. Souad Massi - Raoui English translation

21. Souad Massi – Raoui (Live)

22. Rachid Taha - Ya rayah (English subtitles)

23. Amine AUB & Masta Flow - Kan Ya Ma Kan (Music Video) | أيوبي و ماسطا فلو - كان ياما كان

24. Mashrou Leila on Dateline: Rocking the Middle East

25. Mashrou' Leila - Ghadan Yawmon Afdal

26. Zeid and the Wings - GENERAL SULEIMAN

27. Zeid Hamdan and Maryam Saleh | Eslahat

28. Fareeq El Atrash - Lawein & Ba'ed Min Hon (Video Clip)

29. Tania Kassis - Islamo-Christian AVE (live at l'Olympia) | تانيا قسيس - الصلاة الإسلامية المسيحية

30. Tania Kassis - Watani (live from Sydney Opera House)

31. Tania Saleh - Omar & Ali عمروعلي LIVE

32. Tania Saleh – It’s Springtime

33. Hiba Tawaji - Al Rabih Al Arabi [Official Music Video] (2014

34. Tanjaret Daghet - Ta7t El Daghet / Under Pressure (Official Music Video)

35. Tanjaret Daghet Our Dream for Syria

36. Omar Offendum - #SYRIA

37. Malek Jandali - Watani Ana

38. DAM - Change Tomorrow with English Subtitle

39. DAM featuring AMAL MURKUS - If I Could Go Back In Time لو أرجع بالزمن

40. Rim Banna - The Absent One

41. JOWAN SAFADI – TO BE AN ARAB

42. JOWAN SAFADI & TAMER NAFAR - AWAL BAWAL

43. Revolution Makers - غزة افتحي قلبك - صناع الثورة

44. Basel Zayed - Gaza

45. Jadal - El Makina (Official Lyric Clip)

46. Yazan Al Rousan Feat. Hana Malhas - Trouh

47. Narcy featuring Shadia Mansour - "Hamdulillah" Official Music Video

48. SHADIA MANSOUR FT. OMAR OFFENDUM - لازم نتغير (We have to change)

49. 47SOUL - Mo Light (Official Video) | السبعة وأربعين - رفّ الطّير

50. Yasmine Hamdan – Balad

Friday, March 2, 2018

Tania Saleh Intersects Music, Art, and Poetry in New Arabology Interview

Listen at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/taniasaleh2018
My 60-minute Arabology interview with Lebanese singer/songwriter/artist Tania Saleh was initially intended to discuss the music on her new "Intersection" CD yet quickly expanded into a lively discussion of the singer's latest project where music, poetry and street art intersect to give birth to a totally unprecedented audio-visual work--one that merits time and explanation in order to be fully savored and appreciated. This project, coupled with Tania's poignant commentary about each track on the album, made for a rich, informative interview that could have easily transfixed any audience worldwide (listen below or at this link).



First, there are Tania's angelic vocals which, when combined with Tunisian Music Producer Khalil Judran's contemporary electronic sounds, give new life to poems by such acclaimed poets as Mahmoud Darwish, Khalil Gibran,  Nizar Qabbani, Nazik Al-Malaika, Bayram Al-Tunsi, Abdallah Al Bardawni, Joumana, Haddad, Bader Shaker Al-Sayyab, Salah Jahin,Younes El Ebn and Ahmad Fouad Najm.  This new approach not only payed homage to these great Arab poets but also made their work accessible to a whole new generation of listeners, both in and out of the Arab world, whose sole musical connections to these poems had been relegated to singers from their parents' generation.  Case in point is Tania's musical interpretation of Gibran's "There Is No Justice in the Forest  ليس في الغابات عدل"-- a mesmerizing track that seems reminiscent of Fairuz when she so gloriously set Gibran's poetry to music back in the 1970's.

Second, this is perhaps the first time in the history of contemporary Arabic music that an entire CD has been so eloquently accompanied by a documentary that seeks to link each song with a work of art or, in this case, with murals that were painted by Tania Saleh herself on the walls of various cities around the world. That intercession between Tania's artwork and songs has been brilliantly documented in Tania Saleh "Intersection - تقاطع": The Film, a 15-minute audio-visual feast (with English subtitles) that was brilliantly directed by Elie Fahed and released on YouTube to coincide with the launch of the CD (watch below or at https://youtu.be/jH0NSa6Vu4c).


Third, Tania Saleh's "Intersection" also functions as a much needed socio-political commentary on the state of the Arab world at various historical junctures--a fact that is evidenced through the thoughtful and well researched commentary she shared with us during our recent Arabology interview. Tania is not shy about critiquing an Arab world that is suffering from endless wars and internal conflicts but through it all, she still manages to find some kind of unity in the music that she has sought to create since the 1990s--tracks that express the pain she feels for the region with a sense of optimism that is consistently found within her lyrics.

Fourth, it seems quite crucial to note the tragic absence of companies and individuals in the Arab world who could or would have ever released a musical project of such high caliber. As Tania puts in our interview, "this musical project would not have seen the light were it not for Erik Hillestad, the Kirkelig Kulturverksted label, and the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs."  To all those, we owe a note of thanks, coupled with a call to various venues worldwide--and especially in the US--to invite singers such as Tania Saleh to come and share their work with us, for it is perhaps in the global intersection of music and art that we can finally aspire to a richer, more tolerant world.
يسرّني أن أدعوكم للاستماع الى حواري الاذاعي مع تانيا صالح الذي يدور حول البومها الجديد «تقاطع» وهو مشروع فني يجمع بين الغناء والريشة وأشعار #جبران_خليل_جبران #نازك_الملائكة #نزار_قباني #صلاح_جاهين #محمود_درويش #بدر_شاكر_السياب #عبدالله_البردوني #جمانة_حداد #أحمد_فؤاد_نجم #يونس_الابن #بيرم_التونسي
:يمكنكم الاستماع الى المقابلة بأكملها عبر الرابط التالي

Friday, April 21, 2017

April 2017 Arabology Podcast ft Groundbreaking Arabic Music + More

https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology111

Arabology is back with a new show that aired on KZSU 90.1 FM in April 2017.  Podcast is now available at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology111

Hosted by Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti, this episode featured groundbreaking music from the Arab world  + interviews with this year's winners of the Techwadi/RiseUp Summit.

Listen below or at THIS LINK.




Saturday, December 10, 2016

Year-End Arabology Podcast Ft Top 20 Alternative/Indie Arabic Songs of 2016

Listen at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/topsongs2016

Arabology has just spotlighted the Top 20 indie/alternative Arabic Songs of 2016 during a special year-end episode which aired on KZSU 90.1 FM on Dec 10, 2016.  You can hear the podcast below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/topsongs2016



Presented with commentary in English by Stanford Lecturer + Radio Host Dr. Ramzi Salti, the show featured an amazing array of independent Arab musicians coming from Iraq, Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria--including several Arab musicians living in Sweden, France, Israel, Canada and the USA.

Out of the Top 20 Arabic songs, 7 were by female vocalists, 7 by male musicians, and 6 by groups/bands. The list also featured 2 live tracks and one duet in Arabic + Spanish.

This year's "Top 20" list boasted musicians that sing in a variety of musical genres--from Jazz and Hip Hop to Rock and Ballads, to a hybrid variety that fuses Western and Eastern beats in surprisingly creative ways.

Listen to the podcast to discover new trends and talent that defined the alternative/indie Arabic music scene in 2016--and be prepared to be awestruck by the impressive amount musical productions that have been coming out of a region where music is all too often dismissed or ignored in the West.






https://soundcloud.com/arabology/topsongs2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Arabology Interviews Sandra Arslanian of Sandmoon

https://soundcloud.com/arabology/sandmoon

Check out my new radio interview with Sandra Arslanian of Sandmoon which was recorded earlier this month via Skype.  Segment includes  2 tracks by Sandmoon: "Home" and "Time Has Yet to Come."



In this interview, Sandra Arslanian about her album 'Home,' about fleeing her native Lebanon, and about being part of the country’s diverse music scene.

Sandra Arslanian was born at the beginning of the Lebanese Civil War in the 1970’s. Her family fled and resettled in Belgium, where she grew up, went to school, earned a degree in Communications and started working. 

Upon returning to Beirut, Sandra launched a musical project which developed into the band Sandmoon, recorded three albums, played the local circuit and some major festivals, and produced several striking videos: www.youtube.com/user/Sandmoonmusic.

sandmoon - Things (Official): https://youtu.be/pv5qrp2kwro

sandmoon - Time Has Yet To Come (Official): https://youtu.be/ymO65jzq0UQ


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Arabology Interviews May Nasr + Lourdes Perez ft New Arabic-Spanish CD

Listen at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/writteninwater
Interview recorded in May 2016.
Arabology interviews 2 remarkable singer-songwriters who are considered musical icons and voices for peace in different worlds, oceans apart: May Nasr, from Lebanon; Lourdes Perez, from Puerto Rico. This interview includes excerpts from their new Arabic-Spanish duet CD 'Written in Water.'



Download 10-track CD at www.cdbaby.com/cd/lourdesperez1
More about May Nasr: www.facebook.com/May-Nasr-31304165110
More about Lourdes Perez: lourdesperez.com/
More about 'Written in Water' CD: THIS LINK.

Song Excerpts are from 'Written in Water' CD by May Nasr + Lourdes Perez:
1. Caminare (I Will Walk)
2. Te Llamo/Ounadikum (2 different excerpts)
3. Escrito en Agua/Written in Water
4. Mediterraneo
3. Najwa's House/Baytik Ya Najwa
4. Rompe la Ola/Break the Wave
5. Sal y Azucar/Melh w Sukkar
6. The Road/Al Tariq

Monday, May 16, 2016

5/13 Arabology Podcast Ft Indie English Songs from Lebanon

Listen at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology102

The May 13, 2016 Arabology Podcast highlights the rise of indie music, in English, by musicians in/from Lebanon.  The vast amount of musical talent is reflected throughout the show, from groundbreaking early groups like Soapkills, to current musicians like Aufgang and the Wanton Bishops, to singers who usually sing in Arabic but have occasionally recorded tracks, both originals and remakes, of the classics.

This show was co-hosted by Junior Daou, Founder of the Wickerpark Festival which plays a very unique role in the dynamics of alternative culture in Lebanon.  Junior brings listeners an encyclopedic knowledge of indie Lebanese music who in English and offers a unique commentary on musicians and songs that have played at Wickerpark.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology102



PLAYLIST FOR ARABOLOGY 10.2 (May 13, 2016)

SoapkillsCheat on MeBater
Soapkills
SoapkillsCoit MeBater
Soapkills
Zeid And The WingsGeneral SuleimanRadio Beirut
Galileo Music Communication Gmbh / Ioda
Zeid and the WingsOceanZeid and the Wings
Zeid Hamdan

Sae Lis'The Way You Treat MeThe Quest
Sae Lis
Doors to AspirationRunning Free in LebanonSingle
Faris, Mike & Nader
Grace DeebCalling YouGhannali el Aalam Kello
Rotana
Saleh, TaniaSlow DownWehde
Forward Music

Scrambled EggsLet It GoPeace is underrated and war misunderstood
Scrambled Eggs
Incompetents, TheIt Could Happen to YouOf Minor Differences...And Narcisism
Tunefork

Charlie RayneCascadesWider Water
Charlie Rayne
Wanton Bishops, TheSleep with the Lights OnSleep with the Lights On
Wanton Bishops

GurumiranDreamerAberrance
GuruMiran
PostcardsWallsWhat Lies So Still (EP)
Postcards

SafarOverlove23 Kilograms (EP)
Safar
Who Killed Bruce LeePut it in a bag (album version)Who Killed Bruce Lee
Who Killed Bruce Lee

AufgangSummer (Album Version)Summer
Blue Note/Universal (France)
Wake IslandYour DoctrineUse It As A Weapon/ Uncomfortable B Sides
Wake Island

Kassis, TaniaOne Last DanceOriental Colors
Magnum Records International
Mike MassyNature BoySingle
Falak

Gary Tannus NassifNeverthelessSing, Romance Man, Sing
CD Baby

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

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Arabology Interviews Legendary Lebanese American Entertainer Gary Tannus Nassif



Interview with legendary Lebanese American singer, author, artist and inspirational speaker Gary Tannus Nassif whose musical career has taken him from Hollywood to Las Vegas, enabling him to befriend and collaborate with such classic stars as Donna Reed, Esther Williams, Danny Thomas, Doris Day, Cesar Romero and many more. In his book "Stop Crying and Listen to the Music" Gary writes about his stuttering problem (which plagued him throughout his childhood) and the way he overcame that disability despite his Lebanese father's strict and abusive reaction to that condition. This interview ends with a song by Gary from his CD "Sing, Romance Man, Sing" in which he is accompanied by Frank Sinatra's pianist Vinnie Falcone.

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


For more info about Gary Tannus Nassif, see http://www.garytannusnassif.com/

To purchase Gary's book and CD:

Xlibris Online bookstore :Click here to purchase

Amazon : Click here to purchase

Barnes & Noble : Click here to purchase

For CD purchase thru Amazon : Click here to purchase CD




Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ramzi Salti Interviewed on CHOU Radio 1450 AM

https://soundcloud.com/arabology/1450am


Arabology
radio host and Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti was recently interviewed by Maya Waked for her Lebanese radio show which airs on CHOU 1450 AM in Canada. Listen to an excerpt below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/1450am



Thursday, February 12, 2015

Arabology Podcast Available (Feb 10, 2015)



Arabology 9.5 aired on Feb 10, 2015.  Show spotlighted and discussed the Lebanese indie/alternative music scene + interview with Nicolas Chalhoub whose CD is currently topping the Virgin Megastore charts in Beirut.

Listen below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology95




Sunday, February 16, 2014

'One Lebanon' Concert and Project Promote Unity in Lebanon



ONE LEBANON is an apolitical cultural movement gathering people who believe in the importance of unity. Its proclaimed mission is to positively influence the collective attitude of today’s Lebanese by creating various cultural activities and exchange of experiences within an atmosphere of respect, reconciliation, peace and unity.

ONE LEBANON's concert, which took place on Feb 1, 2014, gathered more than 20 Lebanese celebrities from different artistic styles and backgrounds, sharing for the first time the same stage to spread One message with One voice: that of national belonging.  Artists included Aline Lahoud, Anthony Touma, Brigitte Yaghi, Carlos Azar, Elsy Ferneini, Fadi el Khatib, Georges Khabbaz, Hisham el Hage, Maguy Bou Ghosn, Marwan Khoury, Michel Abou Sleiman, Michel Fadel, Mike Massy, Nemr Abou Nassar, Nicolas Mouawad, Rahaf Abdallah, Tania Kassis, Tony Abou Jaoude and Zeina Daccache. With the participation of Mn el Ekher (rappers) & The Coolcumbers

Funds raised from the sales of tickets are channeled for the implementation of civic outreach programs in public and private schools as well as in other educational institutions.

Concert Highlights below or at http://youtu.be/cr5OFCglTsU



Watch this teaser from the concert below or at http://youtu.be/xKhbJw-BrNA



MESSAGES FROM PARTCIPATING ARTISTS at http://youtu.be/pshq-MaZUt8



MESSAGE FROM MIKE MASSY AT http://youtu.be/lbHhb8Adad0



MESSAGE FROM ALINE LAHOUD AT http://youtu.be/dm6xZL3RXnE



For more info:

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Nov 7 'Arabology' Podcast ft Interview with Wissam Yafi


The Nov 7, 2013 episode of Arabology featured a 2-part interview with Wissam Yafi who visited Stanford during the week of November 4th and gave various talks around campus.  Wissam Yafi is the Lebanese American founder of TidWit.com and an expert in Middle East politics, economics and technology policy. His field comparative study, conducted for Harvard University on the MENA region, received recognition at the Kennedy School of Government's Center for International Development. More recently, he has been running an E-learning organization helping governments, non-profits, and businesses around the world reach their audiences.

Here is a video clip from Wissam Yafi's talk at Stanford , followed by the podcast which includes the interview with Wissam Yafi as well as music by Mashrou' Leila, Rachid Taha, Egyptian Project, and Salamat singing the Nubian/Arabic version of 'La Bamba.'

Video clip Wissam Yafi at Stanford discussing Arab women's agency (http://youtu.be/iDd9jkFqwcw):




November 11, 2013 Arabology Podcast (https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology-s6-episode-6):





Thursday, May 17, 2012

Podcast from Episode 6 of 'Arabology' (aired May 17, 2012) Available at http://radio4all.net/index.php/program/60085

Arabology Season 2 Episode 6 Podacst a http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/60085 

    

The 6th Episode of the 2nd Season of 'Arabology' (aired May 17, 2012) was entirely devoted to showcasing the alternative/experimental music scene in Lebanon, including songs by Mashrou' Leila, Soapkills (ft Zeid Hamdan), Rayess Bek, Tania Saleh, Mike Massy, Ziyad Sahhab, Youmna Saba, Scrambled Eggs, Malikah, Adonis, Rima Khcheich, Darine Hamze, The New Government, Yasmine Hamdan and more.

Show also features interview with Nour Chammas, an Arab-American attorney and expert in Immigration Law and Civil Liberties who discusses issues related to Arab American civil rights in today's America as well as offers his perspective on Lebanese music and culture.



TO LISTEN: Click HERE

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lebanese Film Titled 'Beirut Hotel' Banned in Lebanon





Beirut Hotel, the third long feature film by Lebanese director Danielle Arbid, is a 2011 Lebanese film. It has just been banned in lebanon. The film premiered during the 2011 Locarno International Film Festival.
Plot

One evening, a married young singer Zoha meets the French lawyer Mathieu in a night club in Beirut. Mathieu will become suspected of spying, while Zoha is trying to flee from her husband. Despite these problems, the two will witness a love story for few days mixed with violence and fear.

Cast:
Darine Hamze as Zoha
Rodney El Haddad as Hicham
Charles Berling as Mathieu
Karl Sarafidis as Rabih
Fadi Abi Samra as Abbas


Nominations: Golden Leopard during the 2011 Locarno Film Festival

Here is a note from the Director about the ban:

I JUST BEEN NOTIFIED THAT MY LATEST FEATURE FILM BEIRUT HOTEL CANNOT BE SHOWN IN LEBANON ! ITS RELEASE IN BEIRUT, ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR 19 JANUARY 2012, HAS JUST BEEN CANCELLED. THE CENSORSHIP COMMITTEE ARGUED THAT : "THE FILM WOULD ENDANGER LEBANON’S SECURITY."
PLEASE SPREAD THE NEWS AND MOBILIZE AGAINST MIDDLE AGES CENSORSHIP. I NEED YOUR SUPPORT…

To support Director Danuielle Arbid go to this Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/STOP-Cultural-Terrorism-in-Lebanon/194147200632663

Here is an article from The Daily Star about the movie and its ban in Lebanon:

Welcome back to spy central

December 17, 2011
By Jim Quilty
The Daily Star

DUBAI: Beirut’s reputation as a hub of international intrigue – a place populated by crafty spies, brutal intelligence agents and hapless journalists – has had a strong echo in the film made in, and about, Lebanon.

These genre pictures reached their apogee after the outbreak of Lebanon’s 1975-1990 Civil War, which inspired a whole range of thrillers to place foreign agents within Beirut’s confusing conflict – a-la Tony Scott’s 2001 blockbuster “Spy Game.”

Yet filmmakers, some of them Lebanese, depicted Lebanon as spy central long before 1975. Witness Mohammad Salman’s “The Black Jaguar.” With its muscle cars, smart suits, swinging, sex-drenched lifestyle and Stratocaster-driven theme music, this 1965 Lebanese feature looks like a James Bond rip off. This all makes it both awful and awfully fun to watch.

Echoes of the 60s-era Beirut spy thriller are evident in “Beirut Hotel,” the 2011 feature by Lebanese writer-director Danielle Arbid, which just screened as part of the feature film competition of the Dubai International Film Festival.

The film centres on the story of Zoha (Darine Hamze) a torch-song singer who – backed by Marc Codsi and soundtrack composer Zeid Hamdan – performs reworked Arabic-language classics in one of Beirut’s 5-star hotels. She’s estranged from her thuggish husband Hicham (Rodney El Haddad) who cheated on her after a few years of marriage.

One evening Zoha encounters a mysterious Frenchman, Mathieu (Charles Berling). She is both attracted to Mathieu and repelled by him but, as you might expect, they end up in each other’s arms soon enough and – once it’s been established that he’s divorcing his wife – enjoy healthy sex.

It turns out Mathieu’s a lawyer who’s nowadays in the employ of a French oil company negotiating a contract in Syria. A couple of years before, he worked for the French government, to rescue the son of a diplomat who’d been arrested with a cache of heroin in hand.

This assignment drew him into the Lebanese demi-monde, assisted by Abbas (Fadi Abi Samra). A member of a large drug-smuggling family from Lebanon’s rural Bekaa, Abbas is comfortable navigating the marchlands between legality and illegality.

Abbas wants to renew his business relationship with Mathieu. He says he knows a guy who was the friend of the suicide bomber who assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. He wants to sell this information to the French government in return for a visa to France. He isn’t a traitor, he insists, but finds himself being threatened by unspecified seedy elements, who accuse him of being a spy for Israel.

Mathieu insists he has no intimate connections with French intelligence, but he does speak to someone at the French embassy on Abbas’ behalf.

In no time at all Mathieu is carrying a double tail – being followed both by Hicham and by a pair of harmless-looking guys who turn out to be agents of Lebanon’s security apparatus (at times they seem to be from General Security, at others the Internal Security Forces).

In an inspired comic moment, one of these fellows pulls out his pistol to save Zoha from a Lebanese jagal (Karim Saleh), as Lebanese rakes are called, then orders him to do up his shirt buttons for good measure.

From this point forward Mathieu and Zoha’s romance, the real center of the film, is thrown into uncertainty as he is at various stages threatened by Hicham, Lebanese security agents and Abbas himself.

A co-production of Lebanon’s Orjouane Productions and the Franco-German television network Arte, among others, “Beirut Hotel” had its world premiere in the competition of the Locarno Film Festival earlier this year.

There is a strong element of genre in “Beirut Hotel” and, on balance, it’s more gripping than boring. The film doesn’t simply reproduce the genre formula, however, but unhinges it even as it works within its conventions. There is some precedent for this in Arbid’s previous works.

“In the Battlefields,” her debut feature, tells a story from Lebanon’s testosterone-driven civil war from an adolescent female perspective. Similarly, “Beirut Hotel” can be read as a contemporary update of the political thriller.

Arbid’s new film is more interested in its self-possessed female lead than it is in manly spies. Indeed, the foreigner who’s accused of being a spy isn’t a spy at all. Instead, the film works with the tropes of spy movie and film noire to mythologize Lebanon’s contemporary political realities.

Arguably, it’s a mark of Arbid’s success that Lebanon’s censor last week decided to ban “Beirut Hotel,” whose theatrical release was scheduled for next month. Arte is slotted to air the film on January 20, 2012, with, by producer Sabine Sidawi’s estimates, an audience of some 1.5 million viewers.

Based on Sidawi’s press release, General Security’s censorship committee argued that “The film’s depiction of the political situation would endanger Lebanon’s security” and that all sequences mentioning the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri should be removed.

For the record, in a tweet dated “12/15/11 8:27 p.m,” MP Saad Hariri, the son of the assassinated former prime minister and the present leader of his Future Movement, wrote that “I have nothing to do with [“Beirut Hotel”] being censored, and I believe its a crime against freedom what they did.

In an interview after the film’s Middle East premiere, Arbid stresses that her film was neither documentary nor reportage and that, as such, it contains no revelatory information about Rafik Hariri’s assassination.

“I wanted to make a genre film,” she says, a film that works with Lebanese realities. “It’s a paranoid film, a film about suspense and betrayal.”

The writer-director says that Lebanon’s censor wanted to delete parts of her film, a demand that she resists as a matter of principle.

“I refuse to allow my film to be cut after shooting,” she says. “This idea, which has become normal in Lebanon, doesn’t exist elsewhere in the world. Either you rate the film [PG, R, PG-18, etc] or ... you ban it. You don’t cut it.

“They aren’t producers, the people in General Security. They don’t give us money [and so have no rights] to the final cut.”

Arbid’s previous work has also run into problems with the censor. While her 2004 feature film debut “In the Battlefields” was rated PG-18, authorities demanded she excise several parts of “A Lost Man” (2007), her second feature, which consequently has never had a theatrical release in Lebanon.

“They wanted to cut and I didn’t accept,” Arbid says. “‘Okay we’ll cut this and this and this,’ they said, ‘so it can be released.’ They wanted to cut the sex scenes. I didn’t do anything about ‘A Lost Man’ because there were a few scenes that were heavy for the Middle East. So I said to myself, ‘This is a moral battle.’

“But for ‘Beirut Hotel,’ this isn’t a moral battle. It’s a battle of principle. There is nothing offensive in it. We don’t accuse anybody [of anything]. We don’t insult anybody. We don’t work for anybody. We don’t speak about religion. There are a few sensual scenes. If they want to rate them, okay, rate them. But cutting? No.”

“It’s important to note that the film is programmed to be broadcast on Arte at 8.30 p.m.,” says Sidawi. “That’s prime time. If there’s something in it that’s shocking for viewers, they wouldn’t slot it at 8.30.”

“The film is going to be screened theatrically in ten other countries in Europe, Turkey and Latin America,” Arbid continues. “There is a Middle East distributor too, though we don’t yet know where it’ll be sold.”

“Ten times they asked [Arbid] to come back to speak about the film,” Sadawi says. “Several times they said, ‘This is a very dangerous film.’ They think it may push people to do something like 7 May [2008].”

“The problem is that they’re not realising the difference between a film and reality,” Arbid continues. ... None of them have studied art. I want to talk to people who know cinema. I don’t want to talk to a guy who says, ‘Ah you said something about Hariri!’ Yes let’s take any newspaper today and see how many times the word ‘Hariri’ comes up.

“They have the right in Lebanon to put you as a laboratory rat and to serve you their bull**it. Any guy can go on television and say ‘I hate the other guy’ or ‘You should hate your neighbour’ because he’s different, because he’s from another religion, because he’s from the 8 March or 14 March.

“The way they express their hatred of people, this is allowed. You, the Lebanese people, should accept what they say. We should hear them on television and on radio and read them and give them two hours of your life every day to their bull**it.

“But when you make something of it, when you use it as material for art, they go crazy. If you [reflect] what they say back upon them like a mirror, they say, ‘How can you do this? You’re just the subject. You have to shut up and listen to us.”

“The problem is that the whole of General Security, they know more than the director,” Sidawi says. “They are more intelligent, more artistic. This is why they help the director make a better movie ... They treat us like dogs.”

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Culture/Film/2011/Dec-17/157121-welcome-back-to-spy-central.ashx#ixzz1gkR4P8un




Monday, May 9, 2011

Tania Kassis and Orchestra Live in Concert on June 10TH (Beirut Music & Art Festival)


After the success of her latest concert, which was sold out in Lebanon, Tania Kassis has agreed to be a part of Beirut Music & Art Festival.  If you are/will be in Lebanon at that time, don't forget to buy your tickets now from Virgin Megastore to get good seats as they are expecting more than 2500 persons :)

Tania Kassis will be presenting a new World Music Fusion repertoire ranging from Jazz to Bossa Nova & Tango mixed to an Oriental flavour ;) 

Beirut Music & Art Festival includes great artists such as Marcel Khalife, Natasha Atlas, Roger Hodgson, Ilham Al Madfai, Goran Bregovic, ect...

Buy tickets by clicking here.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spontaneous Dance at Rafic Hariri Airport in Beirut, Lebanon (March 2011)

On March 4th, 2011, Beirut's Rafic Hariri airport came to life with employees and passengers of all ages spontaneously dancing to a mix of Lebanese folk & modern dance music!

Gotta love the Lebanese spirit!





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...