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Guest Feature: Mae Eldahshoury
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Massive flooding in Pakistan has already claimed the lives of more than 1200 people in the country. We are witnessing the devastating impacts of climate change right now in real time as more than a third of the country —an area roughly the size of the UK — is submerged in water.
If you’d like to help, please consider donating money to these organizations here who are working to assist families devastated by the flooding.
Okay friends, let’s get right into it. I am so excited to introduce this week’s guest feature: Mae Eldahshoury!
Mae is a self-proclaimed videographer, a fan of memoirs, and always has a sweet tooth. Explains why she’s constantly baking new recipes for her friends (and herself) to taste test.
Mae is the press secretary for U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley and enjoys working at the intersection of politics, communications, and design – fitting for her background in journalism and public policy. A knack for digital storytelling and social change has led her to political campaigns, nonprofits, and civil rights organizations. If you aren’t registered to vote, she’ll probably try to change that.
Currently, Mae and her colleagues are working to reestablish the Congressional Muslim Staff Association and invigorate a sense of community among her fellow Hill staffers.
Her family is Egyptian - geographically African and culturally Arab. Born and raised in the south, Georgia is typically on her mind but she’s always open to new cities, experiences, and people.
This past Ramadan, Mae supported a friend's initiative to feed over 2,000 families in Egypt through crowdfunding. The project, Food for Egypt, raised over $100K for community leaders to hand deliver food packages to people in poverty-stricken areas of Egypt. Check out more here.
So…what doesn’t Mae do?! We love people who have a big heart and want to make a difference in the world. Mae’s compassion and drive to help people shine through in the way she carries herself. And on top of all if this, y’all, Mae has an absolutely incredible taste in music:
1. What is your favorite song right now?
“I Don’t Do Drugs” by Doja Cat & Ariana Grande. I recently re-listened to the album Planet Her, and this song has been on repeat since.
“Una Rosa Blanca” by Ibrahim Maalouf & Harold López-Nussa - I am a sucker for jazz. That’s all.
2. What’s your go-to song for all your feels?
“Love Galore” by SZA & Travis Scott. I don’t know a single girl who wasn’t singing this in summer 2017, feels or not, and I was no exception.
“Kabira” by Pritam (Tochi Raina & Rekha Bhardwaj). I first heard this when I was introduced to Bollywood movies in college. This one is from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, and while the movie is pretty cheesy and dramatic, this song and scene get me every time.
3. Name a song that reminds you of home.
“Strawberry Swing” by Coldplay (Frank Ocean’s cover) and “Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega. While pretty different, these two songs remind me of my siblings, of playing outside till it got dark, of listening to the same songs on repeat after hearing them on the radio, and of the dance choreographies we would put on for our parents.
4. Name a song you know all the words to.
“Live Your Life” by T.I & Rihanna. This was the one of the first songs I had on my iPod Touch (yes, the first generation) that also had the lyrics on screen, so every morning on the ride to school I was memorizing line by line because I thought the touch screen was the coolest thing ever.
“Ah W Noss” by Nancy Ajram. Had to give a shoutout to my early 2000s Arab pop queen. When the music video for this song was first released, I was visiting Egypt with my family and because of how frequently it would come on TV, it became ingrained in my psyche.
5. Name a song that gets you really hype and ready to go.
“American Boy” by Estelle & Kanye. This is one song I have no idea how I came across, but it’s been a go-to whenever I need a pick me up or when I’m already feeling great.
Big shout out to Mae for joining and sharing her song selections! All of Mae’s songs will be included in this week’s playlist, so be sure to take a listen. Be sure to follow Mae on Twitter to keep up with all of her incredible initiatives!
What I’m Listening To
🎧 Middle Eastern, North African, & Diaspora Flows 🎧
Meta Ashoufak - Georges Al Rassi
TAG - Raja Meziane
Elak w Bas - Ghaliaa
Maktoub - A.L.A.
Enti Wain - Luay Hijazeen featuring Farah Ezz
Omri - DYSTINCT featuring kouz1
Dawara - L5VAV
WUSUL - Dina El Wedidi
Ahl Elamar - Esaam Satti & Ali Naseraldeen
Afa - Jara
🎤 Latinx & Hispanic Vibes 🎤
El Pañuelo - Romeo Santos featuring ROSALÍA
NO HAY LEY - Kali Uchis
Candela - Los Rakas featuring Big Klef
No Aguanto el Calor - Lisbon Girls
Otro Trago - Jacob Fever featuring El Chacal
pegao!!! - Esty
Thirteen - NEZZA
Tas Clara - Big Soto featuring Beéle
Lenguaje Universal - Mario Puglia featuring Ervin River
Cardenalito - Tiare
🎼 Other Good Music 🎼
Can’t Trust - Bck
Gbedu - Ms Banks featuring Kwesi Arthur, Snypa, and Joey B
Shook - Cautious Clay
Fool 4 U - Yuna
Dancing In The Shadows - TSHA featuring Clementine Douglas
Body - Bayanni
Streets Don’t Love You - June Freedom
Cold Summer - Venom & Shishiliza featuring DBN Gogo and Blxckie
Queen Space - Ari Lennox featuring Summer Walker
Tongo Barra - Khurangbin & Vieux Farka Touré
What I’m Reading
🇱🇧 Lebanon 🇱🇧
As long as Lebanon’s patriarchal system remains, domestic violence will never cease - Michelle Eid, Beirut Today
Although a new system cannot be conceptualized overnight by one individual, the most basic of steps calls for solidarity against current state institutions that have been complicit in these crimes.
Singer’s death in road collision draws attention to high rate of traffic fatalities - Richard Salame, L’Orient Today
The death early Saturday of Lebanese singer George Al Rassi refocused attention on a perennial problem in Lebanon that is rarely prioritized — the high rate of death and injury on the country’s roads.
Massive hike in cell service fees cuts off Lebanon’s poor from the world - Nader Durgham, The Washington Post
In the latest symptom of Lebanon's unfolding economic crisis, hikes in telecom fees mean many in the country can't afford their phones anymore.
How Aude Nasr weaves activism through her richly patterned illustrations - Olivia Hingley, It’s Nice That
The French-Lebanese illustrator uses her creativity to shed light on the plights of marginalised communities.
An audiovisual ode to a city that demands to be heard - Farah-Silvana Kanaan, L’Orient Today
“It’s Friday, the opening night of ‘Norient City Sounds: Beirut,’ bearing the apt title ‘Beirut Adrift,’ which, according to the event’s intricate website, ‘evokes a sense of loss and disorientation but also a drift in the city’s new sonic and musical terrains.’”
🌍 Middle East, North Africa, & Diaspora 🌎
‘Who will protect us?’: Baghdad residents wait out fighting as city grinds to halt - Simona Foltyn, The Guardian
As night fell over Baghdad on Monday, many Iraqis wondered whether their country would wake up to a new civil war.
Tunisia racism: 'I lost the will to leave my home' - Abdirahim Saeed, BBC News
According to a survey commissioned by BBC Arabic, 80% of Tunisians believe that racial discrimination is a problem in their country - the highest figure in the Middle East and North Africa region.
‘They robbed me of my children’: Yemen’s war victims tell their stories - Bushra al-Maqtari, The Guardian
The horrors of this conflict, and the lives it has taken, must not be kept hidden. As the bombs continue to fall around us, I have gathered these witness testimonies as a memory against forgetting (*Content warning – the following article contains graphic descriptions of war)
The writers retelling Libya’s history through a feminist lens - Naima Morelli, Al Jazeera
How Libya’s women novelists are reframing the country’s stories in a post-Gaddafi era.
Water woes deepen misery for families in Syria shattered by war - Nazih Osseiran, Ton Reuters Foundation News
Many people in war-stricken northeast Syria cannot afford clean water with inflation rising due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
🎶 Music, Arts, & Culture 🎶
100 Greatest Reggaeton Songs of All Time - Eileen Luzmila Caraballo, Jon Dolan, Ricardo Durán, Katerina Eccleston, Verónica Bayetti Flores, Julyssa Lopez, Moises Mendez II, Jennifer Mota, Gary Suarez, and Lucas Villas, Rolling Stone
Reggaeton is a global phenomenon and a commercial force that’s changed the Latin music business, despite naysayers, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Here are Rolling Stone‘s 100 Greatest Reggaeton Songs of All Time.
Retromania and resistance: Record label MaJazz Project reissues new dawn for unsung Palestinian pioneers - Benjamin Ashraf, The New Arab
Digging beneath the mainstream, Palestinian record label MaJazz Project is unearthing the sounds and stories of unsung pioneers; from the revolutionary Intifada anthems of Riad Awwad to the utopian folk of Al Fajer.
Rina Sawayama, Pop Therapist - Vrinda Jagota, Pitchfork
The British-Japanese singer talks about laughing through trauma, how self-love can be a trap, and her festival-ready second record, Hold the Girl.
Christina Aguilera has every right to sing in Spanish again - Naomi Larsson Piñeda, gal-dem
Christina Aguilera’s first Spanish-sung album in 22 years is a welcomed return to Latin pop.
Discostan is Reclaiming Dancefloors With the Music of the SWANA Region - Nicholas See, GQ Middle East
From performance art to radio shows to club parties, Discostan is creating an audio-centric haven for the SWANA diaspora.
📚 Other Reads 📚
Flooding has devastated Pakistan – and Britain’s imperial legacy has made it worse - Shozab Raza, The Guardian
Colonialism and its aftereffects have left regions such as south Punjab resource-starved, poverty-stricken and deeply vulnerable to floodwaters.
When Private Equity Takes Over a Nursing Home - Yasmin Rafiei, The New Yorker
After an investment firm bought St. Joseph’s Home for the Agen Richmond, Virginia, the company reduced staff, removed amenities, and set the stage for a deadly outbreak of COVID-19.
How Jackson, Mississippi, ran out of water - Benji Jones, Vox
A crisis that’s left thousands of residents with no running water was decades in the making.
Serena Williams broke the mold for being a world-class athlete - Soraya Nadia McDonald, Andscape
Unlike others who defined themselves by the need to win, she already has a full life outside tennis
Notting Hill Carnival was my farewell to the summer - Riann Phillip, gal-dem
One last hoorah before the seasons change, Carnival is a glorious light amid a backdrop of crises.