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Guest Feature: Kareem Shaheen
In light of the horrific, racist, and misogynist murders that took place in Atlanta this week, I want to share some really powerful stories and commentary that put it all into context. I highly encourage everyone to read them and reflect:
How to take action against anti-Asian racism at work and in your personal life - Jennifer Liu, CNBC
It Was A Banner Year For Asian Representation. Now What? - Connie Wang, Refinery29
The Muddled History of Anti-Asian Violence - Hua Hsu, The New Yorker
The Atlanta shooting, anti-Asian hate crime and what it means to be (Asian) American - Michelle Yang, NBC Think
The answer to anti-Asian racism is not more policing - Kayla Hui, Prism
Calling white supremacists "terrorists" isn't enough to dismantle this system - Vanessa Taylor, Mic
When Law Enforcement Fails Hate Crime Victims - Rowaida Abdelaziz, HuffPost
The Excuses We Make for White Male Murderers - EJ Dickson, Rolling Stone
This is a place to start, but there’s more we can and must do. Anti-Asian racism is deeply embedded in the history of the United States, and we have to take meaningful action each day if we’re truly going to make any progress.
Okay, y’all, we have an amazing person from the community to highlight. I am really excited to introduce this week’s guest feature: Kareem Shaheen!
Kareem is a journalist based in Montreal. He is a satire writer at Alhudood, a senior editor at Newlines Magazine and columnist at The National. He is a former Middle East correspondent for the Guardian.
Aside from being an incredible editor, Kareem is a wonderful friend and a hilarious person (you should really spend some time reading his tweets calling out crimes against hummus). He also has a classic taste in music that many will appreciate:
1. What is your favorite song right now?
“El Alb Yehebb Marra” by Shadia.
2. What’s your go-to song for all your feels?
“Fee Ishq el Banat” by Mohammad Mounir.
3. Name a song that reminds you of home.
“Ah Yasmarany” by Mohammed Mounir. Particularly this line:
“يا طير يا مسافر لبعيد، روح قول للأسمراني، ليه سافر ونسي المواعيد، حبيبي ياسمراني”
It reminds me that I’m far away. And it also reminds me of my dad and how he passed suddenly before we’d done all the things together I had hoped to do.
4. Name a song you know all the words to.
Most of the classical Amr Diab songs. I particularly love singing along to “Mayyal.”
5. Name a song that gets you really hype and ready to go.
“El Helwa Di.” I like quieter mornings before getting started with work and the simplicity of life that exudes from the song puts me in the right frame of mind and is humbling.
Big shout out to Kareem for joining and sharing his song selections! Most of Kareem’s songs are available on Spotify and will be included in this week’s playlist, so be sure to take a listen. And please be sure to follow Kareem on Twitter where you can stay updated on his beautiful writing and see him hold people accountable for manipulating hummus (it’s a treat, truly).
What I’m Listening To
🎧 Arab Flows (Middle Eastern & North African artists) 🎧
Shou Hal Ayyam - Ziad Rahbani
What She Does - Felukah
Yay - Dana Hourani
Jasa - Ibobai
DaY5a - Afroto featuring Wezza Montaser
Always - Nayomi
T.G.B. - Dub Afrika
Ouyoni - Ayman Alatar
Asli Barri - Maysa Daw featuring Lina Makhoul, Nancy Hawa, Noel Kharman, and Yusor Hamed
Majhool - Al9ine featuring Randar
🎤 Las Vibras (Latinx & Hispanic artists) 🎤
Mariposas - Daniela Booker
Tu Veneno - J Balvin
Quiero Verte - La Ross Maria
La Dueña - Rasel featuring Sami Duque
Boy Bye - ARIA VEGA
Ignis - Sarah Silva
Uña Con Diamante - Adriana Torron
Nada de Nada - Valentina Rico
Madre Tierra - Los Cojolites
Toro Mata - Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco
🎼 Other Music 🎼
A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke
CINDERELLA, PT. 1 - CHIKA
Done Me - Amun
AYO! - KAMILLE featuring S1mba
Trippin - Kara Marni
Show U Off - Brent Faiyaz
My Side - Drake
Caught Up In Your Storm - Mickey Guyton
It Feels So Good - Sonique
Rendezous - Kavale
What I’m Reading
🇱🇧 Lebanon 🇱🇧
After the Blast - Rania Abouzeid, The Atlantic
Last summer’s explosion in Beirut devastated much of the city. Rania’s efforts to repair her apartment reveal a lot about how Lebanon works—and doesn’t.
As prices for sanitary products soar, some women and girls are turning to riskier options to manage their periods - Emily Lewis, L’Orient Today
In the midst of Lebanon’s economic collapse and faced with soaring inflation, women and girls are being forced to change the way they manage their periods, a new UN study has found.
Brawls in shops as Lebanon's financial meltdown hits supply of food - Maha El Dahan and Ellen Francis, Reuters
The collapse of Lebanon’s currency has forced many grocery shops to temporarily shut within the last 24 hours, raising fears that a country reliant on imports could soon face shortages of food.
‘We are hungry’: Lebanese protest worsening economic crisis - Zeina Karam, Associated Press
“Where are the people? Come down, we are hungry, we are fed up!”
From the Archival to the Fictional: How "Where to, Marie?" Revives Local Feminist History - Yara El Murr and Christina Cavalcanti, The Public Source
The recently published comic book, “Where to, Marie? Stories of Feminisms in Lebanon," distills a century of overlooked feminist struggles through the stories of five fictional characters. Christina Cavalcanti and Yara El Murr interviewed the co-authors of the book Bernadette Daou and Yazan al-Saadi and four of the comic artists, Tracy Chahwan, Sirene Moukheiber, Joan Baz, and Razan Wehbi.
🌍 Middle East, North Africa, & Diaspora 🌎
I watched Syrians on Clubhouse grapple with their failed revolution - Kareem Shaheen, The National
“Listening in on their stories made me realize that the failure in question was not one that belonged to them.”
As Algerian protests resume, demonstrators differ on goals - Hamid Oul Ahmed, Reuters
The protest movement, known as ‘Hirak’, brought tens of thousands of people to the streets each week for more than a year until the global pandemic hit Algeria in early 2020, forcing them to stop. Now, as the demonstrations resume with thousands of people pressing once again for more comprehensive change, protestors are taking different paths that reflect a wider debate among those who first took to the streets.
The Syrian revolution: Voices of 10 years of torment - Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times
Five Syrians, two of them still inside the country, reflected on the last 10 years in conversations with The Times.
Egypt: Sanaa Seif’s conviction on bogus charges a travesty of justice - Amnesty International
The 10th South Cairo Criminal Court today convicted Egyptian human rights activist and film editor Sanaa Seif on charges of spreading “false news”, “misusing social media” and insulting a police officer on duty, and sentenced her to one and a half years in prison.
Remembering a Palestine No Longer There - Tariq Kenney-Shawa, Newlines Magazine
For Palestinian-Americans, nostalgia means longing for a home they’ll never know, and their parents can only dimly recall.
🎶 Music, Arts, & Culture 🎶
On Blackness and the Nation in Arabic Hip Hop: Case Studies from Lebanon and Libya - Chris Nickell and Adam Benkato, Lateral Journal
Chris Nickell and Adam Benkato think together about the mobilization of Blackness in Arabic hip hop from two different contexts: a rap battle in Beirut, Lebanon and music videos from Benghazi, Libya.
How Selena Gomez embraced her Mexican heritage as ‘a source of healing’ - Suzy Exposito, Los Angeles Times
“I was fluent in Spanish until I started working at 7. Then my job just kinda took over my life.”
This historian is preserving North African Jewish music from a bygone era - Asad Shalev, Jewish Telegraphic Agency
Chris Silver, a professor at McGill University, now possesses about 500 albums recorded by Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian Jewish vocalists and instrumentalists. It’s the first archive of its kind.
Do Drake’s Melodramas Still Matter? - Ismail Muhammad, The New York Times Magazine
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when he stopped feeling vital, but “Toosie Slide” crystallized it.
Grammys 2021 performer Mickey Guyton makes history — without country radio's help - Jada Watson, NBC Think
Guyton's story feels all too familiar for the nonwhite women and LGBTQ+ artists who have historically been marginalized by the country industry.
📚 Other Reads 📚
Spurred by Tragedy to a Life of Female Empowerment - Aida Alami, The New York Times
After her son’s death, Yayi Bayam Diouf decided to fish for a living. That meant challenging Senegal’s patriarchy. She won, and brought countless women with her.
One year later, Breonna Taylor’s mother is still looking for accountability - Errin Haines, The 19th
‘Breonna gave people a voice who didn’t know they had one, including me,’ Tamika Palmer says, calling for the Justice Department to investigate Taylor’s shooting by police.
In Rage Over Sarah Everard Killing, ‘Women’s Bargain’ Is Put on Notice - Amanda Taub, The New York Times
The “Reclaim These Streets” movement in Britain asks why the police demand sacrifices of women rather than forcing men to change to end violence. “It makes my stomach rot,” one organizer said.
Why do so many Mexican Americans defend Speedy Gonzales? - Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times
“Speedy turned into a pariah in the decades after his heyday, placed by Hollywood executives and pundits in the same racist purgatory of Old Hollywood as Stepin Fetchit, ‘We don’t need no steenkin’ badges,’ and Charlie Chan…And yet time and time again, Mexicans — the very group you’d think would hate Speedy the most — rose to defend his honor.”
Anthony Mason fought the X-Man, and the Knicks of the ’90s were made: ‘Neither one backed down’ - Joe Vardon and Mike Vorkunov, The Athletic
Twelve players, coaches, executives, doctors and agents from the 1991 Knicks agreed to share their memories of former head coach Pat Riley’s first New York camp with The Athletic, and explain how a scrap between Anthony Mason and Xavier McDaniel set the franchise on its way to a decade of rugged glory.
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