Discover more from Sa'alouni El Nas
Guest Feature: Big Hass
Surprise! We’ve got an early edition of Sa’alouni El Nas this week, as I’ll be taking some much-needed time off for my birthday. Woohoo!
But before we get into everything, I want to highlight the new report by Amnesty International which details Israel’s “institutionalized and systematic” abuse of Palestinians, concluding that all of this amounts to “crimes of apartheid.”
Amnesty is the latest international human rights organization to say this, following others like Human Rights Watch.
The 280-page report was released yesterday, and you can read it in full here. Palestinians and many others have fair critiques of reports from large international organizations, and it did take these organizations too long to recognize what so many have already seen — and endured. True change will only come from within and will be lead by Palestinians in-country.
This report does at least represent an important shift in the global conversation (I hope). I encourage everyone to read it.
Okay friends, let’s get right into it. I am so excited to introduce this week’s guest feature: Big Hass!
Hassane Dennaoui, a.k.a "Big Hass", is the radio host of Saudi's first & only FM Hip-Hop Radio Show "Laish Hip-Hop?" which has been running for 11 years now. He is also is the founder of Re-Volt Blog & Re-Volt Magazine. He launched his YouTube show "Buckle Up" in 2019, which is a series of interviews he conducts on the "go".
He believes in Music Liberation and takes pride in supporting local & regional artists. His passion is all about being true to Hip-Hop culture. He also founded "THE BEAT" in 2013 which is a series of events aimed to support local artists by having them perform live. He has interviewed the likes of LL Cool J, Russell Simmons, K'naan, Pete Rock, DJ Premier, DJ Kool Herc, Omar Offendum, Narcy, Outlandish, and many local & regional talent.
Big Hass has relocated to Dubai in 2016 to enhance his Autistic kid's life “since the awareness in the UAE is much better than KSA.” He uses his platform/voice to state that Autism is not a disease but its a way of life.
Y’all, BIG HASS IS IN THE BUILDING! The way this man brings together artists, producers, and emcees in the MENA/SWANA hip-hop community is beautiful. Big Hass is a big reason for the continued cultivation of rap in the region and in the diaspora as well. And he’s released several tracks over his career bringing artists together from different countries who may not always get the opportunity to work together. HOW COOL IS THAT?!
1. What is your favorite song right now?
This record impacted big time that I have to listen to it daily. Bu’s vulnerability and at the same time strength inspires me.
2. What’s your go-to song for all your feels?
Record has no lyrics but it’s a journey and I relate to it because we all have different journeys. Song makes me smile, tear, and just vibe the whole way.
3. Name a song that reminds you of home.
Simply because I discovered Offendum’s music back in 2007 and when he dropped this song in 2010/2011 with his masterful album “Syrianamericana” it changed me. It’s also special because I played this record on my FM hip hop radio show “Laish hip hop?” That is celebrating 11 years in couple months so yeah it’s Jeddah when I hear “Finjan”.
Because it reminds me of paps, my father passed away in 2005 and we used to have these talks and drives while listening to this tune. Every now and then I would listen to it and just remember his smile and he’s proud of me…
Song gets me hard! + it’s also instrumental ;)
4. Name a song you know all the words to.
And I want to take this opportunity to give you a fact about this record.
This song is adapted from a poem, “Eye to Eye” by Gihad Ali, a Palestinian refugee. It details the harsh realities of life in Gaza and the West Bank.
5. Name a song that gets you really hype and ready to go.
Man there are so many!!!!
This is a song that pushes me so hard because I feel like I can see every word come to life, and although we’ve never met he’s in my life in a crazy way and I am so blessed to have connected with him throughout the years through hip-hop. He’s a light and a blessing to humanity.
I dare anyone not to move on this record Genius !
Big shout out to Big Hass for joining and sharing his song selections! All of Big Hass’s songs will be included in this week’s playlist, so be sure to take a listen. And y’all, check out Big Hass on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and wherever you stream your music (Apple | Spotify | Anghami | Tidal | SoundCloud | Amazon | Deezer)
What I’m Listening To
🎧 Flows by Middle Eastern, North African, & Diaspora Artists 🎧
Mesh Saybani - Hudz featuring Amir Eid
Mesh Hena - KamiKaze
Koul Chi Aam Yekhlass - Majida El Roumi
Hob Eh - Oum Kulthum
Kan Tayeb - Amr Diab
Adaysh Kan Fe Nas (Lofi Remix) - Fairuz
El Halawi Di - Ahmed Basyoni featuring Hussein Gamal
Big Woman - Miraa May featuring Stefflon Don
Ma Bella - Raja Meziane
LHT - Beykay
🎤 Vibes by Latinx & Hispanic Artists 🎤
Punto y Aparte - Tego Calderon
VÁMANOS - Becky G featuring Sech
Si Se Da (Remix) - Myke Towers featuring Farruko, Arcangel, Sech, and Zion
Tas Bella - Reggi El Autentico
La Carcacha - Selena
Nada Me Pertenece - La Doña
Cuando Perriabas - Bad Bunny
El Cuarto De Tula - Buena Vista Social Club
Te He Querido, Te He Llorado - Ivy Queen
Rompiendo Todo - Partywithrami
🎼 Other Good Music 🎼
Ratchet Happy Birthday - Drake
You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No) - Rihanna featuring Vybz Kartel
New Agenda - Janet Jackson
Name Ring Bell - Wale
Blessings - Cousin Stizz
Claymore - Isaiah Rashad featuring Smino
What Am I? - Mahalia
Famous - Ty Dolla $ign
Cold Shoulder - Central Cee
Lagoon - Dora Jar
What I’m Reading
🇱🇧 Lebanon 🇱🇧
Lebanon’s economic crisis is reshaping career planning for university students - Tala Ramadan, L’Orient Today
“It’s no longer the quest for my ‘dream job,’ it’s merely a journey to, simply, a job.”
Malnutrition masks joy of pregnancy for women in Lebanon in the face of growing crises - Rodayna Raydan, The New Arab
As Lebanon's economic crisis spirals out of control, pregnant women in the country face malnutrition, with many having to resort to cheap and unhealthy alternatives or skip meals altogether.
Notification missing - Dana Hourany, NOW Lebanon
The October 17 uprising birthed new political movements that are trying to make a breakthrough in the upcoming elections, but many are having trouble officially registering as political groups, which may obstruct their electoral chances.
Dispossession, Gender Identity, and Wellness in Lebanon: Marginalized Refugees Endure Growing Barriers to Basic Healthcare - Dr. Jasmin Lilian Diab, Al Rawiya
“LGBTQI+ refugees in Lebanon continue to be at risk of being subjected to violence, abuse, and marginalization. For trans women refugees, the perils are often magnified.”
For Lebanon's wineries, exports becoming a lifeline - Dalal Saoud, UPI
For Lebanon's wine industry, exports have become a means of survival amid the country's worst financial crisis and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
🌍 Middle East, North Africa, & Diaspora 🌎
We Syrians Are Not Surprised by This Betrayal - Marwan Safar Jalani, The New York Times
“If governments and international organizations normalize relations with the al-Assad regime, Syria’s story risks replicating elsewhere and the ruins of Al-Qaboun risk becoming our new norm.”
Pilots raise alarm at Qatar Airways for doctored hours, hidden fatigue - Maya Gebeily, Thomson Reuters Foundation News
Asleep at the wheel, manipulated flight records - pilots reveal risks of flying Qatar Airways.
Environmentalists protecting Tunisia's migratory birds find peace and purpose - Erin Clare Brown, The National
Under threat and in decline, Tunisia's natural beauty continues to entrance those lucky enough to catch a glimpse of it.
Iraq’s climate conundrum: Oil reliance versus vanishing water - Thomas O. Falk, Al Jazeera
The country could suffer a 20 percent drop in water resources by 2050 with nearly one-third of irrigated land parched.
COVID and war push Yemen's businesswomen to smash taboos - Amal Mamoon, Thomson Reuters News Foundation
Braving air strikes and internet outages, Yemeni women are launching businesses to fight the pandemic.
🎶 Music, Arts, & Culture 🎶
Netflix’s Perfect Strangers Has More Truth in It Than Its Critics Allow - Kareem Shaheen, New Lines Magazine
As they clamor for cleaner stories, critics of Netflix’s debut Arabic film overlook the reality of Muslim society
Why the ‘Euphoria’ Teens Listen to Sinead O’Connor, Tupac and Selena - Joe Coscarelli, The New York Times
The hit HBO show’s maximalist, era-jumping soundtrack is unconcerned with realism, packing in dozens of songs, from the underground to the instantly recognizable.
The forthcoming dramatic reimaging of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is as audacious as it is exceptional.
Amber Mark's 'Three Dimensions Deep' turns grief into undeniable beauty - Kiana Fitzgerald, NPR
Singer-songwriter and producer Amber Mark questions the nature of her existence on debut album Three Dimensions Deep.
Leave Aaliyah’s Music Alone - Arielle Gray, Cosmopolitan
Considering how society takes so much from Black girls and women, she’s given us more than enough.
📚 Other Reads 📚
The Disillusionment of a Young Biden Official - Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker
Andrea Flores’s efforts to roll back Trump’s immigration policies faced opposition inside and outside the White House.
As Beijing Olympics begin, exiled Uyghurs fight for families oppressed in China - Alice Su, Los Angeles Times
Five years after China began the campaign of mass incarceration, cultural erasure and coercive labor, most Uyghurs abroad remain cut off from their families.
The Rise and Fall of Prison Education - Cassie M. Chew, Capital B
The 1994 crime bill slashed higher ed for incarcerated people. Here's how that played out for one state.
The problem with how children in the U.S. are learning about climate change - Nadra Nittle, The 19th
Katie Worth's new book, ‘Miseducation,’ says climate change deniers and the fossil fuel industry seek to influence what students learn about global warming.
The Tenacity of Rafael Nadal - Gerald Marzorati, The New Yorker
At the Australian Open, two great champions, Nadal and Ashleigh Barty, showed what tennis can be.