Unfortunately, the Arab world these days is only in the news in the shadow of ISIS and their cut-throat shenanigans. The images from the region are those of an Arab spring turned on its head; of dreams of democracy metamorphosing into nightmares of chaos, dictatorship, or religious extremism …. or all of the above.
It is a surreal moment in which we seem to have gone overnight from our greatest moment to possibly our worst. Instead of the liberals marching in Tahrir square and singing songs of freedom, we now have a daily stream of monsters slitting throats, veiling women under duress, executing human rights lawyers … and all, to our eternal shame, in the name of Islam.
But somewhere, away from all that, there is something good taking place. There is a blossoming of Arab art in all forms. The voice of artistic creation is refusing to go gently into the night. Whether it is in music, film, writing, painting, theatre, there is a really good flow of artists coming to the fore.
Today, I just wanted for a brief moment to celebrate some of those true Arab heroes. Art can perhaps make us believe in ourselves again.
I have come across a great number of Arabic pop songs lately that are bursting with a new kind of vitality and energy. Here’s just a small selection of some new outstanding songs. A small step. So let us for a moment leave the military planes deal with the ISIS monsters, and let us reflect on an Arab youth that is crying out to be heard.
Please share other such pieces in the comments section. Also, if you like any to these tunes, please make sure to go straight to iTunes and other such sites to download/purchase them legally. Copyright protection is the fuel that feeds the growth of such talent.
1. “Zina” by Babylone
2. “Fasateen” by Mashrou3 Leila
3. “Ghir Inta” by Souad Massi
4. “Le Fabuleux Destin” – Samira Brahmia
5. “Ya Qalbi” by Souad Massi
6. “Maghreb” by Dezoriental
7. “Tigoul Ahwak” by Mirage