Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Podcast from my latest KZSU radio guest spot available

If you missed my latest guest spot on KZSU 90.1 FM  you can now download/listen to the podcast (for free) at http://tinyurl.com/25boqsh

My Playlist:
FairuzRah Nebqa SawaMaarifti FeekEMI Arabia
Tamer HosniFairuz
Abeer NehmeShayif el Bahr
Tania KassisOunchoudat BayroutOriental ColorsMagnum Records
Adam NordénA PrayerZozo SoundtrackWarner Brothers Records
Tania SalehSlow Down
Zeid & The WingsCastles of SandZeid & The WingsLebanese Underground
FairuzUghniyat al WadaaKifak IntaEMI Arabia

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ramzi Salti Live on KZSU 90.1 FM on Monday October 4th at noon (PST)

Marhaba everyone!

My next radio guest spot on Stanford's KZSU 90.1 FM's "Lunch Special" Show is scheduled for Monday October 4th from Noon - 1 PM. It will air live on KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM and stream live at http://kzsulive.stanford.edu

This time around, I am planning a special tribute to Fairuz (who, at age 75, is releasing a brand new album) and I will be premiering brand new tracks from some of the Arab world's most promising new talents--from Tania Kassis (aka La Soprano du Liban) and Zeid Hamdan (former member of the ultra hip band Soapkills) to Egyptian superstar Tamer Hosny and Tania Saleh (whose vocals and musical arrangements have to be heard to be believed). These budding musicians will blow you away with the innovative, fresh and extremely addicting music that they have been releasing--songs that combine Eastern rhythms with Western influences and sung in both English and in Arabic.

If you would like to listen to some of my earlier podcasts on KZSU 90.1 FM's "Lunch Special" Show, then please feel free to check out the links below. While listening to these podcasts, you can also browse my playlists and read about current happenings on the Arabic alternative music scene.


Thanks for your support and for tuning in!

Ramzi Salti, Ph.D.
Stanford University

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fairuz Live in Concert at BIEL in October 2010

Legendary Lebanese singer Fairuz (also spelled Fairouz or Fayrouz) in Concert on 7 and 8 October 2010 at BIEL (Beirut International Exhibition & Leisure Center). Tickets will be available starting Saturday 18 September 2010 at Virgin Megastore Ticketing Box Office.

The tickets are selling fast, as reported in this report from Arabic TV which shows the fans who waited in line for hours--even days--to get tickets.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Duet by Amina and Hesham El Haj Pits Egypt against Lebanon

Egypt or Lebanon? Cairo or Beirut? Which location has contributed more to the world in terms of culture and history? In this duet, Egyptian singer Amina argues that Egypt, the Pharoahs, The Pyramids, Om Kulthum, and Abdel Halim Hafez prove that Cairo reigns supreme while Lebanese singer Hesham El Haj attempts to highlight Lebanon's culture and history by highlighting the Phoenicians, Baalbeck, and Fairuz's music. The result of this cultural standoff between Amina and Hesham? Watch the video clip to find out :)

NPR Article about Fairuz and the Royalty Dispute

Ian Black of the Guardian explains the dispute:
Many of Fairouz's works were co-written and composed by her late husband Assi al-Rahbani and his brother Mansour. When Mansour died, his children filed a suit against Fairouz, triggering a court order stopping her performing material that involved his contribution.
Mansour and Assi are popularly known as the Rahbani Brothers. Fairouz, which means "turquoise" in Arabic, is the stage name of Nihad Haddad. The 75 year old singer is an icon in the Arabic-speaking world, and as NPR's Jamie Tarabay pointed out in her50 Great Voices profile of the singer, Fairouz has fans around the world. Protests against the action taken by Mansour's children have popped up as far away as Australia, the Guardian says, and her cause has also been taken up by fans on Twitter.
In her profile, Tarabay writes:
The singer's career began as Lebanon gained independence, linking her inextricably to the country's history. During Lebanon's bloody civil war, when Beirut split in two in the 1970s, Fairuz refused to take sides. She decided not to perform in Lebanon at all, instead touring exclusively overseas. For Fairuz, music was her political activism, and the war-weary Lebanese clung to it. They latched on to one song in particular during this desperate time. It's called "Behebak Ya Libnan," or "I Love You, Lebanon," and it's still beloved in Lebanon today.
The video above shows Fairouz performing "Behebak Ya Libnan" at the Damascus International Festival in 1976. The credits hereindicate that the song was composed by the Rahbani Brothers, which would land it on the list of songs Fairouz isn't allowed to perform without permission from — and presumably remuneration for — Mansour's children. (Watch quickly. It stands to reason that they might be able to get it pulled from YouTube, as well.

Fairouz banned from performing--By Rachel McArthur


Fairouz banned from performing – ever

Is this the end of the Arabic music legend’s career?

The Arabic legend is a regular on Dubai’s concert scene. (SUPPLIED)
Fairouz has reportedly been banned from performing in Lebanon and abroad – leaving the Lebanese singer’s professional career in jeopardy.
However, the news has outraged the Arab entertainment world, with many publicly supporting the star in what they are calling an “unfair” decision.

According to numerous Arabic media reports, the world-renowned superstar has been prevented from performing thanks to a lawsuit filed by Osama and Marwan Rahbani – sons of the late composer Mansour Rahbani – who worked with Fairouz.
They claim that the singer owes the brothers – who are heirs to Mansour – royalties from previous performances of material owned by Mansour.

The legendary performer’s career kicked off in the 1950s, after she met Mansour and Assi Rahbani – AKA The Rahbani Brothers – who composed and wrote most of Fairouz’s songs.
The singer went on to marry Assi in 1955.

Assi passed away in 1986, whilst his brother died in January of last year.

Since the death of Mansour, Fairouz has apparently been involved in numerous financial problems with Osama and Marwan.

Meanwhile, a host of Arabic celebrities are scheduled to participate in a peaceful protest in Beirut in support of Fairouz July 26.
Some of the names mentioned in reports include Egyptian actress Elham Shaheen, and Arabic singer Tamer Hosney.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

News Report (in Arabic) about the various pro-Fairuz Protests

This news report, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV Channel, includes an interview with her daughter Reema Rahbany.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beirut's Jam Is Mashrou' Leila's 'Embembelela7' (NPR)


NPR (National Public Radio) web site features a great article on Mashrou3 Leila (Lebanon's hippest band) and other summer music from Beirut.


The Spin: Beirut's Jam Is Mashrou' Leila's 'Embembelela7'

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Queen Rania of Jordan Encourages You to twisit Jordan

8 Days left to submit your video!

Queen Rania of Jordan is offering this amazing opportunity to anyone who has not visited Jordan yet:

Win a trip 2 Jordan & Abroad

Message from Queen Rania:
Be part of Queen Rania's Tourist Swap: 2 people from Jordan will swap locations with 2 tourists for 1 week. How? Well, if you’ve never been to Jordan, we'll pay for you and a friend to come and visit the country. If you live in Jordan, we’ll swap you and a friend (temporarily!) with the other winners and take you on a tour of their country. It’s cross-cultural dialogue with air miles!

Huge Fairuz Protests in Beirut Today

Fairuz Protests


On the 26th of July 2010, Hundreds of Fairuz fans from around the world protested in front of the Lebanese National Museum in Beirut.

The Committee for commemoration of Fairuz and the Rahbani brothers, stood in solidarity with Fairuz, they had one message to say "No to preventingFairouz singing" .

Loudspeakers blared songs and excerpts of plays for Fairuz, in the presence of a number of artists such as Elham Shahin who flew from Cairo to take part in this protest. According to Shahin, Fairuz is one of the Legendary singers who gave a lot to the Arab world.

Other artists were present as well such as Julia BoutrosLiliane NemriRoula Hamadeh, Asaad Abou Khalil, Claudia Marchillian, Nidal Al AhmadiehRoula Saad and a lot of media presence, as well as local and foreign enthusiasts of Fairuz.

The demonstrators waved pictures of Fairuz in black and white, and distributed the statement to the participants explaining how the children and heirs of Mansour El Rahbani are restricting Fairuz, and accusing her of theft.

The dispute between Fairuz and the heirs of Mansour Rahbani began in 2008 when Mansour El Rahbani, alive at that time, sent warnings for Fairuz to stop the performance of the play (Sah El Nom) which was held in the Opera House in Damascus, Syria.

After the death of Mansour El Rahbani, on the 13th of Januray 2009, his children Ousamma Rahbani and Ghady Rahbani continued the fight against Fairuz, asking her to stop performing any of the Rahbani Brothers works without getting their permission and giving them a share in the profit.

The Ministry of Culture was also asked to act and do its duty to help Fairuz win this case.

The statement said: "We Lovers of Fairuz in Lebanon and the world are asking the Ministry of Education to respond to the request of Fayruz who is asking to have the Rahbani Brothers as a unique entity without distinction between them her husband Assi and his brother Mansour. "

The protesters also asked for Fairuz to come back soon on stage and give all the fans what they have longed for, a magical voice and a unique presence.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Banners in Support of Fairuz

These banners are but a few of the many samples that are being used at various rallies all over the Arab world in support of Fairuz and her right to perform her musicals without any legal obstacles.  This movement of support includes peaceful marches, get-togethers at various coffee houses to listen to Fairuz songs, and dozens of Facebook Pages in support of the legendary Lebanese singer.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tamer Hosni Releases Song in Support of Fairuz

Egyptian pop icon Tamer Hosni just released a new single titled "Fairuz" in support of the legendary Lebanese songstress who has recently been prohibited from performing her musicals by a court ruling that was brought about by the heirs of Mansour Rahbani, Fairuz's late brother-in-law, who co-wrote many of these musicals. Hosni's song is being played on Lebanese radio stations on an hourly basis.

Listen to Tamer Hosni's song by clicking on the arrow below then read along the hearfelt lyrics (in Arabic) or scroll down for a loose English translation.

مين عاش فى الدنيا دي إنسان.. محبش على صوت لبنان
صوت الحب صوت السلام.. يا حبيبتي يا صوت السلام
صوتك يا أغلى من الكنوز.. ياحبيبة قلبي يا فيروز
ما فينا نعيش بلا صوتك.. واسألي كده كل الأوطان

كلنا اتربينا على صوتك الحلو يا غالية..
واتعلمنا وغنينا من إحساسك يا مالية
علينا الدنيا بغناكي يا فيروز ده كلنا وياك.
 من مصر بقولك مقدرش أعيش
من غير صوتك يا حياتي

Has there ever been a human in this world
Who hasn't fallen in love to the Voice of Lebanon?
The Voice of Love, the Voice of Peace.
Your voice is more precious than any treasure
O Love of my heart, O Fairuz
We cannot live without your voice, as any country would testify

We were all raised with your sweet voice
We sang and learned through your emotions and lyrics
Your singing is worth the entire world O Fairuz
And we are all behind you all the way

From Egypt, I am telling you
That I can't live without your voice
For you are my very life

The Arab World Supports Fairuz


After long years of fame and many generations who grew on loving Fairouz worldwide, Fairouz the legend have been banned by the Rahbani brothers through a lawsuit from meeting up with her fans in Lebanon and abroad, Assi and Mansur left the talented Diva alone to face their gold digging sons.

Fairouz’s phenomenal voice amazed us over the years through her brilliant performances; she survived a hard life with her late husband even though he helped establish the legend Fairouz through his soft compositions and had the copyrights for the Rahbani Brothers. Rumor has it that he spent most of the money she earned in her glory years on gambling but her love for her made her forgive him and when he first got sick she sang for him in a concert ‘sa2aloni el nas’ which brought tears to the crowd. Now after many years of his death his family wants to still control her?

The stars and celebrities of the Arab world are holding a peaceful sit-in with Lady Fairouz to support her against the Rahbani brothers in Beirut on the twenty sixth of this month. Celebrities from all over the Arab world are expected to be part of it like the Egyptian actress Elham Shaheen who flew especially for the occasion from Egypt to Beirut.

Tamer Hosni the youth’s idol is supporting Fairouz in his own way, he composed, wrote and sang a song with the title of her name ‘Fairouz’ that is currently been broadcasted over most of the Lebanese radios, what a noble artist!

The Rahbni Brothers took Fairouz copyright over the years and they are still getting paid for any of Fairouz songs that are broadcasted all over the media. Haven’t they had enough all these past years? Can’t the most famous living Arabic singer work with someone else and enjoy the few years left in her life? Everyone deserved to retire at some point and our lady has had enough of the Rahbni Brothers and deservers the freedom to sing wherever and whenever she wants. Even though she might have signed contracts ages ago it’s time for The Rahbani Brothers to Respect her wish, after all she is an essential part of the family, it’s a shame that such issues have to reach courts.

Our love for the spark of the Lebanese national pride (Fairouz) makes us very upset to see her going through such a difficult time. We should all unite and protest against this.

What do you think about this scandal? Doesn’t Fairouz deserve her freedom?

“Ya maresal maraseel 3l day3a l areebi khdli bdarbak hal mandeel w ati la habibi”

Hope the message reaches to ‘habibtna’ Fairouz and she finds out how much we her fans support, appreciate and love her.

By guest writer Tam

Court Ruling Forbids Fairuz to Sing!

Court Ruling:

Fairuz Forbidden to Sing!


After pursuing their case in the courts for years, the heirs of the late Lebanese musician Mansour Rahbani have managed to obtain a court order prohibiting Fairuz from performing any of the songs from the approximately twenty-five musicals co-written by Rahbani.

Mansour Rahbani had composed (along with his brother Assi – the singer’s husband) most of Fairuz’s works, at the top of which are the musicals Did You Sleep Well?; Loulou; Season of Glory; and Long Live, Long Live.

The court’s decision has provoked the ire of the singer’s fans across the Arab world, thousands of whom have decided to stage a peaceful march on the 26th of July to express their rage at this attempt to silence Fairuz’s voice.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ramzi Salti on KZSU May 31, 2010

Dr. Ramzi Salti on KZSU (May 31, 2010)

In his third guest spot on KZSU FM, Dr. Salti discusses new contemporary and ultra hip music from the Arab world while playing the latest tunes for Western listeners.

Click on arrow below to hear the Podcast

Click on image above to enlarge

Dr. Ramzi Salti on KZSU (May 31, 2010)

Podcast also available at:

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

Watch full talk at https://youtu.be/LzAaUrZEq8k This audio-visual talk by Stanford Lecturer + Arabology program host Dr. Ramzi Salti was pre...