Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Syria. Show all posts

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Arabology Interviews Jordan-based Syrian Artist Rana Sunaij

https://soundcloud.com/arabology/ranasunaij
Recorded on August 13, 2018 in Amman, Jordan.  Listen to the interview below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/ranasunaij



Dr. Ramzi Salti interviews Jordan-based Syrian artist Rana Sunaij at her atelier in Amman, Jordan.



Born In Damascus, Rana Sunaij entered the world wide-eyed and surrounded by a big loving family that were all creative. After studying Literature at the University of Damascus, she left to California to follow her dream of studying art. However, after getting married to an Austrian diplomat, her path changed and took her to Cairo, Egypt where her “nomadic lifestyle” began. The Austrian artistic heritage of Klimt, Kokoshka and the Wiener Werkstätten had lasting effects on her. During a short yet intensive stay in Sri Lanka her work was lastingly influenced by the brightly colored tropical flowers and the paradise like landscapes of the land.

When, in 2006 she moved to Jordan, she instantly “fell in love” with the country and its people. The colors and the vibrancy of Middle Eastern culture left a lasting legacy on her artwork.
For samples of Rana Sunaij's work, see:

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

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Dancer Ahmad Joudeh: From Syria's Ruins to the Dutch National Ballet

Ahmad Joudeh: Dance or Die

Back in 2014, I had the chance to interview, by phone, a dancer named Ahmad Joudeh who was then living under the harshest of circumstances in Syria. At the time, he was cautiously thrilled to have the chance to participate in the Arabic version of So You Think You Can Dance where he did quite well (though he did not win). You can watch his audition below or at https://youtu.be/5acMbA0Mqx0



Ahmad was applauded by the judges on the show, particularly legendary dancer Pierre Dulaine who immediately believed in Ahmad's dream and the power of dance to heal. Ahmad recognized Mr. Dulaine's kindness and encouragement during my interview with him which aired on KZSU 90.1 FM in 2014. You can listen to that interview below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/ahmadjoudeh2



Judge Pierre Dulaine also spoke to me about Ahmad in a separate interview which you can hear below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/pierredulaine2#t=12:57



It was very difficult for Ahmad to return to Syria after having tasted success on Lebanese TV through SYTYCD.  He nevertheless did so and continued to dance despite the tragic circumstances he was witnessing on a daily basis.

Two years later, in 2016, Dutch TV came to Syria and were so touched by dancer Ahmad Joudeh's story that Reporter Roozbeh Kaboly started filming him around Damascus and even went with him to the ancient city of Palmyra where Ahmad Joudeh literally danced in the ruins. That TV report aired on Dutch TV in August 2016. You can watch it below or at https://youtu.be/vqJQOMZCiwY



That Dutch TV report resounded with Ted Brandsen, Director of the Dutch National Ballet.  Funds were then raised to bring Ahmad to the Netherlands, an effort that was spear headed by Nicolas Mansfield, Director of Nederlandse Reisopera.

Ahmad Joudeh (right) with Nicolas Mansfield in Amsterdam

Another TV report soon surfaced in 2-parts, documenting Ahmad Joudeh's journey with sensitivity and courge.

Here is Part 1 of the documentary which aired on Nieuwsuur (Dutch TV) in August 2016: https://youtu.be/vqJQOMZCiwY



An unexpected outcome resulted from that documentary when, 4 months later, Ahmad Joudeh arrived to Amsterdam--an event that was filmed in Part 2 of the documentary "Dance or Die" which, like Part 1, aired on Nieuwsuur (Dutch TV). You can watch that footage below or at https://youtu.be/FIk2vfl_Sz8



Shortly after his arrival to the Netherlands, Ahmad began dancing with the Dutch National Ballet.



"This coming Saturday Ahmad Joudeh will have his debut at the Dutch National Ballet in Amsterdam," wrote Nicolas Mansfield on December 6, 2016.  "His story must be a lesson to us all. That it is good to dream of better things. And that these dreams can become reality. And that through the pain and devastation of war the message of hope will triumph. Many of the so-called 'leaders' of our world are masters of deception, manipulation and injustice. Through his dance Ahmad shows us the real power of peace. In my book that makes him a true hero."






Monday, August 22, 2016

Arabology Interviews Olympic Refugee Swimmer Rami Anis


Listen to my interview with Syrian Olympic Swimmer Rami Anis who participated in this year's Olympics s part of the Refugee Olympic Team at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/ramianis

أدعوكم للاستماع الى المقابلة التي سجلتها مع السباح السوري ‫‏رامي أنيس‬ الذي شارك في الفريق الأولمبي للاجئين عبر الرابط التالي: https://soundcloud.com/arabology/ramianis



During this interview (conducted in Arabic with an English intro) Rami spoke of his journey to Turkey then, by dinghy with make shift tree branches for oars, to Greece and on to Belgium.



Rami also discusses his training as a swimmer, his experience at the Rio Olympics 2016, and his thoughts regarding the refugee crisis around the world.





Please check out and share my radio interview with this brave 25-year old Olympic swimmer who defied immeasurable odds to make it to the Rio Olympics 2016 as part of the Refugee Olympic Team: https://soundcloud.com/arabology/ramianis

Friday, August 19, 2016

Arabology 10.5 Podcast Spotlights Arabic Reggae, Hip Hop, Ballads, Electronica, Folk + Interviews

https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology105

Arabology 10.5 aired on August 18, 2016 and featured indie Arabic music by groundbreaking musicians from Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Kuwait, Sudan (Nubia), Morocco, Lebanon, Palestine/Israel--plus 2 tracks by Zebda the Spy from Cairo, including a special Fairuz remix.
Listen to the podcast below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology105



Show also included interview with Arab American author Frank Gelat, author of the bilingual Arabic/English book of proverbs The Forbidden Heights (order your copy at www.forbiddenheights.com/main/book-buy)

This podcast also featured an interview (ft musical excerpts) with Egyptian American Opera singer Ashraf Sewailam who spoke about Opera in the Arab world and beyond.

Playlist at THIS LINK.



Saturday, May 21, 2016

Interview with Rama Chakaki, Executive Director of TechWadi

Listen at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/ramachakaki
Recorded in May 2016.  
Arabology interview Rama Chakaki, Executive Director of TechWadi, who brings 23 years of technical and communications experience to her passion: investing in social enterprises, using technology for social development and nurturing future social entrepreneurs in the region. She setup Baraka Ventures in 2006 to invest in social and tech businesses. She established Baraka Advisers, a digital communications agency. She also established BarakaBits, the only media venture delivering exclusively good news, changing the narrative in the media to an intelligent, optimistic and empowering one. Rama holds a BS in Computer Engineering and a Master’s in Engineering Management from George Washington University. She’s a founding member of Arab Women in Computing and the first regional Women Angel investment Network.

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


More info about Rama at www.linkedin.com/in/rchakaki
More info about TechWadi at techwadi.org/

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Arab Western Film about Sultan Basha Al Atrash

Syrian-American Director Faisal Attrache is currently working on a new short film that deserves much attention and support. Titled 'From the Mountain' this Arab western short focuses on Sultan Basha Al Atrash's fight for freedom against colonial oppression. Read about it below and consider donating at THIS LINK.

For more info, see the film's Facebook Page and this YouTube video/promo: https://youtu.be/wn9_VNE_7As






Thursday, July 2, 2015

Malek Jandali Honored by The Carnegie Corporation of New York




Syiran-American pianist/composer Malek Jandali was honored today as a 2015 Great Immigrant - The Pride of America by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.  Established in 1911, the Carnegie Corporation of New York is honoring a distinguished group of accomplished immigrants who have helped advance and enlighten our society, culture, and economy. Both The New York Times and The Guardian will feature the 38 honorees and their accomplishments on Independence Day, July 4,2015.

The 2015 Great Immigrants come from more than 30 countries around the world and represent leadership in a wide range of professions. They include Nobel laureates Arieh Warshel and Thomas C. Südhof; Google Engineering Director Craig Nevill-Manning; Metropolitan Museum of Art Director Thomas Campbell; Atlanta Braves coach Eddie Pérez; Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin; Pulitzer Prize-winners Geraldine Brooks and Anne Telnaes; actress Sofía Vergara; singer Thalía and television game show host Alex Trebek.



Last month Malek Jandali released The Moonlight  طلع البدر, an original symphonic work for piano and orchestra recorded in Moscow with The Russian Philharmonic Orchestra. It is based on one of the oldest songs in Islamic culture, Tala Al Badru Alayna, dating back more than 1400 years. 

You can listen to this work below or at https://youtu.be/xPI-lf-oN8U

 

The Moonlight is now available on iTunes and CDBaby worldwide.



The Malek Jandali Trio performed in the UAE last month to sold out audiences in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Abu Dhabi Classic FM Radio featured Variations for Piano and Orchestra which is based on an ancient Syrian folk melody and is featured in the latest album Syrian Symphony.

Notes For My Homeland a short documentary film featured recently on National Geographic and premiered by the Newest Americans project at Rutgers University after the release of Syrian Symphony at Carnegie Hall.

BBC - NPR Music - VOA - NBC News - Al Arabiya TV - Fox News -
Al Jazeera - The Huffington Post - News 12 New Jersey - Al Hurra TV 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

San Francisco Premiere of "Intima" at Z Space




Intima is a fusion of visual art, dance, and music that investigates themes of self-discovery, conflict, loss and resolution. The cultural history of Syria, ranging from the Gilgamesh myth to the current, tragic war, inspired Tayeb Al-Hafez to bring these artists together.  This event is premiered on May 8 and 9 at Z Space in San Francisco.

Here is my interview with some members of the Intima Creative Team, recorded backstage after their SF premiere, featuring Tayeb Al-Hafez, Ilyas Iliya, Ali Kaaf, and Ashraf Kateb:



"Intima brings together artists with mutual respect and a shared vision.”
—Gregory Dawson, Choreographer

“Exploring the relationship between man, space, and death has always been a focus of my work. Intima enhances this exploration by incorporating the physical body at every step. Movement is an ever-present feature of the total performance, giving the visual display a unique dynamism.”
—Ali Kaaf, Visual Artist

“For me, Intima addressed many questions especially now as my native homeland of Syria struggles. Intima is now part of my creative arc, part of my humanity.”
—Ashraf Kateb, Music Director


Collage with Intima cast and crew



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Walk-Ins Welcome: Stories of Syrian Refugee Barbers


A documentary film and humanitarian project involving Syrian barbers now living in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan as refugees and their attempt to maintain normality in the midst of the Syrian crisis.

Here is a short video clip about this film (http://youtu.be/ziW9rX2Fbd4) followed by more info below:



Over the course of the last two years, the crisis in Syria has killed over 100,000 people and forced over 2 million people to flee their native land and seek refuge in neighboring countries. As these figures continue to multiply daily, we lose sight of individual suffering, instead absorbed by the sheer, and increasingly abstract, multitude of the crisis.

Walk-Ins Welcome aims to personalize the struggles of these refugees through a documentary focused on the barbers of the Zaatari camp. Shadowing them throughout their day, the film will create portraits not just of nameless refugees, but of individuals. A barber serves customers from all walks of life each day and has his pulse on the community. No matter how difficult the situation gets, a person will always be in need of a haircut. When his customers come for a shave or a haircut, they are engaging in an act of maintaining normality, when life is anything but normal.

This project is both a documentary film and a humanitarian project whose goals are not political. If you are interested in supporting this film, please visit their Indiegogo page: at http://igg.me/at/wiw or check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/walkinswelcomefilm

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Writer of 'Arab Labor' TV Series Sayed Kashua + More on 3/14 Arabology Podcast

The March 14 episode of 'Arabology' features an interview with Israeli-born Palestinian writer/journalist Sayed Kashua (who writes the TV series 'Arab Labor' (Hebrew: עבודה ערבית‎, Avoda Aravit; Arabic: شغل عَرَب) and a conversation with Syrian activist Tareq Samman who discusses the state of the Syrian revolution today. In addition, show includes a shout-out by two Arabology fans (Reda and Severin) and an array of great alternative/revolutionary songs from the region.

To Listen: https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology-s4-episode-8



Arabology S4 Episode 8 [Arabic Music + Sayed Kashua Interview] by arabology

Playlist for Arabology Thurs 14 March 2013 3-5pm DJ: Ramzi S. (Artist/Track /Album/Label)
1. Jerusalem In My Heart/ Koll Lil-Mli7ati Fi Al-Khimar Al-Aswadi/ Mo7it Al-Mo7it/ Constellation Records
2. Ramzi Aburedwan/ Rahil (Exile)/ Reflections Of Palestine/ Riverboat Records
3. Ahmad Al Khatib/ Exode II Canaan/ Sabil/ Institut Du Monde Arabe
*4. Interview with Moroccan fan of the show Reda Mouhid/ Arabology/ KZSU
5. Dam (ft Rachid Taha)/ Been Around The World/ Debke On The Moon/ Dam
**6. Interview with Sayed Kashua Part 1/ Arabology/ KZSU
7. Rim Banna/ My Heart Tells Me/ Revelation Of Ecstasy And Rebellion/ Kirkelig Kulturverksted
**8. Interview with Sayed Kashua Part 2/ Arabology/ KZSU
9. The Toure-Raichel Collective/ Al Houde Bakoi The Tel Aviv Session/ The Cumbancha
**10. Interview with Sayed Kashua Part 3/ Arabology/ KZSU
11. Dam/ Ngh'ayer Bukra/ Ihda'/ Redcircle Music
12. Emel Mathlouthi/ Kelmti Horra/ Rough Guide Arabic Revolution/ World Music Network
13. Jadal/ Ana Bakhaf Min El Commitment/ El Makina/ Mahmoud Radaideh
14. Donia Masoud/ Nena El Gnena / Mahatet Masr/ Donia Masoud
15. Ramy Essam/ Dabora W Short/ Rough Guide Arabic Revolution/ World Music Network
***16. Interview with Syrian activist Tareq Al-Samman/ Arabology/ KZSU
17. , Samih Shuqair/ Ya Haif/ Single/ Shuqair

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Gene Band Remakes Classic Song 'Ya Waladi'

On their 2008 self-titled CD, Syria's Gene Band remade an old classic made popular by Sheikh Emam about a tortured father speaking to his son.  Here is the band's version plus lyrics in Arabic and, finally, the original version by Sheikh Eman.

Gene Band: Ya Waldi http://youtu.be/sAO7e9nn6G8


لا تبكي يا ولدي فأحزان الصغر 

تمضي كالحلم مع الفجر 
و قريبا تكبر يا ولدي 
و تريد الدمع فلا يجري 
يا ولدي يا ولدي 
إن سهرت أمطار معنا 
أو غطى البرد شوارعنا 
فالدفء يعمّر أضلعنا 
ولهيب الأرض بنا يسري 
يا ولدي يا ولدي 
فإذا بحت لك أغنية 
أو أنّت قدم حافية 
فشموس رفاقك أتية 
و ستشرق بالغضب الفقر 
يا ولدي يا ولدي 
قد أرمى خلف الجدران 
و تحن لحبي و حناني 
فانظر في قلبك ستراني 
لن يقوى القيد على الفكر 
يا ولدي يا ولدي 
سأضمك و الصدر جريح و 
سأعشق القلب ذبيح 
مهما عصفت ضدي الريح 
لن أحني في يوم ظهري 
فإذا ما الدهر بنا دار 
و مضيت إلى حيث أوارى 
أكمل من بعدي المشوار 
لا تخلف ميعاد الفجر 
يا ولدييا ولدي 
لن يسقي دمع أشجارك 
لن تبني بالآه جدارك 
فاصرخ في الخوف إذا زارك 
لا تخشى النار من الجمر 
يا ولدي يا ولدي

Sheikh Emam: Ya Waldi الشيخ امام يا ولدي http://youtu.be/a8nkmpJ8cfY

If you liked Gene's version, then check out their CD (pictured below) or go to http://www.geneband.org/


Track List:
1. Ya Waladi ياولدي
2. Hona l Sham هنا الشام
3. DNA
4. Iza Feek Tsoo’ اذا فيك تسوؤ
5. Time وقت
6. Ala’ssifa (Ya Mahla l Fos’ha) (العاصفة(يامحلا الفسحة
7. Twattor A’li توتر عالي
8. Kawni B’eed كوني بعيد
9. Sarab سراب

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Double DVD Set Release of Arab Poet Adonis Reciting His Poetry




A double DVD set of Syrian poet Adonis titled 'Mounchidan' أدونيس منشداً has recently been released and is also available in audio format on Amazon, iTunes, etc.  This is a project that was overseen by the poet's daughter Ninar Esber and comes a few years after Esber's book titled Conversations avec Adonis mon père, [Conversations with Adonis, my Father] which was published by Editions du Seuil, Paris, in 2006.

Here is an exerpt from the double DVD set showing Adonis reciting his own poetry:



To order the DVD set go yo http://eka3.bigcartel.com/product/adonis-ninar-esber-mounchidan-2dvd

Adonis or Adunis (Arabic: أدونيس), is a Syrian poet, essayist, and translator who was born on January 1, 1930. His real name is Ali Ahmad Said Esber (Arabic: علي أحمد سعيد إسبر‎; transliterated: alî ahmadi sa'îdi asbar or Ali Ahmad Sa'id).  He has written more than twenty books and volumes of poetry in the Arabic language as well as translated several works from French.

Quote about Adonis by his daughter, artist Ninar Esber:
"My work as an artist has always driven me towards themes that are related to performance. For this project (which requires personal involvement on my part), I had the idea of filming Adonis as he recites his poetry. My ambition was to produce a filmed document of Adonis’s recited poetry, which would serve, by way of this privileged example, as a celebration of Arab poetry’s oral dimension.

When Adonis recites his poetry, he provides it with a bodily dimension. His voice, filled with emotions, is at the service of the language, and brings forth its musicality, as well as its warm and sensual tones. It is a tribute to the voice, to the music of the Arabic language, to a tradition that is still very much alive.

This piece disposes of one type of frame, one type of shot, and one type of lighting. The date references before each poem remind the viewer of the performative aspect of this project. Without music and without illustration, the setting is treated minimally (black background), which goes hand in hand with my preferred way of treating the image. For me, it is simply a matter of bringing the voice and the Arabic language to the forefront.

This project forms the logical conclusion to a book of interviews that I conducted with my father (Conversations avec Adonis, mon père), which was published by Editions du Seuil, Paris, in 2006.

Unlike the book, which found me on my father's own territory (language, writing, literature, the text, the book, etc.), this project consists of a genuine meeting between our respective worlds, the artistic universe and the poetic/literary universe."

--Ninar Esber 2011

To order the DVD set go yo http://eka3.bigcartel.com/product/adonis-ninar-esber-mounchidan-2dvd

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lesbian Blogger in Syria Goes Missing

The Syrian lesbian journalist whose blog has made her an unlikely hero of the Syrian uprising has reportedly been arrested.

According to new posts that appeared today on her blog "A Gay Girl In Damascus," the current whereabouts of regular author Amina Abdullah are unknown.
A writer identifying themselves as Rania O. Ismail, Abdullah's cousin, writes the following on June 6th:

Dear friends of Amina,
I am Amina Abdallah Araf al Omari’s cousin and have the following information to share.
Earlier today, at approximately 6:00 pm Damascus time, Amina was walking in the area of the Abbasid bus station, near Fares al Khouri Street. She had gone to meet a person involved with the Local Coordinating Committee and was accompanied by a friend.
Amina told the friend that she would go ahead and they were separated.Amina had, apparently, identified the person she was to meet. However, while her companion was still close by, Amina was seized by three men in their early 20’s. According to the witness (who does not want her identity known), the men were armed. Amina hit one of them and told the friend to go find her father.
One of the men then put his hand over Amina’s mouth and they hustled her into a red Dacia Logan with a window sticker of Basel Assad. The witness did not get the tag number. She promptly went and found Amina’s father.
The men are assumed to be members of one of the security services or the Baath Party militia. Amina’s present location is unknown and it is unclear if she is in a jail or being held elsewhere in Damascus.
I have just spoken with her father who is trying to locate her. He has asked me to share this information with her contacts in the hope that someone may know her whereabouts and so that she might be shortly released.
If she is now in custody, he is not worried about being in hiding and says he will do anything he can to free her. If anyone knows anything as to her whereabouts, please contact Abdallah al Omari at his home or please email me, Rania Ismail, at onepathtogod at gmail dot com.
We are hoping she is simply in jail and nothing worse has happened to her.Amina had previously sent me several texts to post should something happen to her and we will wait until we have definite word before doing so.
Salamat,
Rania O. Ismail

Update on Amina

I have been on the telephone with both her parents and all that we can say right now is that she is missing. Her father is desperately trying to find out where she is and who has taken her.

Unfortunately, there are at least 18 different police formations in Syria as well as multiple different party militias and gangs. We do not know who took her so we do not know who to ask to get her back. It is possible that they are forcibly deporting her.

From other family members who have been imprisoned there, we believe that she is likely to be released fairly soon. If they wanted to kill her, they would have done so.

That is what we are all praying for.

I will post any updates as soon as I have them.
________________________________________________________________
To keep track of the latest developments, tune in to 


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...