Discover more from Sa'alouni El Nas
Guest Feature: Ibi Ibrahim
A jury found Derek Chauvin guilty of murder. George Floyd should still be alive today. Accountability is not justice.
In light of this week, I want to share a few stories that I highly recommend around the trial, police violence, what justice looks like, and what comes next:
After an anguished wait, Chauvin verdict brings a flood of emotions, pledges to do better—and food. - Andrew Hazzard, Logan Carroll, Ben Hovland, and Becky Z. Dernbach, Sahan Journal
‘Right now, it is the soul of this nation’: What’s next for George Floyd Square - Megan Burks, Minnesota Public Radio
This isn’t justice — George Floyd is still dead - Jeneé Osterheldt, The Boston Globe
George Floyd Was Also a Father - Clint Smith, The Atlantic
How You Can Honor George Floyd's Life With Real Police Reform, Explained - Michael Harriot, The Root
Even with a guilty verdict for Chauvin, anti-Black police violence continues - Ashton Lattimore, Prism
The Vital Role of Bystanders in Convicting Derek Chauvin - Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker
It’s time to stop showing the video of George Floyd’s death - Andrene M. Taylor, The Undefeated
Derek Chauvin Was Convicted Of Murder. Most Cops Who Kill Go Unpunished. - Jessica Schulberg, HuffPost
Okay, y’all. Let’s get right into it. I am so excited to introduce our guest feature for this week: Ibi Ibrahim!
Ibi Ibrahim is a visual artist, writer, filmmaker and musician. He is one-half of the band Kabreet, a Yemeni-German music project started in 2014 by Ibi and his bandmate Hanno Stecher, whose songs combine Arabic lyrics and singing with percussion-based and synth-heavy music, transcending notions of “Eastern” and “Western” pop music and merging nostalgia with contemporary sound design. Ibi is also the founder of Romooz Foundation, an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to support emerging Visual Art and Literature talent in Yemen.
Ibi is an exceptionally talented storyteller. Both his own individual artistry and his incredible music with Kabreet maintain a spirit of innovation and inclusivity in each creative output. I was so excited when he agreed to share his go-to music:
1. What is your favorite song right now?
This is slightly embarrassing but it's my band's new track “Atari” which just came out April 10. I am too proud of the work we did to bring it to life. Since last year, my bandmate Hanno and I have been working remotely between New York and Berlin to make new music. We decided to name our latest EP Masafat; Arabic 'distances' for that very reason. It includes the songs we did during quarantine. Aaaaaaah!
2. What’s your go-to song for all your feels?
“Tamaly Maak” by Amr Diab. I mean, that video-clip!!! Iconic!
3. Name a song that reminds you of home.
“Sa'alouni El Nas” by Fairuz. This was a morning anthem in our house in Yemen. Still is.
4. Name a song you know all the words to.
Every classic Nawal al-Zoghbi song. Though I love singing along to “El Layali.”
5. Name a song that gets you really hype and ready to go.
That's easy! “Enta Aref Leh” by Ruby.
Big shout out to Ibi for joining and sharing his song selections! All of Ibi’s songs will be included in this week’s playlist, so be sure to take a listen. And please follow Ibi on Twitter and check out Kabreet’s latest EP!
What I’m Listening To
🎧 Arab Flows (Middle Eastern & North African artists) 🎧
Meme Against the World - Narcy featuring Thanks Joey
Mush Baeed - Donia Wael
HIGHS AND LOWS - AKA Keyz
NTA - Manal
Talamez - Afroto
Burning Bridges - Mougleta
Hobak Dawlati - Mahira
Al Manafi - Natik Awayez
Rumoreo - Mister You featuring Morad
Je sais - Wassila
🎤 Las Vibras (Latinx & Hispanic artists) 🎤
Obviamente - Corina Smith
Plakata - Lalo Ebratt featuring Kiko el Crazy
Pero No - Sofi de la Torre
Cumbia A La Gente - Guaynaa featuring Los Ángeles Azules
Midnight Boom - Ir Sais featuring ChocQuibTown and Afro B
Rumba (Puro Oro Anthem) - Maluma
Montoya - Farina & Arcangel
Bibiana - Natalia Lozano
Cielo Rojo - Ángela Aguilar
Madre Mía - Tatiana Delalvz featuring Ptazeta and Lérica
🎼 Other Music 🎼
Gone - Jorja Smith
Black Gold - Flying Lotus featuring Thundercat
A-Team - Travis Scott
CMD Z - Rory J. Brown featuring Scarlett Fae
Seize The Day - Paul McCartney featuring Phoebe Bridgers
Nia Nia - EHNA
Evil Eye (A COLORS SHOW) - Bellah
Jagged Edge - TSB featuring Unknown T and M1llionz
Dream in Color - Cordae
One Last Kiss - Hikaru Utada
What I’m Reading
🇱🇧 Lebanon 🇱🇧
‘Do you think this photo will change my life?’ - Lorenzo Tugnoli, The Washington Post
“Hundreds of thousands of people had seen his photo in The Post, and now millions more saw it, and Elie Saib unwittingly became an icon of the Beirut disaster.”
‘No food in the fridge’: A grueling Ramadan in Lebanon - Kareem Chehayeb, Al Jazeera
Aid groups are struggling to feed thousands of vulnerable families in Lebanon amid highest food inflation in the world.
‘Killing us softly’: Lebanon sinks deeper into mental gloom - Rosabel Crean, The Daily Star
The lack of centralized data regarding mental health cases in Lebanon makes it difficult to comprehend the scale of the problem.
The weight of Lebanon's many crises is falling hardest on women - Aliaa Awada, The National
“The Lebanese authorities need to develop a participatory, gender-inclusive crisis response strategy that recognises women and girls as primary victims of the ongoing emergency.”
The Struggle to Vaccinate Lebanon - David Kenner, Slate
Beirut’s largest public hospital long embodied all the country’s institutional failures. Now it’s leading the COVID-19 response.
🌍 Middle East, North Africa, & Diaspora 🌎
Outrage in Kuwait after woman is stabbed to death by man she reported repeatedly for harassment - Miriam Berger, The Washington Post
Farah Hamza Akbar filed two police complaints against a man she said harassed and threatened her for more than a year. But that wasn’t enough to keep her safe.
Fleeing a Modern War, Syrians Seek Refuge in Ancient Ruins - Ben Hubbard, The New York Times
So many people have fled to Syria’s crowded northwest that families have settled in important archaeological sites. “We, too, have become ruins.”
The Architecture of Identity: Carrying legacy through CalEarth - Neena Rouhani, Azeema Magazine
Neena Rouhani talks to Sheefteh Khalili, the current owner of CalEarth Institute - a non-profit organization dedicated to finding solutions for the global housing shortage in California, touching on her childhood and Iranian heritage.
In the tombs of Saqqara, new discoveries are rewriting ancient Egypt’s history - Sudarsan Raghavan, The Washington Post
The discovery, among many others, of a previously unknown queen has reshaped researchers' understanding of ancient Egyptians.
Marib’s descent back into war is shocking, but it shouldn’t be a surprise - Annie Slemrod, The New Humanitarian
“Every day, you turn on your mobile and you read the news that one person’s friend is dead, another is dead.”
🎶 Music, Arts, & Culture 🎶
The history of protest songs in Tunisia and their link to popular culture - Alessia Carnevale, The Conversation
“In my research I argue that leftist activists found in popular culture – and in songs in particular – a powerful tool. It could raise awareness among young people, galvanise activists and spread socialist revolutionary ideas. These songs become a link in the longer chain of resistant cultural practices in the country.”
Remembering Black Rob, The Husky-Voiced One-Time Savior of Bad Boy - Miles Marshall Lewis, GQ
The rapper who gave us “Whoa!” and other classics died Saturday at age 52.
TT the Artist Wants Baltimore Club to Get Its Due - Noah Yoo, Pitchfork
The director talks about spotlighting the electrifying dance scene in her new Netflix documentary Dark City Beneath the Beat.
The Timeless Pleasures of Dawoud Bey’s Street Portraits - Hanif Abdurraqib, The New Yorker
“His pictures make me think about the times I’ve walked down the street feeling invisible, until I pass another Black person who holds my gaze long enough for us to exchange a nod.”
‘This was our music, and our conscience’: how I fell in love with French hip-hop - Jesse McCarthy, The Guardian
Moving to Paris in 1992 as a Black American kid was totally disorienting. Its underground rap scene became my map to the city, and the soundtrack to my formative years.
📚 Other Reads 📚
There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing - Adam Grant, The New York Times
The neglected middle child of mental health can dull your motivation and focus — and it may be the dominant emotion of 2021.
‘I would have never been in college’: NBA fines, from Kyrie Irving to Draymond Green, have a story to tell - Joe Vardon, The Athletic
Last season the NBA levied $7.3 million against its players. Through dozens of interviews and data-driven reporting, The Athletic found numerous examples of people who are a little better off because the NBA docked a player’s pay.
How India Went From A Ray Of Hope To A World Record For Most COVID Cases In A Day - Lauren Frayer, NPR
On Thursday, India confirmed nearly 315,000 new infections over the preceding 24 hours – the highest single-day tally for any country on any day since the pandemic began.
NYC will pilot non-police response to mental health emergencies—but is it enough? - Tamar Sarai Davis, Prism
Mental health advocates and residents have hopes, concerns, and lingering questions as a new program prepares to launch this Spring in Harlem.
How the Super League Fell Apart - Tariq Panja and Rory Smith, The New York Times
Frantic phone calls, secret meetings and high-stakes threats: The inside story of how a billion-dollar European soccer superleague was born, and then collapsed, in less than a week.
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