Online Since 2004.

Month: September 2011

Alphabets of the Arab World

And don’t think that the creativity is only influencing music.

Check out this brilliant work by artist Dia Batal:

(Hattip: Matthew Teller)

هناك ضوءٌ لا ينطفئ

“There Is A Light That Will Never Go Out” is by South African artist James Webb.

I am obsessed with Darat Al-Funun’s latest installation, which proudly, loudly, and brightly proclaims that “there is a light that will never go out”.

Indeed, there is always a light. I found mine easily enough as a young teenager; the hazy white light of my online devices.

There is a light that never goes out.

Alaa Wardi’s Latest: Wenti Mastaneti

Can you believe the amount of Arabic pop culture posts that I’m posting these days? It can only mean one thing: the creative Arab class is finally rising.

Here’s another great number by Alaa Wardi.

Such talent! Brilliant job, indeed.

Ana kont fe makani sneen
Wenti mastaneti tagollek 3an 2e7sasi leek
Ana kont 3am ba3’ani feeki
Wenti masme3teeni 3’anetlek men jowa galbi
Weli weli sho gara7teni
Wenti Ma5aleteni 2arateb 7ayati 7awaleeki
Weli weli sho el 7ag 3alai
L2ani mastaneet 7abetk men doon tafkeer

Ya ba efhamni
Wenti mastaneti
Ana 6ab3i 3’eer
Wenti mastaneti
Lazem tensani
Wenti mastaneti
Wenti mastaneti

An sort 3am faker lab3eed
Wenti mahtameti 3abalek 2shya2 2ekteer
7atetk ana been 3nay
Wenti kasheti shakli 5ashet shmal feki
Ttzakeri sho 7aketi le
Ennek bt7ebini bet7ebeni
Aslan ana walla mo za3lan
Ana mabedi ana mabedi

Ya ba efhamni
Ana mabedi
enta 3’eer 3anni
alsan mabedi
3endi 7ayati
Lek walla mabedi
Yaret et7el 3anni

Ya bay…

Zeid and the Wings, Live Tonight at the Citadel

Don’t miss out on Zeid and the Wings, live tonight at 8:00. They have a special place in my heart because Y is one of the wings. Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while should have read many conversations with Y, as she happens to be one of my favorite people in the world.

Here are some of my favorite Zeid and the Wings songs:

Zeid and the Wings are opening for Mashrou Leila tonight. Concert starts at 8:00. Tickets are for 15JDs, and they are sold at the door.

Event organized by ArtMedium.

Akher Zapheer: The end of it is a melancholy tune – اخرتو لحن حزين

وخدني بعيد عن عمان بعيد برا…
وسوق فيي شوي شوي عليمين، ولعواميد علشوباك بتتوالا.
هادا الطريق أخرتو لحن حزين، والسيجارة نستني نستني.
نستني وشالتني وحطتني وقلبتني من جوا لبرا
خلتني حزين، أنا وياك احنا التنين.
وهلأ صار الوقت تزيد سرعة، سكر عيونك وزيد سرعة.

There’s something really magical about musically experiencing the familiarities of your marginalized life. Magic is in the details, they say, and something weird happens when these details transcend into song.

It’s about the choice of words and the sentence structure. It’s about the unfamiliar feeling of hearing your accent in a tune, as opposed to English, Lebanese, Egyptian, Bedouin. It’s about the scenes of the city; the white stone, the nostalgia of sitting with a friend in that same coffee shop, the black beetles and the gas stations. There’s no Hollywood dazzle, no artificiality, no extensive experience. It’s about the familiar faces; strangers you often see in Turtle Green, people you went to school with, friends sitting out of focus in the background.

“Akherto Lahen Hazeen” is the latest single by Jordanian band Akher Zapheer, and a very good one at that. The music is definitely different, and the video is awesome.

Great job, guys. I hope you borrow a few pages from the likes of Radiohead and Mashrou Leila by offering the music as free MP3 downloads. It would also be fantastic if there is a write up of the lyrics.

It brings up memories of driving out of Amman with friends, with loved ones, with parents, with strangers. It reminds me of the pine trees scattered in random thin lines. It reminds me of staring out of the window, of conversations in the city, of laughter, of pain, of loss, of love.

وسكر عيونك، واسمع الهوا… طلعنا الهموم الجواتنا… أنا حر مش مجبور علطاعة، والسيجارة نستني، نستني.

Translation for the non-Arabic speakers:
“Take me away from Amman, take me away to the open,
Drive me around slowly on the right lane, with the poles fading away in the window,
The end of this road is a melancholy tune, and the cigarette helps me escape,
It sends me into oblivious, lifts me up, puts me down, flips me around inside out,
it made me sad, both you and I,
Now is the time to increase your speed, close your eyes, and increase your speed,
Close your eyes and listen to the wind, let all your worries slip away,
I’m free, I don’t have to obey,
and the cigarette helps me escape.”

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