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

Thursday, December 8, 2016

New Article about 'Arabology' in 'Palo Alto Weekly'

Read article at http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2016/12/07/the-ambassador-of-arabology

Many thanks to Karla Kane and The Palo Alto Weekly for publishing such an in-depth article about my Arabology radio show in this week's issue (online + print)

You can read the article at http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2016/12/07/the-ambassador-of-arabology

Interview focuses on groundbreaking Arab msuicians and media personalities whose work has been highlighted on the show, from Mashrou' Leila's Hamed Sinno to Tunisian singer/songwriter Emel Mathlouthi, to the 'Egyptian Jon Stewart' Bassem Youssef to...Olivia Newton-John!

Read full article at http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2016/12/07/the-ambassador-of-arabology

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."






Saturday, November 26, 2016

New Arabology 10.6 Podcast Now Available



The latest Arabology podcast (aired Nov 25, 2016) is now available below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology106



This new episode, hosted in English by Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti,  featured an amazing array of groundbreaking Arab musicians singing everything from ballads to Hip Hop to Electronia.

Playlist for Arabology 10.6 (25 November 2016) DJ: Ramzi S.
1. Murder Dance Machine/Levant Disco Song/ Maxi 45 Music & Records
2. Keybe, Duo Zone+ & Usif / Atini El nai (Zone+ Version)/Souq Records
3. Alaa Wardi /Yawrood/ Madinat Al Salah
4. Rami Mishriky/ Eternel la perfection/ Single
5. Labess/ Au bord de l'eau / Tout Va Bien/ Autoproduction
6. Rebal Alkhodari/ 3ajaban li-ghazalan/ Al-Tawshih Al Hadith
7. Mohamed Mansour/ Hoboot fel Daght (Pressure Drop)/Single
8. Lena Chamamyan/ Kissat Ishq/ Lawnan
9. Tania Saleh + Hazem Shaheen/ Eini Fi Einek/ Live at Al Genaina Theatre
10. Al Sayyed Darwish/ Rad al Shaab/ Single/ Hani Sawah
11. Raskalb/ Yamma/ The Music of Macbeth - Leila & Ben/ Basti Jawhar
12. Emsallam Hdaib/ Safaleh/ The Last Step/ Emsallam Hdaib
13. Abdel Gadir Salim/ Bassama Bissarma/ Boiling Point/ World Circuit
14. Dhafer Youssef/ La priere de l'absent/ Electric Soufi/Enja
15. Abdullah Miniawy/ Tofy Bey/ Daraje
16. Hawas ft Shirin Abdo/ Your Eyes/ Zay El Shita (Like Winter)
17. Adan Wakeem/ Bent El 48/ Single/ Philip Halloun
18. Omar Kamal/ Mawtini/ Single/ Omar Kamal
19. Sting/ Inshallah/ 57th and 9th/ A&M
To hear or download the podcast please go to https://soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology106 or listen below:



Rania Kurdi Releases Hilarious New Song + Video Clip

Rania Kurdi in 'Weslat' video clip

Rania Kurdi aka the Arab Tracey Ullman has just released a new song and video that humorously deal with so-called celebrities and superficiality in the media. Titled 'Weslat' [Message Received], the video features Jordanian rap artist Amer Al-Taher and is brilliantly directed by Zaid Bawab. It showcases Rania in playing different characters doing what she does best--satirically commenting on so called celebrities who are more concerned with image than content.

You can watch the video below or at https://youtu.be/81LSOsP3GJs


For more about Rania Kurdi see https://www.facebook.com/RaniaKurdiOfficial


Friday, November 25, 2016

Arabology Interviews Dancing Legend Pierre Dulaine ft His New Book

https://soundcloud.com/arabology/pierredulaine2016

Listen to Arabology's NEW radio interview with legendary ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/pierredulaine2016


This NEW radio interview with legendary ballroom dancing champion Pierre Dulaine showcases his new book "Take the Lead" in which he recounts his life--from his birth in Jaffa (يافا) in 1944 to a Palestinian mother and Irish father, to his childhood in Jordan, to his Dancing Classrooms Global Initiative, to his films (Dancing in Jaffa and Take the Lead starring Antonio Banderas), to his judging experience on the Arabic version of So You Think You Can Dance - يلّا نرقص and Dancing with the Stars - رقص النجوم ).

In this interview, Pierre Dulaine also reveals intimate details about his personal life for the first time as he broaches topics ranging from identity politics to sexual orientation.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Arabology Interviews "The Arab Sinatra" Omar Kamal

https://soundcloud.com/arabology/omarkamal
Arabology's interview with Omar Kamal aka "The Arab Sinatra" was recorded on November 18, 2016 at KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford University).  It includes a sample of Omar's English songs and such Arabic songs as 'Mawtini موطني'.

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



This interview coincides with the release of Omar Kamal's first single with Sony Music titled "Love Never Looked So Good"--a classic take on the Michael Jackson hit featuring the same guitarist that worked on Michael Jackson’s ‘Dangerous’ album (Tim Pierce). 



Omar also discussed his forthcoming album--produced by Dave Pierce and Bob Rock--which was mixed by 23-time Grammy award winner Al Schmitt of Capitol Studios in Hollywood.

Omar Kamal in Rome

Omar's single "Love Never Felt So Good" is accompanied by an elegant video clip which was filmed in Rome.  The video has already amassed over 74,000 views on YouTube.

You can watch the video below or at https://youtu.be/TzARLrJHkeM


My interview with Omar Kamal also featured some of his earlier English tracks, included this Sinatra cover which, sadly, will not be featured on his upcoming album.  

Omar Kamal | عمر كمال "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life
Listen below or at https://youtu.be/wSDg_x9XPGM



The interview, which was conducted in English and Arabic, also featured a selection of Omar's songs in Arabic.  Of those, we will highlight his critically acclaimed version of "Mawtini موطني " and his performance of Les Miserables in Arabic.  Both are featured below:

Omar Kamal | عمر كمال "Mawtini Outcry (صرخة موطني)" (https://youtu.be/vhKVX2qskAY)



Omar Kamal sings Les Miserables in Arabic البؤساء - عمر كمال (https://youtu.be/iRS8Xlyjyw8)


For more info about Omar Kamal:

Omar Kamal Website: omarkamalglobal.com
Omar Kamal's Vevo Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/omarkamalVEVO
Omar Kamal's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/omarkamalglobal
(c) Sony Music Entertainment Middle East


To listen to Arabology's radio interview with Omar Kamal, click below or go to https://soundcloud.com/arabology/omarkamal


Monday, November 7, 2016

Arabology Interviews Bassem Youssef

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

Dr. Ramzi Salti interviews satirist/columnist/TV Host Bassem Youssef, aka the Egyptian Jon Stewart, at Stanford University on Nov 7, 2016--one day before the elections.

In this interview, Bassem discussed his time in residency at Stanford; his TV show Al-Bernameg (a satirical news program which ran from 2011 to 2014); his current project titled 'The Democracy Handbook'; and his upcoming book and documentary.


PICTURES WITH BASSEM YOUSSEF AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY:

Bassem Youssef at KZSU 90.1 FM

Dr. Ramzi Salti (left) with Dr. Bassem Youssef (Nov 2016)

Stanford University 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Emel Mathlouthi Wows Stanford University

Emel Mathlouthi at Bing Concert Hall (Stanford) on Oct 5, 2016

Tunisian singer Emel Mathlouthi aka the Voice of the Tunisian Revolution, thrilled audiences at Stanford University when she came to the campus on Oct 5-6, 2016 where she conducted a lunch talk at the Markaz (moderated by Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti), an unforgettable concert at Bing Concert Hall, and a student matinee, also at the Bing, the following day. These events were made possible by Stanford Live, the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and the Institute for Diversity in the Arts as part of a series called Islamic Voices.

A strident songstress whose intensity is cloaked in mellifluous vocals, Emel Mathlouthi is also known for her role as a leading artist in the Arab Spring. Born in Tunis, she was shunned from her country's official airwaves but rose to prominence through social media. She released her first album, Kelmti Horra (my word is free) in 2012, garnering lavish praise from critics and fans for her powerful vocals laid over a unique mix of north african rythyms and modern electronic beats. Her 2015 was prolific, including work on a new album with producer Valgeir Siggurdson and culminating with her solo performance at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. Called one of the top fifteen acts of 2015 by popmatters, Emel Mathlouthi is a unique artist with a powerful message and a voice beyond comparison (source emelmathlouthi.com).

During her lunch talk at Stanford's Markaz Resource Center on Oct 5, Emel Mathlouthi conversed with Dr. Ramzi Salti about her music, career and thoughts on the Tunisian Revolution.  Below is a video containing highlights from that talk (link at https://youtu.be/vreomAqUIWc)



Emel Mathlouthi's major concert at Bing Concert Hall later that evening proved to be a huge success with the singer performing hits from her first CD Kelmti Horra and her upcoming CD Ensan (to be released in January 2017). The concert was preceded by a PRE-CONCERT TALK at 6:30 pm by Dr. Ramzi Salti, host of the Arabology radio show/podcast, and Professor Joel Beinin--both of whom set the stage in a discussion of the Tunisian Revolution, how it launched the Arab Spring, and how Mathlouthi's music became its soundtrack.

Here is a video of Dr. Ramzi Salti's portion of the intro at the Bing (7 minutes):
(link at https://youtu.be/5RI-sAhCKuE).



After the concert, Emel Mathlouthi met with scores of her fans backstage, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans who came from all over the San Francisco bay area to attend her show.


Emel Mathlouthi with Dr. Ramzi Salti (right) and her siblings Walid and Narjess

Ramzi Salti with Emel Mathlouthi
The day following the concert, Stanford Live opened their student matinee season with Emel Mathlouthi and a more intimate concert at the Bing Concert Hall. This event was open to all Bay Area K-12 schools and teachers and included a Q & A session that was moderated by Dr. Ramzi Salti.

Here are video highlights of  Dr. Ramzi Salti's intro/Q&A session for the Matinée Performance. (Link at https://youtu.be/yBO9urHw7_E).



You can also check Dr. Ramzi Salti's radio interview with Emel Mathlouthi, recorded prior to her arrival at Stanford, below or via this link: https://soundcloud.com/arabology/emelmathlouthi2016


Here is Emel's brand new song/video clip 'Ensen Dhaif' (Official Video) from her upcoming album.  Watch below or at https://youtu.be/TXv5ByGSsbA



Monday, September 26, 2016

Emel Mathlouthi in Concert at Stanford on Oct 5, 2016



Emel Mathlouthi aka the "voice of the Tunisian revolution" brings her songs to Bing Concert Hall at Stanford University on Wednesday Oct 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm. The concert is preceded by a talk by Dr. Ramzi Salti and Prof Joel Beinin at 6:30pm. Buy your tickets here and arrive at 6:30 pm to attend both the talk + concert.

PRE-CONCERT TALK: At 6:30 pm, ]قز Ramzi Salti, host of the podcast Arabology, and Professor Joel Beinin set the stage for Emel Mathlouthi by discussing the Tunisian Revolution, how it launched the Arab Spring, and how her music became its soundtrack.

Tunisian singer and activist Emel Mathlouthi earned the title "the voice of the Arab Spring" with her 2007 recording My Word Is Free  كلمتي حرة—and in the process became her country's Joan Baez (her role model).

"I see art as a very revolutionary way to change mentalities,” says the Tunisian-born Mathlouthi. This potent artist is a singer of compelling, confessional impact, whose music embraces suffering, love, and an ache for home. Though her roots are in folk music, her sound mingles rock, trip-hop, and electronica with Arabic undertones. Her songs of freedom and compassion also earned her a spotlight at the 22nd Annual Nobel Peace Prize Concert in 2015.

Emel Mathlouthi performing at 2015 Nobel Prize Ceremony: https://youtu.be/wJ79iEfus8E


Purchase your tickets for the pre-concert talk + Emel's Concert via this link: http://www.stanfordlivetickets.org/single/SYOS.aspx?p=6825





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.



Thursday, August 18, 2016

Jordanian Artist Sadouf Interviewed on Arabology (2016)

Here is my exclusive interview with Jordanian artist Sadouf, recorded in her studio in Amman, Jordan in July 2016:  Listen at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/sadouf2016 or watch the video at https://youtu.be/UusSbTLxK5o

https://soundcloud.com/arabology/sadouf2016

You can listen to the interview below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/sadouf2016


You can now watch a video, featuring photos, from this interview with Sadouf below or at https://youtu.be/UusSbTLxK5o



PICTURES IN SADOUF'S STUDIO:







You can contact Sadouf by email at sadouf_salem@yahoo.com

Sadouf's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/158661640821693/

Arabology Interviews Sadouf: https://soundcloud.com/arabology/sadouf2016


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


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Arabology 10.4 Podcast Spotlights Jordanian Musicians + Filmmakers

soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology104


Arabology 10.4 featured an amazing array of indie music from Jordan, along with exclusive interviews (mostly in English) with Jordanian musicians and Jordan-based filmmakers.
This episode was recorded in Amman, Jordan in July 2016 and aired in California on Thursday August 11, 2016.


Listen below or at soundcloud.com/arabology/arabology104



Playlist for Arabology 10.4 Thursday, 11 August 2016 11am - 2pm DJ: Dr. Ramzi Salti

1. Tareq Al Nasser (RUM Band)/ Ya Rouh/ Urdun
2. Natalie Saman/ Habbaytik Ana Amman/ Habbaytak Ya Urdun
3. Jadal/ Itha Ihna Rohna/ Malyoun
4. Interview with Muhammad Abdullah of El Morabba3/ Part 1
5. El Morabba3/ Ilham/ Taraf El Khait/ Universal
6. Interview with Muhammad Abdullah of El Morabba3/ Part 2
7. El Morabba3/ Shiber Maii Taraf El Khait/ Universal
8. Interview with Yarub Smarait/ Part 1
9. Yarub Smarait/ Balad Al Mahboub/ Ya Salam
10. Interview with Yarub Smarait/ Part 2
11. Yarub Smarait/ Before Sunday/ Single
12. Interview with Rami Rais/ Part 1
13. Fawda (ft Rami Rais)/ 3ayadat/ Single
14. Interview with Rami Rais/ Part 2
15. Interview with Linda Hejazi (In Arabic)
16. Linda Hejazi 3ala Hatet Eidak Single
17. Interview with Mohammad Tahboub
18. Mohammad Tahboub/ Saga/ Single
19. Interview with Hana Malhas
20. Hana Malhas/ Just a Dream/ Hana Malhas & the Overthinkers
21. Interview with Zeina Barhoum
22. Zeina Barhoum/ Lamma Bada Yatathanna/ El Cantara
23. Interview with Anas Khalf, Director of Driving to Zigzig Land and The Translator
24. Interview with Zain Duraie, Director of Horizon
25. Interview with Muhammad Khairy, Director of #Hashtag (View film here)
26. Ayloul/ Yawm/ Ayloul
27. Interview with Bassil Ghandour, Co-Writer/Producer of Oscar Nominated Film Theeb/Part 1
28. Jerry Lane/ Theeb's Theme/ Theeb Movie Soundtrack
29. Interview with Bassil Ghandour, Co-Writer/Producer of Oscar Nominated Film Theeb/Part 2
30. Jerry Lane/ Chase/ Theeb Movie Soundtrack
31. Interview with Faisal Attrache + Deema Dabis, Directors of From the Mountain
32. Interview with Deema Dabis, Director of The Sri Lankan and Shake
33. Interview with Natalie Seman
34. Natalie Saman/ Habbaytak Ya Urdun/ Habbaytak Ya Urdun

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...