Discover more from Sa'alouni El Nas
Beirut's medics, Naomi Osaka, 'Mulan' controversy, academic credits for DJing, and new music
Before we get into it, I just want to acknowledge that today marks 19 years since the horrific 9/11 attacks in 2001. There have been countless articles, stories, books, podcasts, and so much more that analyze that day and its lasting impacts (for better or for worse), but I want to highlight three pieces of reading in particular that I highly recommend:
Race and Arab Americans Before and After 9/11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects - Amaney Jamal and Nadine Nabor
The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 - Garrett Graff
At Least 37 Million People Have Been Displaced by America’s War on Terror - John Ismay, The New York Times Magazine
If you’d like to donate to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, here’s more information.
With that, here are some highlights from this week:
A team of incredible reporters at The New York Times traced the origins of the explosion in Beirut that took place on August 4th.
ICYMI: The live-action ‘Mulan’ remake is generating a lot of controversy for filming in Xinjiang, the site of China’s horrific human rights abuses against the country’s Uighur Muslim population.
FutureDJs and the London College of Music Examiners published a syllabus that offers grade certifications for DJing.
What I’m Reading
🇱🇧 Lebanon 🇱🇧
One month on, Beirut’s medics work to heal port blast devastation - Chloe Cornish, Financial Times
Staff at the city’s underfunded hospitals are doggedly restoring order after the massive explosion
Why must every Lebanese generation endure violent chaos—and its aftermath? - Rania Abouzeid, National Geographic
After the explosion in Beirut, a journalist reckons with another tragedy in her country.
Return to Lebanon: Destruction, despair and dignity - Rym Momtaz, POLITICO
Reflections on covering Emmanuel Macron’s visits to Beirut, where the professional and personal collide
My name is Winnie, I survived Lebanon’s kafala system - Winnie Linet, Open Democracy
With Lebanon’s economic crisis deteriorating, the already dire situation of migrant domestic workers is getting even harder.
Saving Beirut's destroyed climbing wall - Sara Khairat, Al Jazeera
The 'safe haven' Flyp climbing gym was among the many structures blown away in the August 4 explosion.
🌍 Arabs and the Diaspora 🌎
Trump’s travel ban motivated Muslims to participate in politics. Now, they’re eyeing local office - Sarah Parvini, Los Angeles Times
In few places is there a spike in political engagement as clear as Dearborn, Michigan, home to one of the oldest and largest Arab American and Muslim communities in the country.
'We Are All Scared, All The Time': Syrian Doctors Can't Talk About The Coronavirus - Ruth Sherlock, NPR
Syria reports about 3,100 coronavirus infections and 130 deaths. But health workers say the situation is worse and that the regime has been telling people not to discuss it.
The land that I forgot: From Algeria to the US, a story of family - Nora Belblidia, Al Jazeera
Algerian-American freelance journalist Nora Belblidia remembers her grandfather and the war that shaped her family.
Little Mix Singer Jade Thirlwall On Why She Is Proud Of Her Arab Heritage - Jade Thirlwall (as told to Alexandria Gouveia), Vogue Arabia
It may have taken Little Mix singer Jade Thirlwall until she was 27 to truly embrace her Egyptian-Yemeni heritage, but she is certainly making up for lost time (less about music, more about identity).
Imprisoned Algerian journalist appeals in high-profile case - Aomar Ouali, Associated Press
An Algerian prosecutor on Tuesday sought a four-year sentence in the high-profile appeals trial of Algerian journalist Khaled Drareni, more than the original term handed down a month ago that has been criticized for ignoring press freedoms.
🎶 Music, Culture, and the Arts 🎶
What Incarcerated Rappers Can Teach America - Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic
This year’s national reckoning over policing means that more people could stand to seriously listen to the music of young artists who have firsthand experience with the system.
The Whitewashing of Black Music on TikTok - Sheldon Pearce, The New Yorker
The optics of the app—where the mostly white star users have embraced musical styles like Jersey club—play into a long, infamous history of white appropriation of Black arts.
Fuerza Regida’s anthem blends regional Mexican Corridos with the Trap spirit of hip-hop—the video itself is just a few clicks shy of eight million views on Youtube.
The star of the ‘Marvel’s Avengers’ game is a Muslim Pakistani teenager, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel - Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times
Egyptian-American Sandra Saad is the voice and personality behind the superhero known as Ms. Marvel in “Marvel’s Avengers,” the alter-ego of Kamala Khan, a Muslim Pakistani teenager from Jersey City.
The Emotional Legacy of ‘Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater’ - Stefanie Fernández, NPR
Since Tony Hawk's Pro Skater was first released in 1999, kids who played – and listened to – the game have grown into successful artists in their own right.
📚 Other Reads 📚
How My Mother and I Became Chinese Propaganda - Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker
Immigrant struggles in America forged a bond that became even tighter after Jiayang Fan’s mother’s A.L.S. diagnosis. Then, as COVID-19 threatened, Chinese nationalists began calling them traitors to their country.
White people have gentrified Black Lives Matter. It’s a problem - Erin B. Logan, Los Angeles Times
Black Lives Matter was once shunned by the white establishment. But now, it’s chic. And that’s a problem.
‘Kill All You See’: In a First, Myanmar Soldiers Tell of Rohingya Slaughter - Hannah Beech, Saw Nang, and Marlise Simons, The New York Times
Video testimony from two soldiers supports widespread accusations that Myanmar’s military tried to eradicate the ethnic minority in a genocidal campaign
How video chat fuels the American deportation machine - Gaby Del Valle, The Verge
Even before the pandemic, ICE used Cisco WebEx to further dehumanize and deport immigrants.
Our group texts are blowing up during the pandemic. And we’re taking the drama personally. - Lisa Bonos, The Washington Post
In this time of extreme isolation, group chats can bring us together. But just as often, well-intentioned group chats can become a chaotic source of hurt feelings, annoyance, boredom, information overload and misplaced alarm.
What I’m Listening To
🎧 Arab Flows (Arab + diaspora artists) 🎧
🎤 Las Vibras (Latinx artists) 🎤
🎼 Other Music 🎼
Los Angeles - HAIM (Apple | Spotify)
Your Weekly Sample
In his song “1Train” A$AP Rocky samples “Meshet Senin” by Assala Nasri. Check it out!