Discover more from Sa'alouni El Nas
Guest Feature: Ali Elabbady
Thanks for reading Sa'alouni El Nas! If you haven’t already, please subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
One quick announcement about the newsletter for y’all:
Moving forward, the weekly playlists will now be available on both Spotify AND Anghami! Fans and users of both platforms will now have access to the weekly playlist. All previous Sa’alouni El Nas playlists are now available on Anghami too. I’m working to make the playlists available on other streaming services as well.
The individual song links both in both the “Guest Feature” and “What I’m Listening To” sections are now YouTube links, making it just a little easier for everyone to check out the music and, when available, watch the music videos for each song that artists spend so much time creating.
Be sure to check everything out below! Happy listening!
Okay friends, let’s get right into it. I am so excited to introduce this week’s guest feature: Ali Elabbady!
Ali Elabbady aka Egypto Knuckles is a food and music writer based in Minneapolis, MN. He was the co-host and producer for The Beat Box on Radio K and the host and producer of the YouTube series “Tacos & Tastemakers”, among so many more incredible roles. He has written for Eater, Racket, and The Current, and was selected as one of Taste of Home’s 10 Middle Eastern Food Writers and Chefs You Need to Know.
We’ve got an OG in the building this week, y’all! Ali is dope foodie AND a total music and hip-hop nerd, so obviously he’s coming through with some incredible song selections this week:
1. What song do you have on repeat right now?
JPEGMAFIA & Danny Brown “Tell Me Where To Go” has been on repeat since the “SCARING THE HOES DLC Pack” dropped. The album it accompanied (titled you guessed it, “SCARING THE HOES”) has been one of the most forward thinking rap releases I’ve heard this year, and when it’s all said and done, will end up as one of my favorite projects this year. The album and DLC pack draw on so much innovative niche sampling and some of the nuttiest, entertaining, and clever bars one will hear all year. This song leans more lowkey, which if you heard the album, you’ll know why I said that, but Danny’s reflective delivery of his stature in Hip-Hop and what it all means, makes it truly one of the most vulnerable moments you’ll hear.
2. Tell me a song that makes you cry.
Otis Redding’s “You Don't Miss Your Water” off of the “Otis Blue” album. I remember going through a tough time where everything felt so stagnant, from the demise of a label/crew I founded, to the end of a magazine I helped distribute and write for nationwide, as well as the friendships that came with those, felt like everything was crumbling around me. That song definitely aided me in getting all the cries out. Second place finisher for friends I’ve loved and lost still is Atmosphere’s “The River” off their “Sad Clown Bad Dub 2” project, which still has me mourning them to this day.
3. What song reminds you of your childhood?
The Bangles’ “In Your Room” was one of the first tapes my parents bought me when I was a youngin’ with a Walkman riding down the block with my bike, and headphones blaring. Susanna Hoffs vocals are still amazing on that song, and I still jam out to their albums A Different Light and Everything every chance I get. “Manic Monday” (which was written by Prince) and “Walk Like an Egyptian” still bang, too.
4. Name a song you sing in the shower or in the car.
This one is a toss-up between my Minneapolis tendencies, and a recent song I was reminded of: Mint Condition’s “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)” and Shai’s “If I Ever Fall In Love” will forever get sung to the top of my register, and with friends in the car, to this day. Guaranteed if it’s played on a speaker or in the car, you’ll see me grooving, lip syncing, or singing it terribly at all car and club karaoke functions, without shame.
5. Tell me a song everyone should listen to.
Anytime I need to find hope within the world or find myself, De La Soul’s “Held Down” off AOI: Bionix manages to find me at my most downtrodden, to pick me back up, and give me encouragement/enlightenment when I need it. Bonus nods go for their other songs “Trying People” which is from the same album, or “I Am I Be” off “Buhloone Mindstate”.
Big shout out to Ali for joining and sharing his song selections! All of Ali’s songs will be included in this week’s playlist, so be sure to take a listen. Be sure to follow Ali on Instagram, Twitter and all of your favorite social channels and keep up with all of his latest!
What I’m Listening To
🎧 Middle Eastern, North African, & Diaspora Flows 🎧
Ekhir Hamme - Blu Fiefer
El Sekka Salka - Wingii featuring Husayn
InshAllah Kheir (Acoustic) - Dana Hourani
Free Mami - Furelise
Hegara - Flomine featuring Miraa May
Fish Masari - Lina Makoul
Solomonic - KA7LA
Leila - Lil Baba
Star w Mayhemosh - Afroto featuring Alyoung and Randar
Wili Wili (Jam Aunni Remix) - Ghita Lahmamssi
Meen Bs Kan Yesada2 - El Sawareekh featuring Double Zuksh
MANNENI - KTYB featuring Feddini
msulukh - nabeel
Nhar Lewel - ASSIA
Zaman El Wohosh - Azwed
Away - Raja Meziane
Safert B3eed - Maha Ftouni
Solo - F.B.K.
Samm - FRIZZY
Confiance - Lemhllwess
🎤 Latinx & Hispanic Vibes 🎤
Show Me How You Livin’ - La Doña featuring Tia Nomore
Calor - Nicky Jam featuring Beéle
UN DESEO - Mora featuring RaiNao
Ex-Special - Jhayco featuring Peso Pluma
Un Ratito - La Isla Centeno
Besos Ricos - Rawayana featuring Goyo
CCC (Remix) - Michelle Maciel featuring Eden Muñoz and Panter Bélico
La Tola - Flow 28 featuring Leo RD and Dowba Montana
Déjate Llevar - Camelo
todo pasa - Arroba Nat
🎼 Other Good Music 🎼
Falling or flying - Jorja Smith
BOTH - Tiësto featuring BIA and 21 Savage
As You Are - Bellah & Gaidaa
Keep Going Up - Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado and Justin Timberlake
Doin Yo Stuff - Blxst & Bino Rideaux
AMEN - Tion Wayne featuring Nines
T’malade - Harley featuring Didi B
Last Time I Saw You - Nicki Minaj
Rush - Troye Sivan featuring PinkPanthress and Hyunjin
Rampage - Mali Music
What I’m Reading
🇱🇧 Lebanon 🇱🇧
‘When you go legally, everything is harder’: Lack of bank accounts stymies many Lebanese seeking travel visas - Sally Abou AlJoud, L’Orient Today
For around $400, brokers reportedly have been providing fake bank statements to Lebanese desperate to leave the country.
Lebanon LGBTQ+ activists say attacks are distraction from country’s problems - Ruth Michaelson, The Guardian
Community reports shift from uneasy tolerance to being scapegoated for socioeconomic crisis.
Beirut airport: Air-traffic controllers suspend strike amid staff shortage negotiations - Nada Maucourant Atallah, The National
Air traffic controllers had planned to work reduced shifts, partially closing Lebanon's only international airport, in protest.
Lebanon Eliminated In FIBA World Cup Group Stage, But Olympic Qualification Is Still Possible - Assile Toufaily, Forbes
The Cedars, currently ranked 43 in the world, can directly qualify for their first-ever Olympic Games if they finish as the best Asian team in the tournament.
Rabah Noujaim, Lebanon’s other World Cup representative - Jad Abou Jaoude and Fouad Gemayel, L’Orient Today
After a 17-year absence, the Lebanese referee set foot on the floor of a World Cup match again, officiating during Serbia’s 105-63 win over China Saturday.
🌍 Middle East, North Africa, & Diaspora 🌎
In Push to Modernize Cairo, Cultural Gems and Green Spaces Razed - Vivian Yee, The New York Times
The Egyptian government has demolished historic tombs, cultural centers, artisan workshops and gardens in pursuit of large-scale urban renewal.
Is my Baba lost in the midst of Syria’s thousands of disappeared? - Ali Haj Suleiman, Al Jazeera
‘Sometimes, in spite of myself, hope bubbles up … Will I see Baba again? Every day, I tell other people’s stories, this time I feel I have to tell my own.’
The reality of Yemeni women hanging in the balance of discriminatory laws - Latifa Aldhafiri, Raseef22
"I was deprived of education, of my daughters, of being remarried, and of inheritance..." These narratives from Yemeni women underscore the repercussions of "discriminatory laws," creating an unbalanced environment and an unsafe society for women.
In Iraq, a rushed camp closure fuels unease over the safety of IS returns - Alannah Travers and Meethak al-Khatib, The New Humanitarian
‘Many families were sent home with little notice to communities with social cohesion concerns, or to areas where essential services do not exist.’
‘Slow murder’: Hundreds of prisoners stage Bahrain’s largest hunger strike - Urooba Jamal, Al Jazeera
Advocates say that prisoners are protesting against dire conditions – and that the government’s reforms are not enough.
🎶 Music, Arts, & Culture 🎶
Kawkaba via Baghdad: A tale of two cities and three paintings - Abdul Rahman Salih, Raseef22
“Death and danger in western art and civilization is often observed and depicted as terrifyingly sudden, within a blink of an eye. Nobody knows what it looks like, dark myths and haunted figures or gory dark ages and blindfolds. It comes unexpected and uninvited. But not here.”
Sixty years of sound: The cassette’s past, present and future in Egypt - Andrew Simon, Al Jazeera
On its birthday, Al Jazeera looks beyond the cassette’s invention in Europe and at its life in Egypt.
The Rise and Fall of Sawt el-Qahira, the Arab World’s First Record Label - Karim Zidan, New Lines Magazine
The story of the company, which owns the catalog of the legendary singer Umm Kulthum, mirrors Egypt’s complex and troubled past.
The Raï-naissance - Mohamed Bel Hadj, Bandcamp
Raï is not some forgotten relic from a distant past that needs to be protected by UNESCO before it crumbles into ruins. While this may be a common assumption from a Western perspective, in reality, raï is a thriving and evolving expression of Algerian culture, boasting a rich history.
Omar Montes: Why the Spanish artist thinks the best school for flamenco is the street - Felix Contreras and Anamaria Artemisa Sayre, NPR
Anamaria Sayre and Felix Contreras sit down with Spanish artist Omar Montes to talk about why he'll never lose his flamenco influences, expressing the oppression of his Romani ancestors in his music and why the rhythms of reggaeton and flamenco aren't so different.
📚 Other Reads 📚
Gabon coup: This should not be mistaken for people power - Yours Elbagir, Sky News
Many of the coups we are seeing across Africa are driven by internal politics and opportunism - they should not be mistaken for people power.
America Is Using Up Its Groundwater Like There’s No Tomorrow - Mira Rojanasakul, Christopher Flavelle, Blacki Migliozzi and Eli Murray, The New York Times
Overuse is draining and damaging aquifers nationwide, a New York Times data investigation revealed.
Asylum seekers from Muslim-majority countries disproportionately imprisoned at Texas border - Hamed Aleaziz, Los Angeles Times
“More than 60% of those charged under the failure to report law were from Muslim-majority countries, including Afghanistan, Syria, Iran and Mali, according to a Times analysis of hundreds of federal court records. Citizens of Muslim-majority countries make up a tiny portion — much less than 5% — of the people who cross the southern border, according to government data.”
Millennials are tired of trying to be perfect moms - Caitlin Gibson, The Washington Post
Today’s parents have bigger worries than Instagram-worthy birthday decor.
Women Journalists Get Real About Hip-Hop Media: "We've Always Carried [It] on Our Backs" - Njera Perkins, Pop Sugar
"I think the big problem is in this industry, being skilled is associated with a masculine trait . . . assuming that our skill and our gender are requisites for where our advancement comes from."