Discover more from Sa'alouni El Nas
Guest Feature: Deena K.
It feels like 2021 is flying by. It’s wild to think we’re coming to the end of July already. I hope you’re all finding ways to take in each hour as it comes and take a step back (as best you can) to slow life down.
Okay friends, let’s go ahead and get right into it. I am so excited to introduce our guest feature this week: Deena K.!
Deena is a Chicago (born and raised) Palestinian Muslim OBGyn resident physician with a strong passion to intertwine medicine, culture, religion, and politics in an effort to change our American Healthcare system and create a safer environment for women, especially immigrant women. Deena loves everything that has to do with Arabic music and orchestra, and thinks the first step to preserving our culture is truly understanding it and its rich history. When Deena is not at work, you can catch her walking (or running) through the streets of Chicago and her lakefront!
I’ve had the honor of getting to know Deena through Twitter and through her incredible work. She is truly someone who cares deeply about her community and actively seeks to make the world a more inclusive place. She created “Hijab in the OR” which is quite the initiative filled with resources and other helpful pieces for doctors. And her musical taste would make any Arab pop fan smile:
1. What is your favorite song right now?
Songs have a special way of imprinting a moment of time in your memory. When Adonis's song came out (and this entire album), I was working mid-pandemic in the middle of my intern year and I looked forward to the release of this album to bring me happiness. This song in particular showcases a beautiful duet with Dana Harouni. Ya Tara is a classic, for all of life. Abeer has such a magical voice and a presence that transcends her music into a timeless eternity. I've heard her studio-recorded version and her live version of this song and they're both incredible.
2. What’s your go-to song for all your feels?
“Ma Tehki” by Wael Kfoury. Every time I hear this song, it's self-inflicted heartbreak. I've listened to this song ever since it came out and it's always the first song I listen to when I want to deeply feel emotion. Similarly, Show Me Love by Laura Mvula is an incredible song. It has spiritual elements to it that definitely get me feeling some kind of way, but it's my own tradition to listen to it at the first snowfall of Chicago, so it holds a special place in my heart as a transition point between the autumn and chilly winter.
3. Name a song that reminds you of home.
Which home? For a Palestinian living in diaspora... figuratively, home is Palestine but literally, it's Chicago. “Edge of Desire” by John Mayer will always remind me of home - it's a song that you listen to while cruising down LSD (Lake Shore Drive) with the windows down. But I listened to it a few times when I spent a summer in Gaza and it carries beautiful memories of the Motherland, her slight gusty winds, and her beachy shores.
4. Name a song you know all the words to.
I know all the words to “Alif Baa Taa” by Darine Hadchiti. If I ever hear this song, doesn't matter where I am or what I am doing, I will loudly sing (and dance) along to it.
5. Name a song that gets you really hype and ready to go.
“Ahla Haga Feeki” by Mohammad Hamaki. This goes without saying - listened to this since I was a young teen and it is such a fun, hype, and light song to listen to and dance to!
Big shout out to Deena for joining and sharing her song selections! Most of Deena’s songs are available on Spotify and will be included in this week’s playlist, so be sure to take a listen. Follow Deena on Twitter and check out her dope initiative HijabInTheOR.com!
What I’m Listening To
🎧 Flows by Middle Eastern, North African, & Diaspora Artists 🎧
Zina - Biaziouka featuring Tawsen
Tattar - Shehab featuring DJ Totti and Dabl De
Angelina - Lea Makhoul featuring Timba Jd
Walo - IZRAA
Lmada - MrhMusic featuring Gha4music
You & Me - Intibint
Ma Saab - Tati G13 featuring Rayen Youssef
SIRI - Shahyn
7alti 7ala - Tara Salah Moneka
Nar - Alsarah & The Nubatones
🎤 Vibes by Latinx & Hispanic artists 🎤
UNA MÁS - Tainy & Yandel featuring Rauw Alejandro
Acompáñame - CocoJR featuring Barroso
Amar - Moni Gonzalez
Quema - Jenn Morel
Wherever I May Roam - J Balvin & Metallica
ROXXXE - La Factoria
Toca-T - El Menna + El Sann
Phantom - Kiddtetoon featuring Julianno Sosa and Polimá Westcoast
Estrella - Zion y Lennox
Corre - Ceci Bastida featuring Tamer Nafar
🎼 Other Good Music 🎼
Space Jam - Quad City DJ’s
Little Bit of This - Central Cee
Competition (Snakehips Remix) - Amber Mark
Still Tippin’ - Mike Jones featuring Paul Wall and Slim Thug
Oti Bere - Darkoo
Get Up - Ciara featuring Chamillionaire
Think (About It) - Patra featuring Lyn Collins
Infiltrate - Sean Paul
Wild Side - Normani featuring Cardi B
Survivor’s Guilt - Dave
What I’m Reading
🇱🇧 Lebanon 🇱🇧
Walking Through Beirut’s Emotions - Anthony Elghossain, Newlines Magazine
In Lebanon’s capital, a physical and political emptiness prevails, while the people manage to make do.
To help Lebanon through its collapse, listen to its most vulnerable - Kareem Chehayeb, The New Humanitarian
“I watched, and reported, as banks turned from boring places where you wait in line to hotbeds of anxiety, anger, and humiliation.”
Hariri’s stepping aside sets stage for more chaos in Lebanon - Chloe Cornish, Financial Times
Political parties focus on next year’s elections as senior officials at home and abroad acknowledge depth of crisis.
With Lebanon edging closer to hyperinflation, a family of five now pays five times the minimum wage for food each month - Tala Ramadan, L’Orient Today
In the first half of July alone, the prices of basic food commodities needed by Lebanese families in Lebanon jumped by more than 50 percent, based on the Lebanon Crisis Observatory’s analysis of price tables from the Economy Ministry.
Meet Lebanon’s delegation for the Tokyo Olympics - Lynn Sheikh Moussa, Beirut Today
Lebanon is scheduled to take part in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the country’s eighteenth appearance at the Summer Olympics since their start in 1948.
🌍 Middle East, North Africa, & Diaspora 🌎
In Syria’s war without end, refugee tent camps harden into concrete cities - Kareem Fahim, The Washington Post
After years of deadlock and dithering by the international community over its fate, the besieged enclave of Idlib is being transformed.
Biologist In Iraq Tracks Leopards Crossing The Border From Iran - Alice Fordham, NPR
Landmines make the northern part of the Iraq-Iran border forbidding for humans, but they also seem to have created space for what's thought to be a growing population of rare leopards.
War’s trauma apparent in portraits of Gazan children - Aya Batrawy and Felipe Dana, Associated Press
This story is part of “The Cost of War,” a series of stories on the effects of four wars in Gaza over 13 years.
Arab countries rush vaccine to stricken Tunisia in ‘proxy battle’ for influence - Siobhán O'Grady and Claire Parker, The Washington Post
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are among those responding to one of Africa’s most serious outbreaks.
Egyptian city loses mango crop to climate change - Amr Emam, Al-Monitor
Ismailia was long Egypt's mango growing hub, but climate change is quickly destroying the industry.
🎶 Music, Arts, & Culture 🎶
Remembering Biz Markie, the Uninhibited Spirit of Hip-Hop’s Golden Age - Matthew Ismael Ruiz, Pitchfork
The rap pioneer passed away at age 57, following a long struggle with diabetes.
How North African rappers shine a light in France’s dark corners - Yasmina Allouche, Middle East Eye
The hip hop genre dominates the French music charts, but its willingness to talk about the country’s demons makes it unpalatable to many among the country’s elite.
The Misunderstood Cultural History of City Girls’ ‘Twerkulator’ - Charlie Harding and Nate Sloan, Vulture
To break down the manifold dimensions of twerking, Switched on Pop co-host Nate Sloan sat down with Dr. Kyra Gaunt, ethnomusicologist, professor, author, and presenter of the TED Talk “Broadcasting Black Girls’ ‘Net Worth’,” to discuss the history of the dance — which even the Oxford English Dictionary got wrong.
WILLOW's New Pop-Punk Album Comes From Her Mom's Wicked Wisdom - Latesha Harris, NPR
"I want to give girls like me that confidence and that feeling of power and beauty," WILLOW tells NPR Music. "And that's the only reason why I do anything."
Hoop There It Is - Lior Phillips, The Ringer
The story of how a band with one album rode the Miami bass wave and a catchy single to become the sound of the original ‘Space Jam’.
📚 Other Reads 📚
Her Case Set The Precedent for The Trump Administration. Now She’s Been Granted Asylum - Tanvi Misra, The Fuller Project
“I didn’t totally understand at first what my case meant, but with time and with my attorneys’ help, I came to see that they used my case as a foundation”
It’s Not a Border Crisis. It’s a Climate Crisis. - Sabrina Rodriguez, POLITICO
There was a time when rural Guatemalans never left home. But back to back hurricanes, failed crops and extreme poverty are driving them to make the dangerous trek north to the U.S. border.
‘A powder keg about to explode’: Long marginalized Afro Cubans at forefront of island’s unrest - María Luisa Paúl, The Washington Post
By some estimates now a majority of Cuba’s population, Black families have experienced some of the deepest hardships as the island grapples with its worst economic decline since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The Fire That Forged Giannis Antetokounmpo - Mirin Fader, The Ringer
In an exclusive excerpt from ‘Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP,’ Mirin Fader details the trials and tribulations that helped the Bucks star go from a baby-faced rookie to a superstar with a mean streak—and that scowl.
Treating the Unvaccinated - Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker
In Utah, and across the U.S., doctors are facing a wave of preventable COVID deaths—and trying to convince the hesitant that “it doesn’t have to be this way.”