Music

If You Take Children and Human Rights Seriously, Please Don’t Play Israel Op-Eds & Analysis
Roger Waters, Salon

If You Take Children and Human Rights Seriously, Please Don’t Play Israel

One of the most horrifying incidents during Israel’s massive assault on Gaza last summer was the killing of four Palestinian boys playing soccer on a beach. This war crime was meticulously documented by human rights organizations and by journalists on the scene at the Al-Deira Hotel. NBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin tweeted that just minutes prior he had joined the children in their soccer game. War-hardened journalists tweeted their eyewitness distress.

on April 28, 2015
Crafting Beautiful Music in Palestine News Roundup
Edmee van Rijn, Al Jazeera

Crafting Beautiful Music in Palestine

Shehada Shalalda, 24, is the youngest among the very few luthiers in Palestine. He was born in the old centre of Ramallah, next to the shop where he now works. About a decade ago, when Shalalda was 15, al-Kamandjati music school opened its doors just metres from his house. Having never seen musical instruments or heard live music before, he says he was immediately attracted by the beautiful sounds of the violin and the oud, a traditional Arabic instrument.

on April 21, 2015
These Palestinian Rappers Are Tearing Down Sexism in the Best Way Possible News Roundup
Tom Barnes, Mic

These Palestinian Rappers Are Tearing Down Sexism in the Best Way Possible

"I am the dishes, the ironing, I am everything, I am nothing. But remind me: Who are you?" Translated from Levantine Arabic, these words are the hook of the hard-hitting new feminist anthem "Who You Are" by the famed-Palestinian rap group DAM. Directed by Oscar nominee Scandar Copti, the song's video tackles sexist attitudes in the Middle East.

on April 20, 2015
Kanye’s West Bank blind spot: Is Yeezy missing an opportunity to speak truth to power? Op-Eds & Analysis
Matthew Pulver, Salon

Kanye’s West Bank blind spot: Is Yeezy missing an opportunity to speak truth to power?

A future Palestinian rapper, perhaps one the age of Kanye’s daughter now, might eventually pen lyrics reminiscent of the deepest of Ye’s racially oriented rhymes, perhaps lyrics that call to mind West’s bitter account of mid-century racist abuse of his much beloved late mother on “New Slaves” or “Never Let Me Down.”

on April 8, 2015
Kanye’s West Bank blind spot: Is Yeezy missing an opportunity to speak truth to power? News Roundup
Salon

Kanye’s West Bank blind spot: Is Yeezy missing an opportunity to speak truth to power?

A future Palestinian rapper, perhaps one the age of Kanye’s daughter now, might eventually pen lyrics reminiscent of the deepest of Ye’s racially oriented rhymes, perhaps lyrics that call to mind West’s bitter account of mid-century racist abuse of his much beloved late mother on “New Slaves” or “Never Let Me Down.”

on April 7, 2015
Palestinian Hip-Hop Group DAM Has a Message for the Patriarchy News Roundup
GOOD Magazine

Palestinian Hip-Hop Group DAM Has a Message for the Patriarchy

For the rappers that make up DAM, “make believe,” fair-weather feminism can be just as troubling as the gender inequality they see on a regular basis. This past week the Palestinian hip-hop trio released their latest single “Who Are You?/مين انت” with sights set uncompromisingly on the gender stereotypes and double standards faced by women in their community.

on March 30, 2015
Legal Pastimes: Blues at the Bar News Roundup
Laura Impellizzeri, California Lawyer

Legal Pastimes: Blues at the Bar

George Bisharat carefully explains that his stage name, Big Harp George, isn't about ego. The reference is to the unusual 12-hole and 16-hole chromatic harmonicas (as opposed to the 10-hole diatonic variety) that he plays on his first album as the featured artist. "It's an instrument that blues musicians haven't exploited," he says. Called Chromaticism, Bisharat's CD is among five nominated as "best new artist album" for 2014 by The Blues Foundation.

on March 3, 2015
Fame beckons for Gaza teen band forged in war News Roundup
Mai Yaghi, Yahoo! News/AFP

Fame beckons for Gaza teen band forged in war

After wowing the judges of "Arabs Got Talent", five young Palestinians who formed a band while bombs rained down are hoping their budding success can raise awareness of war-ravaged Gaza. Their first audition so impressed that they were propelled to the semi-finals of the hit Middle Eastern television show -- a spin-off of the British-created Got Talent franchise.

on February 13, 2015
Gaza music school shines in “Arabs Got Talent” spotlight News Roundup
Reuters

Gaza music school shines in “Arabs Got Talent” spotlight

On the hugely popular "Arabs Got Talent" TV show in Beirut last month, five young musicians in chequered black-and-white scarves brought the house down with a traditional Arabic song that left the judges weeping and earned a ticket straight to the finals. On the hugely popular "Arabs Got Talent" TV show in Beirut last month, five young musicians in chequered black-and-white scarves brought the house down with a traditional Arabic song.

on February 1, 2015