Showing posts with label Saudi Arabia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Saudi Arabia. Show all posts

Saturday, December 10, 2016

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

Listen at

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

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.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Arabology Interviews Interview Lena Zubaid, Creator of 'Open Your World' Documentary

Arabology recently interviewed Kuwaiti visual artist Lena Zubaid about her photography and her "Open Your World" documentary which is available for viewing at
Lena, a Masters student at San Jose State University, wrote, filmed, edited, directed, and produced this documentary about the experiences of Gulf Arab students in America. The film (available on YouTube) features interviews with six Kuwaitis and four Saudi Arabians who have had to confront certain stereotypes in the United States.

Lena Zubaid's film is available below or at

For more info about Lena Zubaid, see

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Roads of Arabia Exhibit at Asian Art Museum in SF (Oct 24-Jan 18)

The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco is bringing an exhibit titled "Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" to the bay area from October 24, 2014 to January 18, 2015

About Roads of Arabia (#RoadsofArabia)
Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the first major international exhibition of artworks and artifacts documenting the region’s early history. The museum serves as the only West Coast venue and final venue in its U.S. tour. The show features more than 200 artibfacts—some dating back one million years—tracing the impact of historic incense trade routes and pilgrimage roads. Objects in the exhibition, like colossal statues, Greco-Roman bronzes and pages from early Qur'ans, testify to a lively mercantile and cultural exchange among civilizations from antiquity through the early centuries of Islam. These and many other unique artworks provide a glimpse of the Arabian Peninsula’s fascinating history.

Roads of Arabia is organized by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution in association with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. ExxonMobil and Saudi Aramco are gratefully acknowledged as principal co-sponsors of the tour of Roads of Arabia in the United States. Sponsorship is also provided by The Olayan Group and Fluor Corporation. The Boeing Company, Khalid Al Turki Group, and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation SABIC granted additional support. Presentation at the Asian Art Museum is made possible with the generous support of Chevron Corporation, Saudi Aramco, The Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Fund for Excellence in Exhibitions and Presentations, ExxonMobil, and ATEL Capital Group. Media sponsors: ABC7, Examiner, KQED, San Francisco magazine. Artwork: Funerary mask, 1st century CE. Saudi Arabia; Thaj city, Tell al-Zayer site. Gold. Courtesy of National Museum of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, 2061.

For more info see
Or contact: Asian Art Museum, Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art & Culture, 200 Larkin Street, SF, CA 94102 phone 415.581.3500

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Abdulrahman Mohammed: Classical Poetry Revived through Song

'Ya Man Hawah' is a song that was recorded by a local Saudi rock band, Breaking the Boundaries, featuring an Arabic vocalist, Abdulrahman Muhammad, singing the lyrics which are taken from an old Arabic heritage poem by Said Ibn Ahmad Ibn Said.
من روائع الشعر التراثي -ابيات يا من هواه اعزه و اذلنيي كيف السبيل الى وصالك دلني- بأسلوب جديد

Video (


يا من هواهُ أعّزهُ وأذّلني
القصيدة الأصلية لـ: سعيد ابن احمد ابن سعيد
غناء: عبد الرحمن محمد

يا من هواهُ أعّزهُ وأذّلني
كيفَ السبيلُ إلى وصالك .. دُلني
أنتَ الذي حـَلّفتَني وحـَلفتَ لي
وحـَلفتَ أنك لا تخون .. فـخـُنتني
وحلفت أنك لا تميل مع الهوى
أين اليمين..؟ وأين ما عاهدتني..؟
تركتني حيران صباً هائماً
أرعى النجومَ وأنتَ في عيشٍ هني
لأقـُعدَنً على الطريق وأشتكي
وأقولُ مظلومٌ وأنت ظلمتني
ولأدعون عليك في غسق الدجى
يبليكَ ربي مثلما أبليتني

- Vocals - Abdulrahman Mohammed غناء والحان / الفنان عبدالحمن محمد
- Lead guitar- Dr. Mohab Omar عزف جيتار وتوزيع موسيقى/ د.مهاب عمر
- back vocals and bass guitar - Dr. Mohab omar
- Rhythm guitar - Dr. Moayad Al-Qurashi عزف جيتار/ د.مؤيد القرشي
- Drums - Dr. Omar Raslan الايقاع / د.عمر رسلان

عبدالرحمن و مهاب.
Breaking the boundaries &abdulrahman
Recorded by: MR.Diyaa ahmed azzony @libra studio
Twitter : @BTBrockband

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Saudi Director Haifaa Al Mansour's Film 'Wadjda'

The film director who's not allowed to go to the movies -

By Catriona Davies, CNN

(CNN) -- Haifaa Al Mansour has just directed one of the first feature films ever to be made in Saudi Arabia. But she won't be able to watch it at her local theater, because cinemas are banned in the kingdom.

The film, called "Wadjda," after its protagonist, is billed as the first to be filmed entirely in Saudi Arabia with an all-Saudi cast. It is currently playing in movie theaters and festivals worldwide.  Here is the trailer:

Al Mansour, 39, worked for an oil company until the age of 30, when she decided to give up her job to pursue her passion.

"When I turned 30, I really wanted to have a voice," said Al Mansour. "People don't listen to women in Saudi, they just jump to the next man to speak. I loved films and just decided to become a filmmaker."

She studied film in Sydney, Australia, and has previously made three short films and a documentary. She is Saudi Arabia's first female film director, according to the production company.

The film, written and directed by Al Mansour, tells the story of an 11-year-old girl growing up in traditional society in the suburbs of Riyadh and desperate for a bicycle, which she's not allowed.

"I have a niece, she is very bright and always wanted to do things, but her family is traditional and as she grew older wanted her to stay at home like everyone else," said Al Mansour. "I based the story around her.

"Outdoor activities like riding a bicycle are not allowed for girls. It's not exactly against the law, but she would get into trouble."

Al Mansour hopes that Wadjda will help to change attitudes to both women and films in Saudi Arabia. "I hope it will inspire many girls in Saudi to become filmmakers," she said. "That makes me very proud.

"People have contacted me with death threats, but that doesn't matter to me. Everyone in the media business in Saudi receives death threats."

For full article see

Ramzi Salti's Talk: Healing through Lebanese Music (EPIC Fellows, Stanford Global Studies, September 2020)

Watch full talk at This audio-visual talk by Stanford Lecturer + Arabology program host Dr. Ramzi Salti was pre...