Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Arabology Interviews El Far3i (Tareq Abu Kwaik)

Here is my 2-part radio interview with Tareq Abu Kwaik (El Far31 الفرعي) who, with 47SOUL, will be performing at Slim's in San Francisco on March 13, 2019. Tickets at this link.

Listen to PART ONE below or at  https://soundcloud.com/arabology/elfar3i1

Listen to PART TWO below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/elfar3i2

El Far3i is a groundbreaking songwriter, percussionist and vocalist, currently based in Amman and London.  He is the Founder of an Arabic Folk and Acoustic Rap solo act (El Far3i) and Hip-Hop Mc Far3 El Madakhil.

These interviews were conducted at KZSU 90.1 FM by Stanford Lecturer Dr. Ramzi Salti, Host of the radio show "Arabology" which airs throughout the San Francisco bay area.  Previous episodes available at soundcloud.com/arabology

يمكنكم الآن الاستماع الى حواري الاذاعي مع طارق أبو كويك الماقب بالفرعي وهو يتحدث عن بداية رحلته في عالم الموسيقى لحين انضمامه الى فرقة السبعة وأربعين. تتكون هذه المقابلة من جزئين متوفرين عبر الرابطين التاليين:.
للاستماع الى الجزء الاول أنقر هنا

للاستماع الى الجزء الثاني أنقر هنا

Sunday, March 3, 2019

47Soul in Concert in San Francisco on March 13 (Promo ft El Far3i)

Don't miss 47Soul live in concert at Slim's in San Francisco on March 13, 2019 at 8 pm PST.  For info and tickets, please go to THIS LINK.

Here is an excerpt from my forthcoming Arabology interview with 47Soul band member Tareq Abu Kwaik (El Far3i) in which he discusses the group and promotes the upcoming concert at Slim's in San Francisco (listen below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/47soulsfpromo)

47SOUL is an Electro Arabic Dabke (Shamstep) band formed in Amman Jordan in 2013.

The current lineup includes: Z the People (vocals & synths) El Far3i (darbouka, Mc/Vocals) Walaa Sbeit (percussion, Mc/vocals) El Jehaz (guitar & vocals).

For tickets to the San Francisco concert on March 13, 2019 please go to:

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Arabology Interviews Arab American Poet/Stanford Student Maya Salameh

Listen to the interview at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/mayasalameh

Recorded in February 2019 at KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford University)

Stanford Lecturer + Arabology radio host Dr. Ramzi Salti interviews Arab American poet Maya Salameh, a full time student at Stanford, who recites her poem "My Other Mouth," forthcoming in The Greensboro Review.

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

Read the poem below ©Maya Salameh ©The Greensboro Review

my other mouth //

if you ask me if I am fluent in Arabic / I will speak

of mispronunciation / I will tell you of the vast spaces / between

letters / I will tell you / my Arabic is words / wracked with labor

pains / village / in the pads of your feet / the roots of verbs / I conjugate

the hooked nose / the unruly hair / the holy in me /

if you ask me if I am fluent in Arabic / I will tell you / my Arabic / wonders how torture tastes on the tongue / I will tell you / I have known words like /

go & bitch & home & brown /

if you ask me I will tell you / my Arabic fell in love / with

a couple tongues / who never loved it back / my

Arabic / is a voice full of seashells / has birthed cities / men / empires / if you ask me / if I am fluent in Arabic / I will tell you about

gradations of skin color / I will say / I am more parts storm / than organs /

if you ask me I will tell you / I don’t know how to translate

purpose / from my mother tongue / but my Arabic

loves like mint / in stalks & leaves /

is a mouthful of holy water / the splintering of ships / the crucifix / on my grandfather’s wrist / if you ask me if I am fluent /

I will answer / I take my canines out

with my earrings every night / I inventory

my edible parts / I will answer / I am not a pretty girl /

if you ask me I will tell you / I am not a pretty girl /

but my Arabic is beautiful / I have caught glimpses / the rolled r’s running through

my wrists / the calligraphy of my coastline shoulders / the forgotten

syntax of my full lips / if you ask me if I am fluent

I will tell you / I am a poet / & a poet /

owes a language her tongue / hands / toes /

I will say / before its arrival / the world was prose /

if you ask me if I am fluent I will confess / my Arabic is

poetry / & in a certain quarter of the city / on such & street / I will be remembered / as the one whose stories ate her alive / whose poetry

gutted her / in slashes of five / seven / five /

I will remind you / I have always fallen in love

too easily / I will tell you / the only language I know /

is moments of misspeaking / I diplomat my teeth /

I constellation my stammer /

if you ask me if I am fluent / I will say / a language / is just

the stars / forgetting their grammar.

©Maya Salameh ©The Greensboro Review

Arabology Interviews Syrian Poet Lubna Kayyali

 Listen to the interview at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/lubnakayyali

Stanford Lecturer+ Arabology radio show host Dr. Ramzi Salti interviews Syrian Poet Lubna Kayyali who recites her poem ما زلت لا أنجح [I Still Do Not Succeed] in Arabic + English Translation.
This interview was recorded at KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford University) in November 2018.
Listen to the interview below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/lubnakayyali

For a video excerpt of Lubna Kayyali reciting her poem in Arabic, watch below or go to: https://youtu.be/gTCvVikQDKE

Here is the poem in Arabic + English Translation ©Lubna Kayyali

I have been told
To reap the fruits, you must labor
To prove that the earth rotates,
You must subtract five from ten
and become a scientist
Your ethnic color will dim
And you will raise up your gender

I was told
To reign over the language
You must memorize its alphabet
And chant in rhymes
For only then would you attain civility
Your dialect will fade
And your star will shine bright

I was told
To understand, you must read
And to succeed, you must understand
So I labored, memorized, recited, read, understood
But I did not succeed
I dared to inquire: why?
They replied:
Your star is still dim
So I seized a golden thunderbolt and struck my star
It tilted, straightened, then shone bright
In the sky of defeated stars
But, still, I do not succeed
So, again, I asked: why?
They answered:
Your dialect is Aleppian and you exude Damascene jasmine and lilies
So, I stole a foreign tongue
Chewed on it for hours, days, and decades
But my mouth swelled and my ​Dadd* transformed to a broken, frail Ghain**
But, still, I am not succeeding
Perplexed, I asked: why?
They answered:
Your gender is feeble and contemptible
It was, after all, created from a rib
Doomed to live in life’s margins
With bread and meat at its very core
And countless children as its ultimate end
So I skinned my soft flesh
Replaced it with scales of steel
Ripped out my perfumed hair
And wore my grandfather’s ancient fez instead
I plucked out my rosy nails
And affixed, in their place, tyrannical claws
But, still, I was not succeeding…
Baffled, I asked: why?
They answered:
Your color remains Arabic
Its shadow is Syrian
And you are now in the land of Giants
They hate the Arab
And loathe the Syrian
So I scurried to the box of crayons
And painted myself in white, green, and blonde
I spoke and walked my colors
Until I mastered them
Until I forgot the land of my ancestors
Until I forgot my father’s Kufic​*** pen
Until I forgot my grandmother’s Rifa’i cuisine

Then they spoke to me again
But to whom were they speaking?
They said: you!
But who am I?
And I still do not succeed

*​Dadd (الضاد     ): a letter unique to the Arabic language.
** Ghain (الغين    ): a soft-sounding letter in

*** Kufic (كوفي    ): the oldest calligraphic form of the various Arabic scripts.

قد قیل لي
 إن اجتهدتِ حصدتِ
 إن طَرَحْتِ خمسة من عشرة أثَبتِ أن الأرض تدور
  وغدوت عالمة
 لونك یشُف وجِنْسكِ یرقى

  قد قیل لي
 إن حفظتِ الأبجدیة ونشدتِ القافیة تمَلَّكْتِ اللغة
 وأصبحت راقیة
 لهجتُكِ تبْهَت ونجمكِ یسطع

 قد قیل لي
  إن قرأت فهمت وإن فهمت نجحت
 فاجتهدت وحفظت ونشدت وقرأت وفهمت
  ولكنني لم أنجح
 استقصیت: لماذا؟
  مازال نجمك خافت
 فأخذت صاعقة ذهبیة وضربت نجمي
 فمال واعتدل وسطع في سماء النجوم الخاسرة
 ولكنني مازلت لا أنجح
 سألت: لماذا؟

 لهجتك حلبیة وریحك تفوح یاسمین دمشقي وریحانا
 فسرقت لسان أعجمي
 ولكْتُهُ ساعةً ویومًا وعقودا
 فتهیج فمي وتبدلت الضاد إلى غیْنْ لینة مكسورة
 ولكنني مازلت لا أنجح
 تعجبت: لماذا؟
 جنسك خسیس واهن
  قد خلق من ضلع مهشم
 وهاهو یعیش حیاة مهمشة
 محورها خبز ولحم ومآلها أطفال معددة
 فسلخت جلدي الناعم
 وركبت حراشف فولاذیة
 واقتلعت شعري المعطر
 وارتدیت طربوش جدي المعتق
 ونزعت أظافري الزهریة
 وثَّبتُ مخالب مُسَتِّبدة
 ولكنني مازلت لا أنجح
 ذهلت: لماذا؟
 مازال لونك عربي
وظله سوري
 وأنت على أرض العمالقة
 یكرهون العربي
 ویحتقرون السوري
  فهرعت إلى علبة الألوان
 وتلونت بالأخضر والأبیض والأشقر
  وأتقنت ألواني فنسیت أرض أجدادي
 ونسیت قلم أبي الكوفي
 ونسیت مطبخ جدتي الرفاعي
 ولم أعرف من یكلمون
 قالوا لي: أنت
 فقلت: ومن أنا؟
 ومازلت لا أنجح

 ©Lubna Kayyali

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

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Ramzi Salti Interviewed by Ahmed Tharwat

I was honored to be interviewed by Ahmed Tharwat for his show Bilahdan (AhmediaTV) which airs in Minnesota.

The interview centered on the way the music of the Arab Spring has continued to flourish--despite current realities--and to inform indie/alternative Arabic music today.  This segment showcased such musicians as El General, Emel Mathlouthi and Ramy Essam.

Watch below or at https://youtu.be/riClAt07044

For more info see THIS LINK

 Read more at this link (AhmediaTV)
Read more at this link

Stanford MENA Forum on March 9: Empower Change

For info + tickets go to https://www.stanfordmenaforum.com

On March 9, 2019 Stanford University will host its very first Middle East and North Africa Forum, ever!  The event is organized by Stanford GSB Middle East and North Africa Club +  The Arab Student Association at Stanford (ASAS).  Info and tickets at https://www.stanfordmenaforum.com

The event, which begins at 1 pm, will also feature a music talk by Stanford Lecturer + Arabology radio host Dr. Ramzi Salti at 5:30 pm.  That Cultural segment will also feature poetry readings and a musical performance by the Stanford Middle East Ensemble.

Stanford MENA Forum aims to educate 100 future business leaders about the region’s latest trends, opportunities, and challenges to inspire them to drive change and create local as well as global impact. The Forum will bring together leaders in entrepreneurship, investments, technology, and innovation and showcase the diverse and colorful culture that the MENA region has to offer.

Here are the Speakers who are scheduled between 1:30-5:30 pm.

The Cultural Segment begins at 5:30 and will feature the following:

5:35-5:45 pm: Dr. Ramzi Salti's Talk "Music as a Vehicle for Change"
5:45-6:00 pm: Poetry readings by Lubna Kayyali and Maya Salameh
6:00-7:00 pm: Dinner + Performance by the Stanford Middle East Ensemble


For info, schedule, tickets, go to https://www.stanfordmenaforum.com/

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Arabology Interviews Composer/Vocalist Basel Zayed (February 2019)

Listen at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/baselzayed
I am proud to share my latest radio interview with Composer/Vocalist/Oud Artist Basel Zayed in which he discusses his illustrious career + his new 'Ayn Trio' CD.  You can listen to the interview below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/baselzayed

This interview was conducted by Stanford Lecturer + radio host for his Arabology radio show which airs on KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford University).

Basel Zayed has been making music for over 15 years. He is best known for his distinctive vocal style, versatility, and original musical compositions that appeal to a wide audience. He draws on a distinguished tradition of political and social music, yet hits a unique note all of its own. More info at BaselZayed.com

This interview includes the following musical excerpts:
*1. At 5:17: Of Great Importance هام جدا from "Ayn Trio" CD (2018)
*2. At 10:11 I See in the Heavens أرى في السماء from "Ayn Trio" CD (2018)
*3. At 17:08 I've Known Love عرفت الهوى from "Ayn Trio" CD (2018)
*4. At 23:10 Joy فرح from "Ayn Trio" CD (2018)
*5. At 29:10 Sharek Dahab شعرك دهب from "Hada Leil" CD (2006)
*6. At 37:34 Doleh بكرا إعلان الدولة from "Adam" CD (2014)
*©℗ Basel Zayed

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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 airs from KZSU 90.1 FM (Stanford University) featured a countdown of the Top 20 indie/alternative Arabic Songs of 2018.  The program is hosted by Dr. Ramzi Salti, Lecturer at Stanford + KZSU radio host.

You can listen to the show below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/top2018

Here is a list of the Top 20 Songs starting with Number 1.  Each song is followed by info about each artist/song.  Please note that this list is followed by another list which showcases those amazing instrumentals that served to introduce some of the tracks during the show.

Massar Egbari| مسار اجباري - 
Nehayat El Hakawi  نهايات الحكاوي
El Album (2018)

Massar Egbari was founded in 2005 by 4 musicians: Ayman Massoud (Keyboards), Hani El Dakkak (Guitar & Lead Vocal), Ahmed Hafez (Bass guitar(, and Tamer Attallah (Drums).  Mahmoud Siam (Guitars) joined the band in 2008 .

نموذج من الكلمات
وساعات نهايات الحكاوي بتسيب معاها سؤال 
 وساعات نهايات الحكاوي بتسيب لنا أحلام
ويا قلب عاشق للحياة كان رد مرة وقال
كام باب أمل مقفول بيتوارب مع الأيام
وانا لسه فاكر كل شئ كأنه كان اليوم
  شفتك نسيت أنا كل شئ قبل النهارده بيوم
قلبي اللي كان مقفول علي الجرح القديم

Bisher Abu Taleb
Galat Lah
الزنبقات السود

Bisher is a Jordanian musician who, in 2001, joined one of the most established musical groups in the Arab world. [Rum- Tareq Al Nasser] as a guitarist/vocalist and went on to perform in in over 40 concerts in more than 15 countries.  In 2012 Bisher started the first Online Music School out of the Arab World  [izif.com] which provided educational content about music in both Arabic and English.   In 2017 Bisher started his Solo Act as a Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist, eventually releasing his first album in 2018. 

نموذج من الكلمات
قالت له : لا تخبي ... علمني ويش اللي بيك
تراني أحس و اتألم ... وانت عني بعيد 
قال لها : يا ظي عيني ... تركت فيكي ، كل شي 
و الجفا ... بينك و بيني ... مش بيدي ... غصب عني 
قالت له: لولا حبي ... ما انسكب دمعي يسيل 
أصابر وبروحي أفديك والجرح في قلبي يزيد
قال لها : بس امهليني .. الدمع في عينك عزيز
هو قلبك اللي يسامح ... و اللي ما ينسى ذكرى الحبيب 
قال لها : بس ارحميني .. الدمع في عيونك عزيز
هو قلبك. اللي يسامح ... و اللي ما ينسى ذكرى الحبيب 
أريدك ... وانا لك راجع ... لي فيكي دم و طين
أعودُ و روحي على كفي ... أمسح دموعك بيدي

Juliana Yazbeck

Juliana Yazbeck was born in New Jersey to Lebanese parents who had fled the Civil War. At the age of five, she moved to Lebanon and was raised there until, at 22, she moved to London. Juliana’s mixed background has influenced her musical style and political lyrics. Combining poetry and music, Western and Middle Eastern styles, and tribal beats with smooth harmonies, her songs tell stories focused on gender, war, displacement and love. Juliana is also a writer and music entrepreneur.

نموذج من الكلمات:
في آلهات شرعية
في آلهات مخالفين
في آلهات بيناتنا
مخوفين رجال الدين
في آلهات بالسماء
في آلهات عالأرض
بس الشيطان أخد عخاطرو
وشن عليهن حرب
نظرنا إلى الأعلى
رأينا آلهات غريبة
عبدنا أصنام وجوائز
وأشخاص ألوانها عجيبة
الهنا نساء الغرب
فناناتن وكاتباتن
وبحثنا عن معنى الحياة
بحضاراتن وكتاباتن
وإذ نسينا آلهاتنا
فناناتنا وكاتباتنا
امهاتنا، خياتنا،
ونكرنا أصل حياتنا

Yusor Hamed Ft Synaptik
Sholi Jarali

Yusor Hamed is a Palestinian independent singer/songwriter and music producer, located in Ramallah. She has experimented in pop, house and electro music.  She studied at the International Academy Of Art Palestine and Birzeit University.  She is joined by Synaptik [Laith Al Huseini] a Jordan-based independent rapper, artist and co-founder of ArtsUpperCase collective.

Narcy (ft Mashrou Leila)

This track was written by Yassin Alsalman and Hamed Sinno in 2018.  Yassin Alsalman, better known by his stage name Narcy, is an Iraqi-Canadian journalist and hip-hop MC. He currently resides in Montreal, Quebec.   Alsalman's parents are originally from Basra, Iraq but emigrated to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the 1970s. Yassin was born in Dubai in 1982. In 1987, at the age of five, he and his family moved to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Yassin spent much of his youth moving back and forth between Canada and the UAE, spending his high school years receiving an education in Dubai.
Narcy’s latest album, SpaceTime, hits listeners with a galactic explosion of fierce beats and mind warping lyrics, all infused with a universe of musical influences – from the rich plains of Iraqi chobi to the vocal bounties of Colombia.
His new album, a 45 minute journey through the bass thumping emotions of a diasporic traveler, delivers a sound bigger than the biggest planets. He is joined by the groundbreaking Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila who have been featured (and interviewed) on several old episodes of Arabology.

Gloob ou dabadeb
قلوب ودباديب

Damar is the baby of Osama Abbas, a Hip Hop Music Producer in Jordan who has worked with the likes of El Far3i, Synaptik.  Damar's first album was titled Damarshmallow and contained 27 tracks produced between 2010 and 2015--based on Arabic music sampled from old Arabic vinyls, old Arabic films and plays. 

نموذج من الكلمات
انا خف عقلي لما قلتلي
انه الأزرق ما بلبقلي
شو رأيك يا عمي يعني
تيجي محلي؟ تيجي محلي؟
احسنلك حلي عن عرضي
وغيري الفستان ابو الزهري
هسه بطرطق وما بخلي
ابعد عني ... ابعد عني
كل شوي بترن ... تررن تررن
ولا ما بتسوي .. ولا شلن ولا شلن
من يوم وطالع اسمي نسيه
احا اخوكي يصير نسيبي
ومن عشر شهور كلشي خرب صار صعب ارضيكي (بعدين!)
ولا اشي مزبوط يلعن يوم ما صرتي خطيبتي (يلعن)
واذا بجيب ورود بتقولي انك بطلتي اتطيقي (احسن)
ولا اقلك شو ... نفسي اموت ولا تكوني خطيتي

Mohammed El Naas  محمد النعاس
مرو بسلام

Mohammed El Naas born in Feb 86, lives in Tripoli Libya.  He has been writing music, composing, mixing, singing and recording for almost 10 years now.  He is influenced by blues jazz, and soft rock, plus new style where he mixes these styles with Arabic lyrics.  مرو بسلام  [Proceed with Peace] is mainly about facing day to day issues with peace and hope even when everything seems to be crumbling.

 نموذج من الكلمات
قلوب سكبت للأذى الغفران
عقول نست فرسمت بألاقلام
لوحات حياه على جدران
مرو بسلام مرو بسلام مرو بسلام
أغصان لم تروى من انسان 
غفران لم يفهم حتى هذا الزمان
اقلام جفت فسارت الى البهتان
أسوار سقطت فأتضحت تفاسير تلك الاحلام
مرو بسلام مرو بسلام مرو بسلام مرو بسلام
قطرات ندى على أغصان 
قلوب سكب للأذى الغفران
عقول نست فرسمت بألاقلام
لوحات حياه على جدران

Faia Younan
Ya Laytahou Yaalam (Piano Version)
A Sea Between Us  بيناتنا في بحر

Born in Syria on June 1992, Faia grew up in the iconic musical city of Aleppo in a family that cherishes culture and arts. At age of eleven, she moved with her family to Sweden. Her voice has longe charmed audiences at cultural events in Stockholm.

About this track:  Lyrics by: Ali Ben Aljahm Composed by: Faia Younan Arranged by: Rayan Al Habre Music Producer: Houssam Abdul Khalek 
 كلمات: علي بن الجهم - ألحان: فايا يونان بيانو: طارق سكيكر
This version released in 2018; older version in 2017

نموذج من الكلمات: أبلغ عزيزًا فى ثنايا القلب منزله أنى وإن كنت لا ألقاه ألقاه وإن طرفى موصول برؤيته وإن تباعد عن سكناي سكناه يا ليته يعلم أنى لست أذكره وكيف أذكره إذ لست أنساه يا من توهم أنى لست أذكره والله يعلم أنى لست أنساه إن غاب عنى فالروح مسكنه من يسكن الروح كيف القلب ينساه

Lyrics in English: Tell a beloved one who has made his home in the corners of my heart That even if I don't meet him, I do meet him And that the corner of my eye is linked to the sight of him, even when he is far away I wish he knew I wish he knew that I don't remember him For how can I remember him when I have never forgotten him To he who thought that i don't remember him And God knows that I never forgot him If he disappears then in my soul is where he stays How can the heart forget the one who lives in the soul

Mike Massy
Baddi Dii

After playing the rôle of "Jesus" in France, Mike Massy returns to the music scene with a 9th studio album, "Bravo", written,  composed and produced by Massy himself. This album consists of 9 tracks in Lebanese and literary Arabic, and it was written and recorded between Brussels and Beirut. "Bravo" refers to one of the songs on the album that features Mike Massy's vocal signature, accompanied by a pop production, combined with a classical‐acoustic orchestration. With a subtle blend of tradition and modernity, this album is the new positioning of  Mike Massy, who manages the transition from traditional to modern with astonishing ease.
This track was released in Feb 2018 along with superb music video that was directed by Tanya Nasr.

نموذج من الكلمات: بدّي أطلع عالمرّيخ بدّي غيّر بالتاريخ ... وبدّي ضيع... بدّي إمشي عالتروتوار، إتفركش بولاد زغار... وبدّي ضيع... من كل مفرق، من كل دار، من الدكّانة العند الجار بدّي ضيع بدّي ضيع... من المدينة الكلّا حجار، من الطرقات، من المطار، بدّي ضيع بدّي ضيع بدّي ضيع... بدّي سافر، بدّي ضيع واللي بدّو يصير، يصير بدّي ضيع...

Tamer Nafar
Salam Ya Sahbi

Nafar was born to Fawzi Nafar and Nadia Awadi in Lod, Israel, and is the leader of the world's first Palestinian hip-hop group DAM. He became the face and primary voice of Palestinian hip-hop and is internationally recognized through worldwide tours.  He identifies as a Palestinian citizen of Israel.  Tamer discovered hip-hop through Tupac Amaru Shakur's beats.

نموذج من الكلمات: صاحبي, حبيبي, عالأرض بنازع 11 خزء بجسمو وعندي بس 10 اصابع...تغمضش عينيك, أرمش اذا سامع...تحملنيش هاي المهمة, مش راجع اقول لامك أنك مش راجع...سمعتها ب فلم, الأبن بدفن الأم مش الأم تدفن الأبن, هيك الحياة بتم

Menich Hzin
Winrah Marah

Jawhar (Basti) has created his own signature style of world­folk music that one could probably describe as midway between arab chaâbi and Nick Drake’s dreamy folk lullabies.  Inspired by « the withering Arab spring» Winrah Marah is simultaneously more incisive and more colorful than his previous album.  The ten songs on the album are powered by a band which has gained in complicity and coherence. 
Jawhar was born to a mother professor of Arabic literature and a father devoted to theater and culture in the southern suburbs of Tunis. At the age of  20 he left for France to study English literature and theater and settled first in Brussels and then in the countryside.  However, at the birth of his first child, Jawhar felt the need to reconnect with his homeland.
"Qibla Wa Qobla " (The Kiss and the prayer-orientation), Jawhar’s second album, was released in 2014). The press saw it as a "shimmering mosaic where Sufi and Pop learned to speak the same language: that of the universal and timeless music" (Musiczine).
Winrah Marah  was released in 2018 along with superb music videos.

Qafiya قافية 
Eskoni ya jerah  - اسكني يا جراح

Qafiya (English: Rhyme) is an Arabic Rock band from Cairo, Egypt, formed in 2018 by vocalist/composer/lyricist) Nour Khan.  They released their first single "Eskoni Ya Jerah" on November 20th and are currently working on their first EP.   Nour Khan is an independent vocalist from Egypt who has had a passion for singing since she was 8 years old.  

الكلمات من قصيدة "الصباح الجديد" لأبو القاسم الشابي
غناء و ألحان: نورخان
ترجمة الكلمات: محمد أسامة

اسكني يا جراح و اسكتي يا شجون 
Lay to rest my wounds, and be gone my sorrow

مات عهدُ النُواحِ و زمانُ الجنون 
The madness and the wailing times has passed.

فعلام الشكاة من ظلام يحول 
So why complain from a Darkness,

ثم يأتي الصباح و تمر الفصول 
That will be gone by morning, as seasons flow.

Dina El Wedidi
Alive عايشة
Slumber منام

Cairo artist Dina El Wedidi's newest album 'Slumber' is a dark, emotive electronic album made entirely from the sounds of Egypt's trains.  The final track, “Alive,” was arranged by Cairo electronic artist Hussein Sherbini, who also supports Dina on vocals in the track. Musically, it is the warmest track on the album, zooming in on Dina’s looping lyrics that hop rhythmically from rhyme to rhyme, casting a hypnotic, disassociating spell, before the track drifts off, the train tracks lulling you gently out of the nap, and to your destination.

Layla Rina
Rooq روق (Chill)

Layla Rina is a singer songwriter From Nazareth who released this track in May 2018.  Lyrics by Layla Rina; Music by Muhammad Abu Ahmad & Layla Rina. Produced by Muhammad Abu Ahmad.

نموذج من الكلمات: شوف لوين بتروح لوين بتروح لوين بتروح لما تكون لحالك يمكن بس تغيب الشمس ورا الجبال راح تتذكر تتذكر كيف كان الجو براسك يدور قلبك مسحور كلشي مفهوم كان شي مرة بس إسا انت قاعد بآخر هالليل عقلك مش هون وراسك ملان فقت بالشقلوب اليوم صحيت بالأول ما في نوم والسبب مكتوم التنين مجروح التلاتا مجروح الاربعا مجروح وباقي الجمعة مجروح

Yousef Kekhia  يوسف كيخيا
Hal Ard Lamin هالأرض لمين؟ 
Monologue (2019)

Yousef Kekhia is a Singer-Songwriter from Aleppo, now based in Berlin.  He left Syria due to the civil war in 2013, graduated from university in Istanbul and finally settled in Germany in 2016.
By combining contemporary Folk and Electronic music with Arabic lyrics, he developed a singular style of sharing his intimate stories, making them direct and moving. 
In October 2018, Yousef Kekhia released his first self-written solo single “Hal Ard Lamin?”, accompanied by a crowdfunding campaign in order to finance the production of his debut album “Monologue”, which is set to be released in 2019. 
He says: “I started writing songs mainly on occasions where I was nearly paralysed, whether it being physically or mentally but it was songwriting that helped me to get through those situations.” 
The music video for this track is performed & composed by Yousef Kekhia and directed by Victor Ramón Stoljarow

 نموذج من الكلمات:
هالأرض لمين؟  إسأل حالك عن فكرة الحدود
 كسور سجنك مين حط الحروف؟
ارفع راسك مانك لاجئ بحور... روح وين بدك الأرض مالها حدود
هروب من الموت سياسة تهجير مع ورقة بسبور بتوقعك بالبير
معقول كل هالحدود كل هاد تقسيم    مشان يشعلو حروب و نعيش ميتين
فيك تحط بسبور فيك تحط حدود فيك تحط جنود مارح تمنعني 
فيك تعلي السور فيك تخبي وجوه فيك تغسل عقول مارح توقفني
 هالأرض لمين؟ (هالأرض ألي) هالأرض لمين؟ (هالأرض ألك) هالأرض لمين؟ (هالأرض ألها) هالأرض لمين؟ (هالأرض النا) الأرض الي

English translation of lyrics: Who Owns This Earth? Ask yourself about the concept of borders Break your prison Who wrote those orders? Raise your head You're not a refugee of the oceans Roam wherever you want to Because this earth has no borders Who owns this earth? Who owns this earth? Who owns this earth? Who owns this earth? Escaping from death Migration politics And this paper called “passport” Will imprison you Are they real, all these borders? All these divisions To stoke the fires of war And make us live like we’re (already) dead Who owns this earth? Who owns this earth? Who owns this earth? Who owns this earth? You can impose passports You can build borders You can send soldiers You won’t deter me You can make the fence higher You can hide faces You can brainwash the masses You won’t stop me Who owns this earth? (This earth is mine) Who owns this earth? (This earth is yours) Who owns this earth? (This earth is hers) Who owns this earth? (This earth is ours) The earth is mine.

Night Shift
Garbanzo Beans

"Night Shift" is a track from the album "Garbanzo Beans" that explores several genres that he experienced in the 60s, and 70s.  Vocals by ZIAD SIDAWI and LANA MOUSSA.  Composed, arranged and performed by Charif Megarbane & Ziad Sidawi.
ZIAD SIDAWI  always loved composing music but his piano teacher wanted him to play Bach and Chopin, so he would start to play the music piece then take it somewhere else. Ultimately by age 12 he stopped piano lessons because there was no one to guide him towards composition. Since he got no family support to become a composer, hedid the 2nd best thing which was to write programming code to create software applications. Fast forward several decades later and suddenly he said enough is enough and in 2012 he started taking online courses and found a partner in Charif Megarbane, who is a multi-instrumental player and composer, and they formed Cz101.  "Night Shift" was written from 14 AM which may explain the song title. 
Lana Moussa is a Lebanese artist. Her interest in music started early and her talent matured by learning to sing different genres in different languages, from Tarab (classical Arabic music) to opera.
Lana works in the humanitarian and media broadcasting fields. She is now slowly taking baby steps into making it a career after having participated in several concerts.  She is interested in maintaining her Arabic music heritage as well as songwriting and composing expressive musical pieces that are out of the norm.

Khansa x Zahzah

This track was originally composed by Mohammad AbdulWahab (1929) and written by Ahmad Abdul Majeed (1929).  Moe Khansa is a Beirut based performing artist who merges multiple disciplines into one, both on stage and in video. A singer, dancer, aerialist, songwriter, producer, and visual composer whose style draws on a wide range of influences, genres, and topics. He is into synthesis and visionary sounds and is immersed in an ongoing journey of experimentation and realization.  Moe Khansa seeks to redefine the way we see "belly dancing" in the hope of eliminating these stereotypes and embracing belly-dancing as a beautiful part of our culture (this link)

Lyrics in English: It scares me to speak of how I feel about you, knowing you might reject and ignore me. But should I keep my love from you, would my eyes speak the truth of my whims. I had seen a vision of you in my sleep, before I ever loved you. He promised he would stay then left me with my thoughts of you. Should I confront him, would he hint at my love for you? But should I keep my love from you, would my eyes speak the truth of my whims.

Albaitil Ashwai
Mostakell Label

Albaitil Ashwai [Random House] is a Jordanian experimental band based in Amman. The band members all reflect their own musical background in the music of the project by a variety of musical styles, like indie rock, reggae, punk rock mixed with sufi music.
The name of the band is inspired by the belief that all universal laws were created after a completely random interaction between its own elements (in both the physical and the spiritual realms of the universe), so the only way for humanity to find Utopia is by living a life based on complete natural freedom, free will, and randomness.
I met band member Qais Raja (Guitar & Vocals) at Corners Pub in Amman, Jordan in August 2018.

Youm Ma Shoftek
Bokra Ahla

Khalid Nwairan and Raed Massad have been working on their official album for over a year.  'MADA' electronic band they created and their new album called "Bokra Ahla" aims to develop the platform of Arabic commercial music by providing new ideas of production for each for each song..  Khaled says that "Bokra Ahla means we are concerned about what the Arab world is passing through these days and we think tomorrow must be better no doubt.  We want to integrate various artistic international production techniques to reflect our Jordanian and Arabic culture in understandable ways."

Faycal Azizi
Meftah Leqloub

Fayçal Azizi (Born in 1986 in Tétouan) is a Moroccan actor, singer and writer.  He first rose to fame through his song "Werda ala Werda " from the film L'orange amère " and has had huge success with his group K'lma as well as by releasing his version of "Haka Mama" in 2015.
Fayçal has just received his degree from The Record Factory in Seoul, South Korea.
His career as an actor first started in theater after attending the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts and Cultural Animation in Rabat. He then formed the music group K'lma in 2004. His feature film debut came in 2010 when he starred in Majid of Nassim Abassi. He has also just released a gorgeous duet with Sakina Lafdaili aka Klma Band called "Tkellem," written by Fayçal Azizi.

نموذج من الكلمات:
فين مفتاح لقلوب
فينك مخبي أنا محتاجك فين تكون
قلبي سد بوابو خلاص
من يوم بنار الخاين تقاس
عليك نجول
طرقان وزمان

You can listen to the show where the above artists are showcased below or at https://soundcloud.com/arabology/top2018

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...