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Guest Feature: Farah Bishara
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One thing to highlight in Lebanon before we get started:
Yesterday, a British court ruled that London-based company Savaro Ltd., which delivered ammonium nitrate to the port of Beirut, was liable toward Beirut blast victims.
As my friend Kareem Chehayeb wrote in his story for the Associated Press, “the ruling in London is an unusual judicial success for the victims’ families, members of whom have advocated for an unimpeded national investigation.”
It’s a small piece of good news and a small piece of accountability for families who have been waiting for nearly three years for some kind of justice for that horrific blast.
Read more about the ruling in Kareem’s story here.
Separately, keep Nablus in your thoughts and prayers, and call out the injustice and violence against Palestinians.
Okay friends, let’s get right into it. I am so excited to introduce this week’s guest feature: Farah Bishara!
Farah is a Kuwaiti DJ — and a dope one, I might add. Her DJ career started 10 years ago when she began hosting a hip-hop show on 99.7 RKFM (a local English station in Kuwait), and it's snowballed from there!
Farah has been lucky enough to work with amazing brands and meet some incredible artists and DJs from all over the world. She’s currently studying to become a music teacher. Farah has always wanted to share her love for music in every way possible, and teaching kids seems like the natural step to take for her.
Let me tell y’all, Farah is not only an incredible DJ but she’s also just a super cool and empathetic human being. And, Farah has to be one of the biggest J Dilla fans I’ve ever met. Any lover of vinyl records and music is someone toward whom I gravitate, and Farah is a great friend with an amazing taste in music:
1. What is your favorite song right now?
"Drones" by Terrace Martin! His album was the soundtrack to my summer, and every time I hear "Drones" I feel really nostalgic and uplifted.
2. What’s your go-to song for all your feels?
"Million" by Matter Halo. Every time I want to have a good cry, this song does it for me. It's just so peaceful and sweet, and I feel like everyone wants to find their one-in-a-million. And if they ever do, the song will elicit happy tears, so it's a sob-fest in any case.
3. Name a song that reminds you of home.
Even though I live in Kuwait, a lot of places mean "home" to me. I think the best song to describe the feeling is "This Must Be The Place" by Talking Heads, because no matter where I am, I find "home" within me before I find it in a physical location. I love this song so much!
4. Name a song you know all the words to.
"Twinz" by Big Pun and Fat Joe. I always say this song would be my dream feature if I was ever a rapper. Such a badass song with so much energy! Every time it comes on I want to break something!
5. Name a song that gets you really hype and ready to go.
"Nothin'" by N.O.R.E. I feel like everything the Neptunes produced in the early 2000's brought such incredible energy, but this track in particular gets me so damn hype 20 years later, as if I'm hearing it for the first time every time!
Big shout out to Farah for joining and sharing her song selections! All of Farah’s songs will be included in this week’s playlist, so be sure to take a listen. Be sure to follow Farah on Instagram and keep up with her adventures and the tracks she’s vibing to!
What I’m Listening To
🎧 Middle Eastern, North African, & Diaspora Flows 🎧
7ad Men Gowa Mat Khalas - Abyusif
Bahebak Lelsama - Aziz Maraka
Nazele Big Champagne - Blu Fiefer
Cima - Dareen featuring Sybka
Albi Fein - Hala
M3AK KAN3ANI - Milfaya
Omi L7aja - Samara
Mawazeen - Bu Kolthoum
Tb Eh - Abo El Anwar
NASTY - Zeina
Sokkar - Elyanna
On My Own - Rhita Nattah
I Have A Dream - Bahjat
Cauchemar - Foufa Torino
Shobbeek Lobbeek - El Faouri
Noor w Thulma - Lil Eazy featuring Alyoungofficial
El Woroud - Xena Elshazlii
Emarat - Mansour Unknown featuring Freek
i wanna be your right hand - Nemahsis
W Ba3deen - Sharmoofers featuring NOVO
🎤 Latinx & Hispanic Vibes 🎤
TQG - KAROL G featuring Shakira
CONTIGO LA PASO CABRON - Polimá Westcoast
After Party - Ely Blancarte
MARTINI - Lyanno featuring Jay Wheeler
Mi Pecadito - Mike Bahía featuring Greeicy
Chikilio - Yailin La Mas Viral featuring Menor Queen
NADA - Vanessa Zamora
heridas - julia amor
Fighter - Christina Aguilera
Moonlight - Kali Uchis
🎼 Other Good Music 🎼
Die For You (Remix) - The Weeknd featuring Ariana Grande
Memories - Niniola
Abobi - Patoranking
Fik N’Doub - Monsieur Nov featuring Manal
Always Get This Way - The Aces
Holiday - Rema
No Stress - Blaq Jerzee featuring 1da Banton
Honeymoon - Don Toliver
Tormenta - Gorillaz featuring Bad Bunny
Nadja - Unknown Mortal Orchestra
What I’m Reading
🇱🇧 Lebanon 🇱🇧
‘Embedded in our DNA’ — How Lebanon's traumas feel to those thousands of miles away - Farah-Silvana Kanaan, L’Orient Today
When members of the Lebanese diaspora awoke to news of the earthquake, many struggled with anxiety, dissociation, and survivor's guilt. L'Orient Today explores the complicated web of emotions felt when experiencing trauma from afar.
Intercepted at Sea: The Drowned, the Saved & the Missing - Yara El Murr, The Public Source
This is Part 3 of a three-part series examining the human cost of border enforcement.
Plenty more fish in the sea? The catastrophic repercussions of illegal fishing in Lebanon - Mounir Kabalan, Raseef22
Fishing with explosives or other prohibited materials has come back to the fore in recent years after it wasn’t possible to cover areas farther out into the sea due to the high price of fuel allocated to coast guard boats.
Rising poverty and hunger in Lebanon: The fight against malnutrition for low-income families - Nadia Massih, Laura Welfringer, Stéphanie Cheval, and Yong Chim, France 24
The Lebanese lira has lost about 97 percent of its value, and more than 80 percent of the population live below the poverty line. Millions of people are struggling to make ends meet amid the financial turmoil.
Opening the Beirut Art Center’s doors a little wider - Jim Quilty, L’Orient Today
Two months into the job, BAC director Reem Shadid discusses how she’d like to strengthen a central pillar of Lebanon’s cultural life.
🌍 Middle East, North Africa, & Diaspora 🌎
As a Syrian abroad, the earthquake has shaken me to my core - Tesbih Habbal, The New Humanitarian
“I feel the guilt of privilege: The privilege of now experiencing tragedy remotely, of being confronted with it through the news, rather than living it.”
Rights group: Mideast governments target LGBTQ people online - Kareem Chehayeb, Associated Press
The findings of a new report by Human Rights Watch exposed digital methods of clamping down on the LGBTQ community in the region.
In Old Cairo, residents reconnect with their heritage - Bahira Amin, Agence France-Presse
For most of their lives, children from historic Cairo's Al-Khalifa district only saw the mausoleums, mosques and madrasa schools that pepper their neighbourhood from outside heavy bronze doors.
The Palestinian team has never taken part in a World Cup tournament, but the territory’s presence was very much in evidence at Qatar 2022.
The sad stories of Algerians during the snow season - Nihal Doweib, Raseef22
"At this time of the year, Assratou is subjected to social isolation and a complete absence of communication with the community, as there is no school, no shopping, not even a visit to a doctor, except in the case of extreme necessity"
🎶 Music, Arts, & Culture 🎶
Rita L’Oujdia: The artist putting Morocco on the global music map - Danny Hajjar, Middle East Eye
I talked to the 21-year-old singer about fame, blending different languages in her songs and her pride for her heritage.
Inside the Unlikely New York Record Store That Sells Vinyl to the Stars - Sim Tumay, Pitchfork
The Greenwich Village record store, owned by a one-of-a-kind NYC character, stocks the shelves of Lana Del Rey, Rosalía, Bella Hadid, and more.
Randall Park Breaks Out of Character - Hua Hsu, The New Yorker
The “Fresh Off the Boat” star made his career in amiable roles, but his directorial debut, “Shortcomings,” is full of characters who are, in his word, “shitty” people.
Untangling the Knotty Politics Behind Reggaeton’s Rise in Spain - Felipe Maia, Pitchfork
Once stigmatized as the music of immigrants, reggaeton now leads Spanish charts, spawning local artists and global stars. But not everyone is a fan.
Nemahsis Never Thought She’d Be a Pop Star - Steffanee Wang, NYLON
The viral Palestinian-Canadian singer’s music merges the bitter with the sweet.
📚 Other Reads 📚
Black women in the field are working to disrupt eating disorder stereotypes, which create a vicious cycle that prevents people of color from getting diagnoses and treatment.
Inside the world of NBA Paint: ‘There’s something inherently beautiful about bad art’ - Jared Weiss, The Athletic
NBA players are viewed as serious athletes projecting the peak of human achievement. But what if they were cute, goofy stick figures making punny jokes? There’s a world where that exists. Welcome to the NBA Paint universe.
Three years and a pandemic later, these restaurants have reimagined themselves - Janelle Nanos, The Boston Globe
From dumpling factories to co-working spaces, restaurants are reinventing what it means to be a restaurant.
Nike’s Panda Dunks Were a Collector’s Dream, Until Everyone Started Wearing Them - Inti Pacheco, The Wall Street Journal
Shoe obsessives who collect and resell limited-edition sneakers are perturbed by seeing Panda Dunks everywhere; ‘That’s not as cool anymore.’
Black residents in LA were the target of 46% of hate crimes, despite making up only 9% of the population. Local organizations are providing resources in hopes to change that.