Discover more from Sa'alouni El Nas
Guest Feature: Sara Saleh
What’s happening right now in Texas is truly awful. As people in the state remain without heat or power in cold temperatures, it seems like their elected officials are quick to pass blame instead of taking responsibility — some just straight up leaving for Cancún (I’ve never been, personally).
If you have friends, family, or loved ones affected by the power outages, check in on them and ask how you can be supportive of them during this time. If you’re trying to help in other ways, The Texas Tribune put together a comprehensive list of warming center locations, local organizations providing direct services, and nonprofits asking for donations and assistance. Any and all help is necessary right now.
Let’s get right into it. I am really excited to introduce this week’s guest feature: Sara Saleh!
Sara is a human rights activist, writer, poet, and the daughter of migrants from Palestine, Egypt, and Lebanon, living and learning on Gadigal land (Sydney), Australia.
I am constantly in awe of how Sara uses her voice for the greater good and to advocate for justice. She has an incredible way with words (her poetry is 🔥) and has such a fun taste in music:
1. What is your favorite song right now?
When you're on a train or in the car singing your little heart out...these songs have the trills you're looking for! Such incredible, distinct voices that really take my “caraoke” to the next level.
2. What’s your go-to song for all your feels?
Everything about this...The story of crumbling pasts and present, the lyrics, the mixed musical genres, the vocals...is intoxicating.
3. Name a song that reminds you of home.
“Ain't No Mountain High Enough” - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell ...a song my mum, brother, and I loved growing up. Our road trips would turn into full musical performances with this.
(Abdel Halim & Fairouz are a given...what kind of bad Arab do you think I am?)
4. Name a song you know all the words to.
EVERYTHING & ANYTHING MARIAH - surely this needs no explanation lol.
5. Name a song that gets you really hype and ready to go.
Big shout out to Sara for joining and sharing her song selections! All of Sara’s songs will be included in this week’s playlist, so be sure to take a listen. And please, follow Sara on Twitter because you will not regret it.
What I’m Listening To
🎧 Arab Flows (Middle Eastern & North African artists) 🎧
Shandawel - L5VAV
Coco Kisses - Alya
KHAYYALA - Almukhtar featuring EQuBE
La Moula - LFERDA featuring Rais
Ashekt Rouhak - Remie Akl
Tgely Sob7 - Abyusif
Bye - Leil
Wana - Nassi
Ya Badr - Dina El Wedidi featuring DJ Totti
Ya Hasra - Balti
🎤 Las Vibras (Latinx & Hispanic artists) 🎤
Por Primera Vez - Camilo featuring Evaluna Montaner
Religiosa - Paloma Mami
Esta Noche - Mula
Sunbathe - Tainy featuring Miguel
El Gavilan - El Taiger featuring Gente de Zona
Cae de Una - Ricky Martin featuring Pedro Capó
Ole Bongo - Sr Ortegon featuring Yasniel Ciscal and Jr. Toledo
La Boca - Farina featuring Arcangel
Paso a Huella (Captain Planet Remix) - Novalima
Un Verano En Mallorca - Rels B
🎼 Other Music 🎼
Future Kids - Sara Kays
Jealous - Mahalia featuring Rico Nasty
3 AM - HAIM featuring Thundercat
WW2 - Unknown T
I Think They Like Me (Remix) - Dem Franchize Boyz featuring Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, Bow Wow, and The Kid Slim
Rock Steady - The Whispers
I Miss You (Come Back Home) - Montifah featuring Heavy D and McGruff
The Key - Tems
Fallin - Inayah
Story - ODIE
What I’m Reading
🇱🇧 Lebanon 🇱🇧
An Abandoned Village Bears Witness to Lebanon’s Famines – Old and New - Timour Azhari, Newlines Magazine
The Memory Tree honors victims of the terrible famine that wiped out a third of the country's population over 100 years ago. It also hints at ongoing societal failures.
Climate change upends Lebanon’s wine industry - Sarah Dadouche, The Washington Post
Unanticipated temperature changes and recent disruptions in traditional rain cycles have begun upending the winemakers’ work.
Remembering August in Beirut - Elina Abou-Sleiman, Overland Literary Journal
“When did August end in Beirut? I am standing one degree between over there and somewhere, and I cannot hear an answer.”
At a time of unprecedented strain on mental health, psychiatric medications are in short supply - Rana Tabbara, L’Orient Today
“People with mental health illnesses should not undergo the unnecessary pressure of having to find medications, this only adds to their stress”
Can This Photographer Save Beirut’s Architectural Treasures? - Lily Leach, Vanity Fair
Dia Mrad has long been fascinated with the 19th-century estates in Lebanon’s capital city. And after many of them were damaged in the August 4 explosion, their owners are now allowing him to look inside—and maybe help bring them back to life.
🌍 Middle East, North Africa, & Diaspora 🌎
In Treatment: Therapy in the Middle East Needs a Non-Western Approach - Yara El Murr, Newlines Magazine
There’s long been a mismatch between the mental health care tradition conceptualized in the West and the non-Western populations it aims to serve. It is time to bridge this gap.
In Beleaguered Babylon, Doing Battle Against Time, Water and Modern Civilization - Jane Arraf, The New York Times
The ancient city of Babylon is a World Heritage Site, but it faces threats old and new. As some of its walls crumble, preservationists are fighting to preserve the past.
Toni Breidinger makes history as NASCAR's first female Arab American driver after Daytona debut - Christopher Brito, CBS News
Toni Breidinger made history as the first Arab-American female driver to compete in a NASCAR national series after she made her debut at Daytona International Speedway over the weekend.
Noor Tagouri Discuss Muslim Representation and Equal Rights - Alya Mooro, GQ Middle East
Noor Tagouri has made it her mission to give a voice to the unheard and a face to the unknown. Now she’s about to tackle the biggest subject of her life.
A Libyan town reckons with its past horrors and uncertain future - Sara Creta, The New Humanitarian
“People were buried alive. Whole families were eliminated.”
🎶 Music, Arts, & Culture 🎶
Hip Hop Finds Its Groove in North Africa - Danny Hajjar, Newlines Magazine
Yes, I know. It’s a shameless plug for a story I wrote. But I hope you like it!
Shasha Movies: World’s First Streaming Platform for SWANA Cinema - Jad Dahshan, Artmejo
In March of 2021, led by founder, programmer, archivist, writer, and curator Róisín Tapponi, Habibi Collective is launching Shasha Movies: the region’s first independent streaming service dedicated entirely to MENA cinema.
One Album Released by 44 Labels. Is This the New Global Jukebox? - Grayson Haver Currin, The New York Times
For a decade, Senyawa has helped redefine how Indonesian music sounded. Now, the duo wants to revolutionize how it gets heard.
'People want imperfection': Hiam Abbass on Succession, Ramy and playing complex women - Hannah J Davies, The Guardian
Hiam Abbass is enigmatic Marcia Roy in Succession, but as the Egyptian-American mother in the award-winning Ramy, she’s a hoot. The Palestinian actor examines her many-layered roles.
The ‘Britney’s Gram’ podcast began as a lark. #FreeBritney wasn’t part of the plan - Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times
In 2017, Tess Barker and Barbara Gray launched a podcast, “Britney’s Gram,” dedicated to humorously dissecting Britney Spears’ enigmatic Instagram account. And then #FreeBritney took flight.
📚 Other Reads 📚
‘I’m running for my life. I cannot talk to you right now’: 23 women in Congress recall the Capitol riot - Mariel Padilla, The 19th
As the events of the deadly riot are examined in the impeachment trial, here is what almost two dozen lawmakers told The 19th about January 6, in their own words.
The Harrowing Journeys To Safety Of Asylum-Seekers During A Pandemic - Joanna Kakissis and Abu Bakr Bashir, NPR
"My concern is that as COVID subsides — and it must, eventually — many of these countries will leave these restrictive border practices in place."
Newspaper cartooning is dominated by White men. Will a new White House spark change? - Michael Cavna, The Washington Post
Many female and LGBTQ cartoonists and creators of color are published through contract and freelance work or in online outlets and alternative media, but the imbalance persists across much of mainstream editorial cartooning.
WHO Is Fighting False COVID Info On Social Media. How's That Going? - Malaka Gharib, NPR
Have any of these efforts actually changed people's behavior in the pandemic — or encouraged them to turn to more credible sources?
From NBA blue collar hero to fashion king: The unpredictable rise of P.J. Tucker - Wosny Lambre, The Athletic
P.J. Tucker would never be on anyone’s Wheaties box or in their Gatorade commercial yet here he is, the most blue collar of NBA role players, sitting front row at fashion shows in Milan just a few seats from Anna Wintour.
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