Saturday, June 23, 2007


Can pop music make the Arab world love us?

American book publishers can tell you that American men between 18 and 30 don't read a lot of books. The Arab street reads even fewer—just one book, mostly: the Quran.

The United States should have followed the lead of Arab governments, which know that music is the region's most powerful form of expression. That's why they use it for propaganda—and also why they
ban so much of it.
What the State Department ought to have done to reach those underemployed young men, then, is call Miles Copeland [who] became interested in Arab culture while... growing up in the Middle East, where [his] father worked for the CIA.
(how appropriate...)

Maybe Copeland can start turning out Arab-American fusion hits for another federal agency, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees... Radio Sawa, an Arabic-language news and entertainment station with frequencies throughout the Middle East.
Genuine Query: on what basis fusing Britney/Haifa imagined to have an effect different from alternating Britney/Haifa?

Arab Muslims still mostly experience the Quran that way and listen to it all day long, in taxis, coffee shops, stores. Quranic reciters are something like pop stars.

Long before the Quran, classical poetry in Arabic issued from an oral tradition; it wasn't written down until well after the text of the Quran was established.

6aha Husain says the Hanged Poems....were mp3 files festooning the ka3ba
The Arabic language itself, its rich vocabulary, argues for the overwhelming pleasure of sound in a culture that was not very visually interesting...
Such monochrome dreariness backed up by eskimo textbook example linguistic evidence:
There are, I believe, nine different words for "desert" in classical Arabic—which reminds you that 1,500 years ago most Arabs were looking at desert most of the time.

and a native guide who is said to have said:

so we stay at home and listen to the music of singers like Umm Kulthoum, marveling at her perfect diction, piecing out the phrasing, the repetitions, the variations.
Cairenes = streetlife. He must have taken the joke kul yuom el masri yif6ar foul, wi yitghada kora, wi yit3asha Um Kulthum too seriously

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