Thursday, April 30, 2009

Look at the Fucking (Kufiya Wearing) Hipster

The kufiya is by now so stereotypically associated with hipsterdom (and its follies) that you would expect that this new website, "Look at this fucking hipster," devoted to making fun of hipsters, would feature some kufiyas. And of course it does (thanks, Susana). And it's being constantly updated (you can send in your own photos, if you've got it in for hipsters), so if you like this sort of thing, you can check back.

Meanwhile, a 'fucking hipster', photo posted March 31.


The snarky caption reads: “Hmm…well, the orange matches my helmet strap and the avocado goes perfect with my Yasir Arafat scarf. All I need now is something to go with my fucking disgusting sneakers, and I should be all set with groceries.”

Yasir Arafat scarf? In turqouise? That's a new one!

And this one, from April 19.



The caption reads, “Thank you, but we prefer to be called Hipspanics.” (Uh, no comment on that 'pun.')

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Noa & Mira Awad: Israel's Entry, Eurovision 2009

Check out this video, featuring Israel's entry in the 2009 Eurovision contest. Try to figure out who is the Arab and who is the Jew?



Of course, to engage in such an exercise is to conjure with problematic racial stereotypes. Nonetheless, in this instance it's worthwhile. Noa, the Israeli singer, looks more stereotypically Arab. That's because she is of Yemeni background. Mira Awad, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, is 'whiter' and looks more European. That's because her father is a Palestinian Arab and her mother is Bulgarian.

What does it mean when Israel decides to enter a duo representing Israeli minorities, a Mizrahi and a Palestinian, to represent the Israeli nation in the Eurovision contest? Is it a clever ploy to give Israel a positive image, at a time of growing demands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, in the wake of the Gaza outrage?

Yes.

According to a recent article in The Guardian,

When the announcement of their Eurovision entry was made, Israel's military was deep into its devastating three-week war in Gaza. Suddenly, Nini and Awad found themselves facing a bout of criticism from the left. Several Arab artists – some Israeli, some Palestinian – published an open letter asking the pair to withdraw.

"The Israeli government is sending the two of you to Moscow as part of its propaganda machine that is trying to create the appearance of Jewish-Arab 'coexistence' under which it carries out the daily massacre of Palestinian civilians," the letter said. "Israeli artists, authors and intellectuals that take part in this propaganda machine, instead of working for justice, equality and the upholding of human and civil rights, not to mention international law, are partners to the crime."

On the other hand, does the choice of Noa and Mira Awad represent, in a sense, the success of struggles of Mizrahim and Palestinian citizens of Israel, to change Israel's Eurocentric, Ashkenazi, and exclusively Jewish character?

A cautious yes.

Noa, according to The Guardian, "has taken part in several joint projects with Arab artists, publicly backs a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and refuses to perform in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank."

Noa recorded a cover of John Lennon's "Imagine" together with rai artist Khaled, which was released on the European version of Khaled's 1999 album Kenza. It was not included on the US release of Kenza, from Ark 21.

The Guardian goes on to say that Noa "faces occasional anti-Israel demonstrations during her tours abroad, once in London and most recently during a tour of Spain last month, and has been very critical of Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement, in Gaza."

As for Awad, "She works in an Arabic-Hebrew theatre in Jaffa and made a breakthrough appearance in an Israeli television sitcom, Arab Labour. She has sung with Nini for the last eight years and has previously competed to represent Israel at Eurovision, despite objections from the Arab community."

As far as I can determine, the Israeli sitcom, Arab Labor ("Avoda Aravit"), seems to be a sign of Arab inroads into mainstream Israeli culture.

So while I'm sympathetic to the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, I regard the Noa/Mira Awad collaboration as a complicated matter.

But whatever you think about the politics, there is no way that this song should win the Eurovision contest. It's sappy and dreadful.

(I saw Noa perform at the Fez Festival of Sacred Music in Morocco in summer 1999, and did not care for her music at all. And the duet with Khaled, "Imagine," is awful as well.)

On the other hand, Dana International, Israel's Eurovision entry in 1998, truly deserved to win. Even if she has been shilling for Tzipi Livni of late.

"P.H.A.T.W.A." by Narcisyst (kufiya & Abu Ghrayb content)


Check out this remarkable video from the Iraqi-Canadian rapper Narcisyst.



It's about the kind of everyday harassment that Arabs and Muslims receive when they attempt to travel, especially when they cross borders. It is quite brilliant. And highly amusing.

Narcisyst gets nabbed for questioning at the airport, wearing a t-shirt that says, "Same Shit, Different Saddam." Then we see a shot of Narcisyst's Afro-Canadian sidekick, and a guy with a kufiya around his neck, whose t-shirt reads, "Same Shit, Different Hipster." The hipster, of course, even though he is garbed in Arab gear, doesn't get fingered by security.


Security searches Narcisyst's luggage, and find this magazine, "Petrosexual Man." As the security guy looks at the mag, the woman, clad in red bikini and red kufiya, jerks off the oil derrick, and it spews oil. The pub seems to represent the security agent's fantasy, with its titles, "Strapped to an Oil Rig and Ready to Blow!," "The Biggest Drills!", "The Nakedest Chicks!", "The Deadest Arabs!", "Secret Prisons: A Look at the World's Most Brutal Facilities."

And best of all, there are several scenes of Narcisyst seated at the interrogation table, rapping, with dancing Abu-Ghraybish hooded prisoners, as his backup singers. Too much!


Check out Narcisyst's blog here, and get ready for the release of his first album, on May 25, which will include the song "P.H.A.T.W.A."

For more on harassment of traveling Muslims and Arabs, please see Safraz Manzoor's piece in today's Guardian, "How to tell I'm not a terrorist."

All Muslims who consider themselves liberal and tolerant could apply for a special card which when presented would show the holder was a "pre-approved Muslim", thus saving time at airports. Sure, some may say that such a card would represent a gross violation of human rights but I think it could be marketed like a credit card: membership has its privileges – in this case not being indiscriminately arrested or held up when travelling. Those who feel uncomfortable carrying a card could be offered an alternative – a white girlfriend perhaps, someone to vouch for the fact that they have successfully ­integrated into society and have no immediate plans for a holy war.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Misc. #84.07: Edible Undies in Syria; 5% Fez; 'Democracy Now' Kufiya; Leila K

Continuing to purge the desktop:

1. I just came across this article, "Edible Undies in the Muslim World," at Salon.com, originally published in Der Spiegel. The title is misleading, it's all about Syria's lingerie industry, which exports elsewhere in the Arab world.

It's the "latest thing," Abdullah Hayek says, holding the garment up. It's an almost nonexistent bra and thong, which consists of strings and a tiny triangle. It's made, not of fabric, but of sugar fondant, which has been rolled out until it is wafer-thin, held together with elastic cords.

"This allows the husband to nibble the underwear off of his wife's body," explains Hayek. The garment, which costs the equivalent of about $3.90, is available in a selection of flavors, including pineapple, apple, honey, chocolate and mango. "I probably sell 15 of them a day," said Hayek.

It refers to the book, The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie: Intimacy and Design. I met Malu Halasa, one of the co-authors, at a conference in Holland in 2007, and posted about the book here.

And here is another report, from Martin Asser of the BBC. It's somewhat sharper and less leering than the Spiegel report, and it has the added attraction of a bit of video, where Asser goes into a lingerie workshop to talk to a man who makes lingerie, and we see a singing g-string. The workshop owner, Ali Nasser, tells Asser:

"Our work is all about igniting the desires of a husband for his wife, so he doesn't go looking elsewhere. It's a good thing and there's nothing wrong it."

"There's no shame in religion," he adds...

2. I keep wanting to get back to the topic of the fez (tarbush) and its coolness. (Earlier posts here and here.) Here's a photo from the back cover of rapper King Sun's 1990 release, Righteous But Ruthless, which I have posted on previously, but without a photo. King Sun is wearing the black kufiya, and it's probably his producer King Shameek who is wearing the fez. King Sun belonged to the Nation of Gods and Earths (Five Percenters), as did so many leading rappers of the period. Although King Sun, like other 5% rappers, did not rap about the Middle East, the kufiya and the fez are examples of the 'romantic alignment' with Islam and the Arab world that was, and is, so common in Afrocentric circles. The album is well worth a listen, recalling the great work of Poor Righteous Teachers, who collaborate with King Sun on one track.

3. For the archive. You've seen it many times--every day, really: the kufiya that shows up in the opening to Amy Goodman's show, Democracy Now. It's a great image, no?


4. A posting on wayneandwax reminded me of Leila K , the Swedish-Moroccan rapper, of Moroccan origin, who came out with a quite wonderful 12", "Got to Get," back in 1989. It's very old school, it has some cheesy lines, ("I ain't down with no crack") but it is catchy and energetic. Check the video out here. Wayne's discusses another Leila K, "Open Sesame," which was a big dance hit all over Europe in 1992. Through one of the comments on Wayne's post, I learned about another Leila K hit, "Electric Power," from 1995 (watch the video here). It's decent, and like "Open Sesame," in the Eurodance vein rather than rap. Leila K is important, arguably, as one of the first, maybe the first, well-known rapper from Europe who was of Arab origin. And again, for the sake of the archive, here are the front and back covers of the "Got to Get" 12".

The dudes are Swedish producers Rob'n'Raz, who got equal billing with Leila K on this, her first release.

Egypt, April 6, Political Uses of Kufiya

Just in case you were in any doubt whether or not the kufiya still maintained some political meaning, check out these images. They are from a report on al-Jazeera English about the April 6 pro-democracy movement and the role of bloggers in this struggle. It features an interview with my friend Gamal Eid, an Egyptian lawyer who is involved in the legal defence of the pro-democracy bloggers, and who serves as the Executive Director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information. The photos are from about 2:35 into the report, and they show a rally in favor of the April 6 movement, which called for a strike on that day. Notice how central to the event is the black-and-white kufiya, which is worn by activists who are chanting, and is held aloft as a kind of token of resistance, nationalism and democracy. And that's what it's about in Palestine, too.

Unfortunately, the movement was not able to generate much action on April 6, as reported by The Arabist.

More on the white phosphorus tip

Human Rights Watch recently (March 26) produced this short documentary:

And Al-Jazeera English did this report (March 25) on Pine Bluff Arsenal, the source for the white phosphorus shells the Israel 'Defense' Forces used in/on Gaza.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Random #4589

Items I've wanted to post about have been piling up. They need to get off my desk. Let's begin the cleanup!

1. Thanks to Wayne, I learned about this wonderful hip-hop mix, featuring many of the Arab world's top artists. I was particularly glad to see Algeria's MBS included. The song "Dunya" from Canadian-Palestinian rapper Belly is particularly revelatory. Plus there is Detroit's Invincible. It's courtesy the blog The Hairdryer Treatment, which we all should be following.

2. Last month Human Rights Watch released a report stating that Israel's military had used phosphorus in an indiscriminate manner during its three week assault on Gaza, result in deaths and injuries to Palestinian civilians, and constituting a war crime. Did you know that the phosphorus weapons Israel used are supplied by the US, and that the white phosphorus shells are produced, in their entirety, in my state, at the Pine Bluff Arsenal?

3. You need to read Jace Clayton's review of two recent rai compilations. And you need to purchase both of them. I've posted about one of the tracks Clayton writes about, "Un gaou oran," here, on my mepop blog. (The video is a must see.) One of the compilations, 1970s Algerian Proto-rai Underground, from Sublime Frequencies, is only available currently as a download, but I believe it is coming out very soon on CD.

4. Also essential is Clayton's recent article about the Master Musicians of Jajouka. (By the way, Clayton records and performs as dj/rupture, and he runs the essential music blog mudd up!, where I am constantly snagging amazing mp3s.) Or rather, it's about the rival groups, the Master Musicians of Jajouka and the Master Musicians of Joujouka, the emergence of the feud, the kif-laden legends surrounding the group(s), a critical assessment of Talvin Singh's production of a Jajouka album in 2000, and more. Very smart stuff. (For more, see Philip Schuyler's witty and erudite article, "Joujouka/Jajouka/Zahjoukah: Moroccan Music and Euro-American Imagination.") Despite all the myths that Jajouka/Joujouka is freighted with, the Jajouka group puts on quite a lively concert. And there is a new recording that proves it. Check out Live Vol. 1 by The Master Musicians of Jajouka with Bashir Attar.

5. RIP J.G. Ballard. Crash is one of the most shocking, subversive, disturbing, dangerous, and incisive novels I have ever read.

6. Then there is the sensational basketball player Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, a high school star from Springfield Massachusetts, who plays wearing Islamic dress, including hijab. She just beat the state scoring record, for men or women, topping 3000 points during her career. I'm very excited that she will be playing at the University of Memphis next year, and hope that a game with the University of Arkansas is in the schedule. The Boston Globe produced an excellent article about Bilqis back in February. More recently she was covered by Sports Illustrated. Unfortunately but symptomatically, the author, Selena Roberts, manages to link Bilqis' struggle for acceptance as a devout Muslima basketball player in the US to the issue of Shahar Peer, the Israeli tennis star who was denied a visa to play at the WTA tournament in Dubai in February. Roberts makes the denial out to be a "religious" issue, when it was in fact political, and had to do with the groundswell of protest against Israel's aggression in Gaza (December 2008/January 2009).

...Desk cleaning will continue later. There is more to come.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

BUY PALESTINIAN KUFIYAS!!


This is terribly exciting. A group called The Kufiyeh Project has been set up to promote the kufiya as a Palestinian symbol and, more important to my mind, to promote the sale of Palestinian kufiyas (now made only at the Hirbawi factory, Hebron).

This is how the project describes itself. Please check out the group's website, order kufiyas ($12, a dozen for $120), sell kufiyas, involve yourselves in the project.

The Kufiyeh Project was conceived by concerned activists from New Orleans Palestine Solidarity and the Austin Coalition for Palestine, in coordination with Palestine Online Store. The project is not-for-profit, and its objectives are:

1. To proactively promote the kufiyeh as a symbol of Palestinian identity, resistance, struggle for justice, and solidarity with it.

2. To support Palestinian industry and make sure that kufiyehs continue to be produced in Palestine.

Our strategies and tactics will include asking progressive celebrities to wear it and to speak up for justice in Palestine. We also intend to promote the Palestinian-made kufiyeh as much as possible using all forms of publicity. And, last but not least, we will support the Hirbawi factory to the best of our ability and also encourage better quality production.

The Kufiyeh Project is currently being coordinated by Mai Bader and Haithem El-Zabri, and an advisory board is being formed. Income generated from sales and contributions will be rechanneled into the project (under supervision of the board) to pursue the above-mentioned objectives.

Contact the group at info@thekufiyehproject.org
.

(I'd really like to get hold of the kufiya shopping bag--where can I find one of those?!)

UB40 Concert, NYC, May 7

I'm posting this on behalf of a friend who is helping to promote the concert.

To aficionados of old school reggae: UB40 will be performing in New York, on Thursday, May 7 at the Nokia Theatre in Times Square. UB40 are from Birmingham - formed in 1978 - and (as 80s heads may know) have had 50 hits in the UK. They gained popularity in the US with the release of Labor of Love, an album of cover songs; their breakout hit on this side of the Atlantic was "Red Red Wine" (a cover of a Neil Diamond song.) Other hits include "Groovin'", "I Got You Babe" with Chrissie Hynde (who discovered them) and "Kingston Town" (a remake of Lord Creator's 1970 version, though UB40's version is a tribute to the earliest West Indian immigrants to England - see newspaper headline: "Town Stages Dance For Coloured People").

See video

Concert Info

Discount Tickets Available!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Leather Keffiyeh from Designer Natalia Brilli

This is really wild, a leather kufiya, from Belgian designer Natalia Brilli, available from the new online shopping site Studiohomme, devoted to men's fashion. Only €546.00. What is interesting about this item, other than the materials and the price, is that it is marketed as a Keffiyeh. (More views of the item, and enlargements, here.)

Here's what Hyphen has to say about Studiohomme:

Officially launched on February 19th, 2009 this bilingual (English-French) e-commerce site targets the stylish man who is looking for luxury goods and fashion forward designers such as Flouzen, Unity, Comme des Garçons and recently added Alexis Mabille.

Created by Sebastien Roubaud and Arnaud Vanraet, the site also offers some editorial content via its “Journal” feature and the “designer interview” along with styling advice for its clients, how they actually implement the latter part is not quite clear at the moment.

Postscript on Sex and the City

My friend Nadine suggested that if I wrote an article on the previous post, Kufiyaspotting #47, that I give it the title: "The Kufiyyah Tank Top: Eros & (A)politics in Sex and the City."

I really like the title, and it brings up something that I was thinking about after I put up the post: how completely devoid SATC is of political discussion, and how stark the juxtaposition is in the scene referred to in the previous post: between discussion of men, and fashion, and relationships (the staple of SATC) and the (disavowed) sign of Palestine. The contrast is made even more remarkable by the fact that Sarah Jessica Parker looks totally hot (as usual on SATC) in her kufiya tank top.

Does this warrant an article? I'm undecided.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Kufiyaspotting #47: Sex and the City

Rema, who I met after the MESA panel where I presented my paper on kufiyas, told me about a Sex and the City kufiya episode. Finally, and thanks to Nadine, I have got hold of the DVD. It's from Season Four, Episode 17 ("A 'Vogue' Idea"). It's the episode where Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker) attempts to write an article for Vogue (the "Mecca" for fashion writers, she calls it), but runs up against the bitchy editor, Enid, played by Candace Bergen. You remember it. It's always a treat to see Candace B. on the screen.

Carrie and her pals are having the usual foursome lunch together, after the meeting at Vogue, and Carrie shows up wearing this kufiya top.

This was way ahead of the curve. As you would expect from SATC. This would have been first broadcast on February 3, 2002, according to my calculations. Less than four months after 9/11, in case you didn't notice. Way before the kufiya fashion explosion that started in 2005 or so.

I shot these photos off my computer screen.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Nawal: Music from the Comoros Islands

I've been meaning to write more about Arabesque, the truly amazing arts festival held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC last month, but, well, life has intervened. Maybe I'll finally get to it. In the meantime, please watch the live concert of Nawal, the truly remarkable vocalist from the Comoros Islands. (Click on the photo, here.) Unfortunately, you can't enlarge the video, but the music is really spectacular. In case you didn't know it, the Comoros Islands, located in the Indian Ocean, between Madagascar and Mozambique, is a member of the Arab League. I don't hear that much "Arab" influence here. The tarab music that is so popular in Tanzania and Zanzibar is much more "Arab" in its sound. Nonetheless, you must give it a listen. As a part of the Arabesque series, it expands our notion of what "Arab" culture and arts might be. The sound quality is quite good, so you can watch a bit and then just listen.

More about Nawal and her latest recording, Aman, here.

"Dis-Orienting Rhythms" available for download

I learned about this book over ten years ago from Tony Mitchell, and have found it invaluable. I urge anyone interested in BrAsian politics and culture, fans of Fun'Da'Mental, Asian Dub Foundation, Talvin Singh, and the like, to read this book. Apparently it is no longer in print, alas! But you can now download it via darkmatter, the blog of Sanjay Sharma, one of the editors. Do it now! Read! Study! Internalize all the ideas! Go here.
Dis-Orienting Rhythms: the politics of the new Asian dance music (1996, Zed books), edited by Sanjay Sharma, John Hutnyk and Ash Sharma.

This book writes back the presence of South Asian youth into a rapidly expanding and exuberant music scene; and celebrates this as a dynamic expression of the experience of diaspora with an urgent political consciousness. One of the first attempts to situate such production within the study of race and identity, it uncovers the crucial role that South Asian dance musics - from Hip-hop, Qawwali and Bhangra through Soul, Indie and Jungle - have played in a new urban cultural politics …

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ramallah Underground Update

I got this a few days from Ramallah Underground on Facebook. I'm reproducing it with their permission. I've been a big fan of the group for several years, I play them often on my Interzone Radio show, and I almost got to meet one of the group in Ramallah last summer. My time in Palestine was too short.

A summary: a great new track to download for free; the group is doing a workshop for refugee camp youth; they will appear on the new album of the Kronos Quartet (!); they'll be in London this summer; participating in the prestigious Vienna Biennale. [Correction, April 9: RU member Basil Abbas and Ruanne (the group's VJ) will be doing a sound installation at the Venice Biennale.

Now if we could just get RU to tour the US...

Ramallah Underground Update:

New track: Sijen ib Sijen, available for download on http://www.ramallahunderground.com

Coming up very soon, on the 6th and 7th of April, is a workshop in the Dheisheh Refugee Camp, organized by Sports Under Siege from Italy, where we will be presenting our techniques in beat production. This will be followed by a performance on the 11th of April at the Ibdaa Center. http://www.ibdaa194.org/

Kronos Quartet's upcoming album, Floodplain, will feature a piece, entitled 'Tashweesh', composed by Ramallah Underground.

Floodplain is set to be released on the 19th of May: Pre-order here.

We have just finished a remix for a track entitled "Brute force" by bleubird. Download Street talk 5 EP here.

Also out now is Chronicles of a Refugee, a 6 part DVD documentary looking at the global Palestinian refugee experience over the last 60 years. It can be purchased from the Palestine Online store (http://www.palestineonlinestore.com). The Documentary contains many bits and pieces from the RU labs.

This summer RU will be taking part in an artist residency in London from June 15th to Sep 15th, where we also plan to do some performances around the UK and Europe.

At this point, gigs that have been confirmed (includes before and after summer too):

Ibdaa Centre (Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Palestine) April 11 '09
Marxism Festival (London, UK) July 3 '09
Bluecoat (Liverpool, UK) July 17 '09
October Fest (Taybeh , Palestine) Oct 3 '09
Kronica (Bytom, Poland) Nov 27 '09

Please check "Live" on http://www.ramallahunderground.com for updates.

Before the residency aswatt (RU) alongside Ruanne Abou-Rahme, will be creating a sound installation entitled 'Ramallah Syndrome' (http://ramallahsyndrome.blogspot.com/) at the Venice Biennale which opens on the 6th of June.

Salaam
RU

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Update on Kufiyaspotting #44: "Taking the Stage"

I've noticed that MTV keeps fooling with the un/availability of the trailer for "Taking the Stage" (Kufiyaspotting #44). So here are a couple of shots of Shaakira, who is the most prominent kufiya wearer in the trailer, in kufiya. They're taken from other footage, including this one.


?uestlove Kufiya


A sort of update about The Roots, house band for "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." The promotional material produced just prior to the show's opening, which featured the band, showed the Roots' drummer ?uestlove garbed in kufiya. I froze a frame on my computer, and shot this shot.

Check out this review of The Roots' first week with Fallon. It says, among other things, "the greatest revelation of the first week of "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon"...was that it's wholly plausible that the Roots are funnier than their host."

Friday, April 03, 2009

Kufiyaspotting #46: Steve McQueen

Just when I think that the kufiya is now longer a very important fashion item, I spot this, a couple weeks ago or so, in the New York Times Style Magazine, Men's Fashion Spring 2009. Steve McQueen is the director of the acclaimed recent film Hunger, about imprisoned IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands. McQueen is also an accomplished artist.

The photo is prominently featured in the magazine, on the back page, under the title THE ORIGINALS. Curiously, the caption only discusses the skirt McQueen is wearing, designed by Yohji Yamamoto. No mention of the kufiya. If you look closely, you will see that it has skulls woven into the design.

I don't have a scanner, so a photo of this will have to do. To see the original online, go here.

"Yes, White People Are Devils. Yes, That Includes Me"--Michael Muhammad Knight

A very astute essay from Michael Muhammad Knight, courtesy Goatmilk, which is running a monthlong series, “Facing Race: Muslims and Islam." Based on this essay, we'd all do well to keep track of this series.

Knight tells us that he doesn't believe in the Yacub theory, but that this, and other such beliefs of the Nation of Islam and the Nation of Gods and Earths, contain a deeper truth. A truth that both US white people, and Arab Muslims, could usefully take on.

(I have my own "white devil" essay: "The White Devil as Expert Witness," published in Anne Meneley and Donna Young, eds., Auto-Ethnographies of Academic Practices, Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2005. It's about my experiences as an expert witness in the case [Marria v. Broaddus] of a young Five-Percenter inmate, Intelligent Allah, who filed suit against the NY State Prison system, demanding that his religious rights as a member of the Nation of Gods and Earths be recognized. He won!)

Be sure to read all of Michael Muhammad Knight's terrific books.

DAM Tour the US: Palestinian Hip-Hop!

I just now learned about this through Facebook. Very exciting. Hawgblawg readers, please attend, and send reports! Note that the shows are often in conjunction with screenings of Slingshot Hip-Hop, and that several shows have other guests on the bill, including the likes of Suheir Hamad, Abeer, Invincible, Dead Prez and Muhammad al-Farra of Gaza rap group PR.

THE TOUR DATES
- April 2009 (more info coming--and I will try to keep up on this)

April 4 BROWN UNIVERSITY, Providence, RI
Doors: 9:45PM, 10:30 show
Salomon Hall 101, 75 Waterman St.
FREE EVENT, (donations accepted at the door)
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=73782938486

April 5 BOSTON PALESTINE FILM FESTIVAL
Slingshot Hip Hop screening 4:30 PM, Kendall Theatre, Cambridge

8:30 DAM show with DJ Oja and Suheir Hammad with The Foundation Movement. Natural Bliss. Re-up. Blak Madeen
Ryles Jazz Club, 212 Hampshire St., Cambridge
$25 suggested. $10 minimum

more info: http://www.bostonpalestinefilmfest.org/news/2009/03/slingshot-hip-hop-showing-kendall.html
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?sid=6e8ab5076a40110bfc39d40b74e8e887&eid=57992623682&ref=search

Apr 6 HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE, Amherst, MA
3:30PM Slingshot Hip-Hop screening followed by a Q&A with DAM
West Lecture Hall of FPH

8:30PM DAM show, Hampshire College, Saga Dining Commons
Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=65213637002&ref=mf

April 7 BROOKLYN, SOUTH PAW
8:00PM DAM, Rebel Diaz, Invincible, Finale, and DJ Oja
8pm doors, 9pm show
more info - http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=73582762089

April 9 PITTSBURGH, PA
7:00PM McConomy Auditorium, Carnegie Mellon University
Featuring DJs Elie and Joud Mansour
For tickets call (412.268.2107).
The facebook event is http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=77142042533&ref=ts

April 10 OBERLIN COLLEGE, Oberlin OH
Details TBA!

April 11 EARLHAM COLLEGE, Richmond, Indiana
10:00 PM
DAM, Abeer AlZinaty, Mohammad Al Farra, Comstock
FREE EVENT
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=30215231&op=1&o=all&view=all&subj=67260489214&aid=-1&oid=67260489214&id=1139550070#/event.php?eid=65519106103&ref=nf

April 12 CHICAGO FUNDRAISER FOR GAZA
7:00PM DAM, Mohammed ALFarra, Abeer, Dead Prez, Shadia Mansour, Rebel Diaz
Logan Square Auditorium
2539 N. Kedzie Blvd #15, Chicago, IL 60647
For more info:
http://gazaaidproject.blogspot.com/
773.678.5522
gazaaidproject@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/event.php?eid=51329708077&ref=mf

April 13 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON
5:30PM Slingshot Hip Hop screening
Social Sciences Room 6104, 1180 Observatory Drive
Panel Discussion Following the Film
FREE EVENT

April 14 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, MADISON
8pm-11pm DAM Performance
Memorial Union Terrace (rain/poor weather location Der Rathskeller), 800 Langdon St.
http://www.union.wisc.edu/terrace/
DJ Vilas Park Sniper
Opening Acts: Lucha Libre & DJ Tamara

April 17 HAVERFORD COLLEGE, Haverford, PA
7pm Slingshot Hip Hop screening at Bryn Mawr followed by a Q&A with DAM

10:00PM-2:00AM DAM performance at AcadeMIX LIVE
Founders Great Hall, Haverford
FREE EVENT
http://www.facebook.com/inbox/?ref=mb#/event.php?eid=74598032889&ref=mf

April 18 GOUCHER COLLEGE, Baltimore, MD
9:00Pm SHOW
featuring DAM, Abeer, Son of Nun, Komplex, Finale, Invincible and Rebel Diaz

April 19 WASHINGTON, DC
Layla Lounge

April 20 PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
7:30PM Slingshot Hip Hop screening, followed by a Q&A with DAM

101 McCormick Hall (unconfirmed room number)

April 21 OLYMPIA, WA
Doors 6:30pm show 7:00pm
Capitol Theater
206 5th ave SE
http://olympiafilmsociety.org
Phone:360.754.5378

April 22 UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, Seattle WA
8:00pm DAM with Canary Sing, Gabriel Teodros, and One Be Lo
HUB Husky North Den

April 23 SEATTLE, WA
7:00PM Slingshot Hip Hop screening Q&A with DAM
Ethnic Cultural Theater, Washington

April 24 VANCOUVER, BC, Canada
5:30-7:00pm Slingshot Hip Hop screening

7:00 to 10:00 pm DAM show
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=60385834348&ref=ts

April 25 EDMONTON, Manitoba, Canada
8:00PM, Slingshot Hip Hop screening and DAM show
Stanley Milner Library Theatre
7 Sir Winston Churchill Square T5J 2V4 (780) 496-7000

More info:
www.myspace.com/damrap
www.slingshothiphop.com

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Muslim Chic from Urban Outfitters



This is pretty unbelievable. A leather and rope bracelet with allah الله inscribed in Arabic. What is Urban Outfitters up to? First the kufiya, and now this? Is Islamic style really becoming chic?

Except that, the item is no longer available. Were their protests? I don't know. (I learned about this from Kabobfest awhile back. But no harm in recycling, is there?)

(And in the back of my mind, I'm hearing an objection. Allah in Arabic just means God. When Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews speak of God, they use the same word.)

When you could get it, the bracelet cost $8.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Palestine archipelago


This map, which brilliantly illustrates the existential position of Palestinians living in the West Bank, is from the blog Strange Maps. It's created by Julien Busac, who says:

“Maybe posting the full map would help to take it for what it is, i.e. an illustration of the West Bank’s ongoing fragmentation based on the (originally temporary) A/B/C zoning which came out of the Oslo process, still valid until now. To make things clear, areas ‘under water’ strictly reflect C zones, plus the East Jerusalem area, i.e. areas that have officially remained under full Israeli control and occupation following the Agreements. These include all Israeli settlements and outposts as well as Palestinian populated areas.”

If Obama wants to help solve the Palestine question--and he must do so if he ever wants the US to do any good in the Middle East--then he must recover all that "drowned" Palestinian territory. Only then can the two-state solution that the US claims it wants be realized.

Read the whole post here. Click on the map above to see it larger. But go to the original for an even better view.

A close view of the Jerusalem archipelago is here.