Discover more from Sa'alouni El Nas
Welcome to the first edition!
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Welcome to the first edition of “Sa’alouni El Nas” named after one of my favorite Fairuz songs and which literally translates to “the people asked me” (whether the people asked me to do anything is a whole other question). Thank you all for signing up and being part of this new journey with me, it really does mean a lot!
Each week, I’m going to try to highlight stories, articles, interviews, and other interesting reads that have to do with issues and topics that are personal to me. You’ll see a lot on Lebanon (because that’s very top of mind for me right now), stories about Arabs and the diaspora, general music and culture features, and other interesting and cool content that should be shared.
I also DJ on the side, so I’m going to highlight some really cool songs and albums that I’ve been vibing to each week too. I’ll mainly share content from Arab artists and Latinx artists (because these days that’s all that I listen to), but I’ll sprinkle in some other awesome music as well.
And lastly, each edition will have a section called “Your Weekly Sample” that highlights how a song was sampled by another artist. For those who may not be familiar with the concept, “sampling” is the reuse of a portion (or sample) of a sound recording in another recording. Samples may comprise elements such as rhythm, melody, speech, sounds, or entire bars of music, and may be layered, equalized, sped up or slowed down, re-pitched, looped, or otherwise manipulated.
If you ever have any ideas, music, stories, or anything that you think would be great to highlight, always feel free to reach out to me! Also going to shamelessly make a plug to follow me on Twitter if you want to get in touch.
Without further ado, the first issue!
P.S. donate to the Milwaukee Freedom Fund, which provides support for protesters in the Milwaukee area, including Kenosha, Wisconsin.
What I’m Reading
From Beirut to Damascus: “Nowhere Is Safe” - Ghalia Al Alwani, Daraj
“I’ve almost made peace with the idea that everyone I know is going to die soon, I started to calculate: would I rather die with my parents in Syria? Or would I rather die with my partner and friends here? What if my parents die? Would I rather be there or hear about it from here?”
Scarred for life: Beirut blast victims and life-altering wounds - Arwa Ibrahim, Al Jazeera
At least 150 people have become permanently disabled as a result of the devastating August 4 port explosion.
‘Listen to me, listen to a woman who’s endured deep pain: leave this country’ - Mariam Abdel Sater and Desiree Darouni (as told to Zahra Hankir), Medium
Zahra has been uplifting stories of residents in Karantina, one of the hardest hit areas of Beirut from the explosion. This is one of such stories in her series (which I highly recommend everyone check out)
After port explosion, Lebanese excavate their dreams - Louisa Loveluck, The Washington Post
But the survivors in a forgotten Beirut quarter can’t seem to shed the flashbacks or the broken glass still under their skin
Lebanon’s People Don’t Want To Be Resilient Anymore. They Want Change. - Rowaida Abdelaziz, HuffPost
The Beirut explosions ripped through a fragile society already struggling with a financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.
Arabs + the Diaspora
The series will follow friends Maya, Jumana, and Lara through their navigation and experiences across cultures and expectations after moving from the Middle East to Los Angeles.
Perfect Harmony: ABIR Brings The HEAT With Her New EP - Lauren Sanchez, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia
Moroccan-American singer, Abir is set to invade feel-good playlists with her new album. HBA spoke to the powerhouse pop star about identity, discrimination and why she won't let anyone try to define her - except herself
Culture + Music
Stop Blaming The Boston Music Scene's Problems On The Death Of Rock ‘N’ Roll - Amelia Mason, WBUR
“It’s easy enough to find contemporary examples of nationally known Massachusetts acts if you look beyond white, predominantly male rock and widen your aperture to encompass the quirky, fractured world of internet streaming platforms and apps.”
Lianne La Havas’ Bittersweet Memories - Puja Patel, Pitchfork
A conversation with the singer/songwriter about Prince, Radiohead, and her new album, on The Pitchfork Review.
Charlie Kane & Maria Mora | Documenting Women DJs and their experiences in “For The Record” - Kevin Coval and Tara Mahadevan, WGN Radio
The Cornerstore spoke with Charlie Kane & Maria Mora about their Documentary, “For The Record” that covers women DJs and their experiences in the music scene; how they got their start in their respective art forms, and more.
Between Hunger and Famine: From the Scene with El Rass & Ziad Nawfal - Majd Shidiac, Revolver
The leftfield Lebanese music scene was at the forefront of revolutionizing thought and culture at many pivotal moments in its rather young history, but like all revolutionary concepts today, it is crippled by the financial and physical strains of the current moment, all while facing a question of life or death. (Note: The interviews, research, and development of this piece were done in the week of Monday, July 27, 2020—almost a week before Beirut’s most horrific explosion in history)
‘Everybody is Getting Sick’ - Silvia Foster Frau, San Antonio Express-News
Thousands of refugees and immigrants working for huge plants in the Panhandle were repeatedly exposed to coronavirus after the plants were deemed essential and ordered by President Trump to remain open.
'This Is So Much Bigger’ - Mirin Fader, Bleacher Report
What goes into the decision to opt out? Athletes from the WNBA, NBA and NFL let B/R Mag in on why they are sitting out their seasons in favor of a higher cause.
Does racism make us sick? Amid a national reckoning, the question gains new importance - Tatiana Sánchez, San Francisco Chronicle
Racism has devastating health effects on Black people, studies show. The coronavirus pandemic and a national movement against systemic racism has magnified that stress.
One Albany woman's COVID-19 nightmare - Massarah Mikati, The Times Union
How one woman’s experience exemplified implicit bias and medical uncertainty working in tandem to leave Black people with worse medical care for COVID-19.
Shot by cops, thwarted by judges and geography - Andrew Chung, Lawrence Hurley, Andrea Januta, and Jaimi Dowdell, Reuters
U.S. courts show wide regional disparities in granting qualified immunity, the controversial legal doctrine now under fire for protecting officers accused of excessive force.
China Secretly Built A Vast New Infrastructure To Imprison Muslims - Megha Rajagopalan, Alison Killing, and Christo Buschek, BuzzFeed News
China secretly built scores of massive new prison and internment camps in the past three years, escalating its campaign against Muslim minorities even after it publicly claimed the detainees were been set free. (Note: This is Part 1 of a BuzzFeed News Investigation. For Part 2, click here)
What I’m Listening To
Arab Flows (Arab + diaspora artists)
Las Vibras (Latinx artists)
Your Weekly Sample
“Make Me Better” by Fabolous samples “Al Sa’ban Aleh” by Sherine. Check it out here!