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Guest Feature: Disco Arabesquo
No words can properly express the grief and sadness being felt for Adam Toledo and his family. Nothing can articulate the rage and frustration toward Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Chicago Police Department for initially lying about what happened and trying to cover up what really took place.
How many more times is this going to happen? This is a systemic issue, not a few “bad apples.” Reform is simply not enough. There is no explanation that could ever justify shooting a 13-year-old child. Period.
*The links in here do not have any video of what took place. I refuse to watch or share it.
Okay, y’all. I do want to get right into things and talk about this week’s incredible guest. Very excited to introduce: Disco Arabesquo!
Disco Arabesquo is an Amsterdam-based Egyptian DJ actively unearthing vintage Arabic songs from North Africa and the Middle East. He focuses primarily on selecting forgotten tunes from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, and songs that showcase traditional Arabic music combined with funky Western influence and a generation of artists searching for a new identity. Disco Arabesquo also runs a digital archive of classic Arabic cassettes and vinyl.
What Disco Arabesquo has done to try and digitally preserve rare Arabic songs helps keep forgotten parts of our musical culture alive. And it was no surprise when he shared some of his go-to’s that he included a few hidden gems:
1. What is your favorite song right now?
One of those Egyptian 80's bands that just did one album and disappeared, a unique song where I visualize each sentence that is sung.
2. What’s your go-to song for all your feels?
Cause it doesn't matter how bad my day is, this song will cheer me up!
3. Name a song that reminds you of home.
My dad originally comes from the Egyptian countryside, so this song reminds me of the times when we would sit in the backyard of my grandpa's place barbecue a corncob and shew on a sugarcane.
4. Name a song you know all the words to.
Cause it's a jam, the words just come out automatically now!
5. Name a song that gets you really hype and ready to go.
It's the claps in the songs that does it for me, I have to clap, even if I’m carrying things, I just let let it fall out my hands and clap.
Big shout out to Disco Arabesquo for joining and sharing his song selections! All of Disco Arabesquo’s songs will be included in this week’s playlist, so be sure to take a listen. And please, check out his digital archive and follow him on Instagram, Spotify, and Soundcloud!
What I’m Listening To
🎧 Arab Flows (Middle Eastern & North African artists) 🎧
Perrie Taniya - Perrie featuring Lil Baba
Echemaa - Aezaddy
Minni Ana - zeyne
Liyam - Flenn
Incline - Zanib
9ortass - Mocci
Ya Teir Elsnono - Rola Azar
deeper me - Ss.hh.a.n.a
Men Ana - Alsarah & the Nubatones
Atari - Kabreet
🎤 Las Vibras (Latinx & Hispanic artists) 🎤
Flamenco y Bachata - Daviles de Novelda
Te Fallo - Manuel Turizo
De Tra - Adassa featuring Taino
De Esa Se Trata - Luigi 21 Plus
Sal y Perrea - Sech
Cancíon Feliz - Mon Laferte
Luna - Cami
1111 - Paty B
Dime Cómo - KORDELYA featuring õndas
Por Si Apareces - Alice Wonder
🎼 Other Music 🎼
Slippin’ - DMX
Show My Side - CKay featuring Amaarae
Pass The Hours - MorMor
Best Friends - Missy Elliott featuring Aaliyah
Cherry Blossom - AJ Tracey
Ghosts - Scavenger Hunt
Happy Place - Jada Kingdom featuring Toddla T
Solo - Shakka featuring GoldLink
Down to Miami - Emotional Oranges featuring Becky G
Phone Dies - Andra Day
What I’m Reading
🇱🇧 Lebanon 🇱🇧
Infographic: How much do basic necessities cost in Lebanon? - Mohammed Hussein, Al Jazeera
“An economic crash has driven nearly half of Lebanon’s six million people into poverty.”
Iftar an unaffordable luxury in Lebanon as Ramadan approaches - Gareth Browne, The National
New study says iftar for a family could cost two and a half times the average salary.
Aid to the families of the Beirut port victims is slow to materialize and worth very little - Zeina Antonios, L’Orient Today
Only 14 families of those killed in the Beirut port blast have started to receive a paltry monthly compensation payment. The other 62 families continue to wait for their files to be approved in order to be eligible for the payment.
Eight Months After the Beirut Blast, Lebanon is Still a Toxic Wasteland - David Enders, VICE
Warlords, mafias, and serious failures of governance have all combined to turn Lebanon into a dumping ground for hazardous chemicals, just like those that caused a devastating explosion in Beirut last summer.
‘No one cares’: Lebanon’s financial crisis and domestic workers - Anchal Vohra, Al Jazeera
As Lebanon’s economy and currency collapse, foreign domestic workers struggle to make ends meet, prompting many to consider returning home.
🌍 Middle East, North Africa, & Diaspora 🌎
Trying To Assess COVID's Impact On Arab-American Communities Is Complicated - Hadia Bakkar, NPR
"You can't have a group of individuals who are at risk of having all of those problems and don't really try to spend some time and energy to understand them."
The Dead Sea is dying. Drinking water is scarce. Jordan faces a climate crisis - Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times
“In the last three decades, the Dead Sea’s level has fallen almost 100 feet. The rate of loss is accelerating, and sinkholes now number in the thousands, like a rash spreading on the exposed seabed.”
Drought and Abundance in the Mesopotamian Marshes - Emilienne Malfatto, The New York Times
Once vengefully drained by Saddam Hussein, the wetlands in southeastern Iraq have since been partially restored. Now the region and its isolated settlements face a new set of challenges.
All aboard Bus 70: Traveling a local Libyan route from war to hope and renewal - Sudarsan Raghavan, The Washington Post
Bus 70 connects downtown Tripoli to Wadi Rabia, and for six miles crosses the former war zone of Ein Zara.
The Environmental Impact of Syria’s Conflict: A Preliminary Survey of Issues - Roba Gaafar, Arab Reform Initiative
This paper provides a preliminary survey of a set of environmental challenges that impose significant health, social and economic costs, including air pollution, deforestation, soil and vegetation degradation, and water depletion, and suggests green solutions for post-conflict relief and reconstruction.
🎶 Music, Arts, & Culture 🎶
A Man Named Earl - Craig Jenkins, Vulture
“The genius of DMX as a writer and a performer lay in his ability to repackage the burdens of Black inner-city life in art that was vibrant and lively even in darkness.”
Making Music Visible: Singing in Sign - Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, The New York Times
A new project is producing sign language covers of 10 seminal musical works recorded by Black female artists.
DC-Area Rapper Anees Is Getting a Big Boost From Justin Bieber - Baylor Spears, The Washingtonian
How did the pop superstar end up in Anees's Instagram livestream?
‘I Hated the Song for Years’: The Story of Vanessa Carlton’s ‘A Thousand Miles’ - Jamie Silano, VICE
Vanessa Carlton spoke with VICE about writing the iconic hit, and the importance of releasing her new music on her own terms.
Issa Rae: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop - Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone
She brought a singular voice to TV with 'Insecure.' Now Hollywood’s queen of comedy is building an empire.
📚 Other Reads 📚
Why flights from Central America often have the enticing aroma of fried chicken - Brittny Mejia, Los Angeles Times
“I don’t think that the chicken is amazing, but what gets me every time is just that feeling of home,” said Cesar Valencia. “When you miss home, you miss everything about it.”
The Shooting of Daunte Wright and the Meaning of George Floyd’s Death - Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker
How much has changed since the events of last spring?
Undanced Dances During a Pandemic - Suchi Branfman, The Nation
From inside a California prison come choreographies of the mind.
These Cajeta Drizzles Represent Scars: ‘Sad Girl Creamery’ Serves Ice Cream with a Side of Mental Health Awareness - Janette Villafana, L.A. Taco
“What makes SueEllen Mancini’s ice cream and paletas different from others is the unique flavors she includes in her menu and how she opens up conversations around mental health, a subject that hits close to home.”
White People Keep Apologizing To Me And It’s Exhausting - Julie Hoang, HuffPost
“If you’re a white person and you really believe your apology is genuine and sincere, the hard part you need to understand is that you are still not entitled to forgiveness.”
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