Algerian singer, Fulla and Syrian singer, Hwayda Yousif, performed live a cover version of Um Kalthoum's classic song, Ana fi Intizarek on entertainment show Taratata. On the same program there was the legendary Tony Hanna, among other new artists and singers from different Arab countries. The whole edition of the show was masmarizing, watching Tony Hanna and his excellent band performing classics from his long career.
Anyway, the version of the song Ana Fi Intizarek is my favorite cover so far; the passion and power the two ladies showed is superb.
Simply and with no doubt brilliant.
Well, I didn't find the video of that song on the internet, and I couldn't upload the damn movie contained the song nor on youtube, neither here so far, therefore, enjoy Metallica, instead, also from their performance on Taratata
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Speaking of movies in general, science fiction movies in particular, A couple of weeks ago I went to the movie theater for Watchmen.
It was one of the worst movies (if not the worst sci-fi) movie ever seen. With all high-tech special effects, this movie proved to be one big flop. The story has no consistency, no development to the plot, like glewing small fractions to make one long boring movie.
There are two things the director focused on: senseless action scenes and sexual showup.
In fact, at the end of the movie I felt that I was tricked into going to theater and choose IMAX to watch such a boring movie.
From watching this movie, knowing before hand that the director is the same of 300, which carried a boring story, but great action movie, I was expecting something similar, but my dissapointment was to a large extent when seeing the end title of Watchmen.
I watched Star Trek a couple of days ago.
I had the feeling that this movie would beat Xmen Origins in a previous post
The verdict: simple plot, amaingly and beautifully science fiction movie. From the begining and without any introduction you are deep into the story line.
I liked the way each character has been introduced and showed its development, keeping in the back of my head how these character later (in the original series) became the way all Star Trek fans know
I read somewhere that there is a follow up to this prequal, something I certainly looking forward to.
If you don't like Star Trek, its still a great action packed science fiction movie. If you are a Star Trek fan, this movie is full of things that make you smile and enjoy.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Everyone know (by now) that Iraq was devastated by a group of politicians who are as religiously extremists as their enemies showed in the past years and through their speeches and announcements. They both share the same madness of readiness to wipe out humankind from the face of the earth to achieve what they believe its god's will.
I was right after all when I applied the lyrics of the song "For the Greater Good of God" on Bush and putting a picture of him depicting that assumption.
GQ magazine revealed that former defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld used to put quotes and verses from the bible on the cover-sheets of his daily top secret intelligence breifings for former US president, George W. Bush. Some of these reports were presented and delivered to Bush by Rumsfeld himself. These daily briefings were called the “Worldwide Intelligence Update,” one of several intelligence reports compiled overnight and presented in a folder for Mr. Rumsfeld and other officials as they came to work.
Some of these verses are: "commit to the lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed." Beneath that sentence there is a picture of an american soldier on one knee in front of his weapon and exhaustion/stress appear on his face. Another cover-sheet showed "have I not commanded you? be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the lord your god will be with you wherever you go" and beneath that sentence a highway road sign written on it Baghdad.
Or there is a sentence above the a picture of Saddam giving a speach saying "It is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men." Taken from Peter 2:15. Another is depicting the two giant swords ereacted in "celebrations park" in central Baghdad with some sort of gates, which will be conquered by the righteous nation: Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith" - Isaiah 26:2
The idea came from Major General Glen Shaffer, an intelligence official. And though the cover sheets started out humorous, as the body count mounted, biblical passages were thought to be more appropriate, according to GQ.
The cover-sheets from the magazine can be found here.
After reading these news, I just had the wish that someone with so much power go to Bush and co., Bin Laden and his associates, Iran and Israeli bunch of fundamentalists, grab them all from the tag of their clothes and drop them into one cubic cage.
The rest should be broadcast on TV around the world, to see what lunatics did to the whole world from east to west.
I am sure they would tear each other up, but at least this will ensure that comfort will be upon millions of people
Peace will be finally be seen on the horizon.
She told him "how come you Iraqis have been denied asylum by the ministry of Justice, you have the chance to leave voluntarily, and you also have the chance to ask for an amount of money to help you get a new start after return to Iraq, yet, there are a lot of you still here and don't want to go!"
These are the words of a social-worker lady addressing an Iraqi asylum seeker in the Netherlands in one of the camps in the Netherlands.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Today I read (and received emails) related to a lot of clatter about whether George Wassouf became a Muslim!
I am going to echo a lot of people's comments: to start with, it doesn't matter if Wassouf Christian or Muslim, what matters to me (and to any reasonable person) is the music. So... for those still arguing, please stop this nonsense.
If you like George Wassouf's music get the album then from any record store (not only download it because buying the new album is the least any fan would do as a gesture and appreciation to this great artist).
If you don't like George Wassouf music, then give it a try, you won't regret, take my word for that. If you didn't like it, its up to you, its all a matter of taste, BUT don't waste any people time by preaching about religion or faith, because faith and belief is very personal and private matter, do don't play God's role and make judgments on other because you are from different faith.
Second thing, something which I already pointed put on Al Wassouf facebook page, I grew up and around me friends from different ethnic and religious backgrounds, and among them there were Christians. They call God's name "Allah", like Muslims; they swear in Allah's name, like Muslims do when they want to confirm something. This is common and nothing new to the culture in Iraq. I have seen the same thing when I went abroad: I have seen Chrisitians from Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, all of them say "Allah" like Muslim do when they refer to God. This is part of the culture of the people living in the Middle East.
Thus, for those educated people who have their eyes wide open for seeing the word "Allah" (printed out with an Islamic font) on the cover of the latest album of a Christian artist like George Wassouf I have two advices:
1. Go and get some home work done about the historic facts about the different societies living in the Middle East.
2. Check out past interviews with George Wassouf. The way I see his belief, his love and his obedience for God is much better than many people call themselves Muslims or call themselves a better believers from any other religion.
Having said that, I don't believe that George Kurdahi or Nishan Dirharotyan (I am sure the spelling is wrong) were courteous or seeking the blessing of Muslims when calling God "Allah" or when they say "Salla Allah Aleehi We Sellem", means (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), when mentioning the Prophet Mohammed on their talk shows.
This is part of the culture of millions of people living together for hundreds of years.
Wake up people!
Monday, May 11, 2009
After a couple of listens to this album, I decided to write this post about it. "Allah Kareem" is the new album by Syrian singer, George Wassouf - he has Lebanese nationality too... if you know what I mean, common people from both countries adore him.
While I am waiting for the official copy of this album to arrive from Syria, I couldn't wait more and thanks to the internet, I managed to get another copy, which became the basis for this review.
The album begins with El Sabr Tayeb, a slow Kanun intro (played live), followed by a fast Sherqi beat, and a dominant Saba Maqam (scale). It is a nice starter, but not very impressing to me, maybe because I am not a big Saba Maqam fan. Yet, listening through to the half of song made me realize the intensity and power of such a sad (lyrically) song. The song ends like in a loop, as if saying that there is another part that was decided to cut due to the length of the song!! Conclusion? the fist song is simply amazing, there is no doubt about.
If there is someone who would say El Sabr Tayeb is not up to the expectation, I became later sure that Sultan al Tarab (As Wassouf also known in the Arab world) knew the trick and how to surprise his fans with the other six songs to follow. The evidence is with the album self-titled song, Allah Kareem. It is one of my favorites on this album. There is an attempt in this song to create a modern flamenco beat, mixed with some rock n' roll flavor. The highlight on this song is the beautiful classic guitar shredding. I don't need to point out to the gorgeousely warm and emotional way Al Wassouf is singing on this song. Yet, I don't know if this song is an attempt to re-create a similar hype to the 2002 hit "Habbeet Army Al Shabak"!
The third song is El Ayam De Sa'bah Shiwe, and it is my favorite from this album. It is like a big WOOOOW... From the Saz (or Buzuq) intro till the end, it is just sensational. The melody, the strings arrangements, the beat, and above all the singing and the lyrics that tells the story of support and love through hard time. The song written by Hany Al Sagheer, and this is his second cooperation with Sultan Al Tarab (The first is "Qool Il Kilmeteen" from the 2003 album). The fourth song is Shokren, to me is the strangest song on this album because of the way it was built lyrically and musically alike, with a lot of outbeats and the method the lyrics mingling into the melody. However, without reading checking the liner notes on the CD one would recognise the composing style of Waleed Saad.
With every new album release by George Wassouf, the media as well as the fans are expecting surprises. This time, Al Wassouf did that with the song number 5, Men Hena W Rayeh, because I never heard George Wassouf sings ballads mixed with some wahda beat flavor. The next song, number 6, is a 24 carat gold, and the song name is called Gold, or Il Dahab Ya Habeeby, a cover song originally done by none than another legendary singer called Abu Majd - on a lesser level known as the great Milhem Barakat. George Wassouf sang this song one time (at least the only time I have seen it on TV) before recording it: he did that on Al Arrab talk show last year. This song is my second favorite song on this album. The last song from this album is another BIG surprise, to me at least! La Trooh is a song in the realm of "Al Sahily" or more known as "Dabka", known in Lebanon and north Syria (along coastal line of Lattakia and Tartuus). The song can make a very good candidate for live performance, and with this song, Sultan Al Tarab prooved once again that despite age, illness, fabrications, he is still cabable of making true music regardless of style, genre, or scale. This also ensured that the legacy of such a legendary singer will remain, and the love by his fans will also be eternal.
If someone ask me which song would be the right candidate to be the first video clip from this album, I would say it is either "La Trooh", or "Allah Kareem". I am trying to imagine the cute gasping Ghina Emyoni (from Rotana's "Akher Akhbar" (lastest News)) happy and prepare herself to confront Al Wassouf like she did on the making of As'ab Furaq last year - it cracked me up when Ghina raised her hand to stop George Wassouf from moving away from the camera to ask him one more question and saying "One minute, Abu Wadee", he looked at her with a risen eyebrow and hidden smile, then he looked at the people around him and said "who is this girl? anyone lost his baby girl?" and snapped away from the camera sight.
As I mentioned earlier, the sound on Allah Kareem is fresh. In fact, I could say that this album has more energy than its predecessor. It is reflected in the variation of topics in each song, in the maqams used, in the beat and rythem, even in the mixing. In addition, the voice of George Wassouf is also sounded more relaxed on the majority of the songs on this album. If I would make a comparison, something I hate to do between a new and previous releases of an artist, if I do so I would say that this album won over the 2008 album, Kalamak Ya Habeeby. I don't want to be misunderstood, Kalamak Ya Habeeby is a great album, I wrote about As'ab Furaq some time ago..., you know, but the 2008 album lacked the energy the new album showed.
All songs on the album "Allah Kareem" were recorded in Saba Studios, in Beirut, Lebanon. This is the same studio George Wassouf used to record his albums since his third official album release more than 10 years ago to this day. All the songs on the new album were mixed by Tony Saba, except for El Sabr Tayeb and Shokran, they were mixed by Adel Ayche (both men worked on two previous Wassouf albums). Yet, and I have to say that: in spite of all what I said about the album, in spite of my happiness and gratitude with the new work done, I still miss the ZaWa'edy touch on the mixing board. This post is a testimony of the great work in mixing too, but I am confident that if Mazen Zawa'edy was there to mix "Allah Kareem", the end result would be completely different... songs like "Inte Gheerhum", "Youm Al Wada'" and "Ma'rafsh gheer Hubbek Ja gameel" are living proof.
One thing I did not understand: why there is an S put with the name George on the cover of the album?
1 El Sabr Tayeb
2 Allah Kareem
3 El Ayam De Sa'bah Shiwe
5 Men Hena W Rayeh
6 El Dahab Ya Habibi
7 La Trooh
Saturday, May 09, 2009
I don't know if it is ESP, some advanced sort of telepathy
Or should I call it something else?
I cannot call it telepathy because telepathy involves the transfer of thoughts and feelings from one person to the other without the involvement of the five senses. I also rule out synchronicity, it is just not applicable here.
What I am talking about is a link, an unconscious connection between two people. A very strange feeling that is illuminating this kind of communication between those two people.
What I am talking about is when two people having a conversation about something, and out of the blue they say the same thing without prior notice, without any sign from one of them about saying that same word or sentence.
It happened once, and the conclusion would be "never mind, it is indeed some sort of a coincidence"
But when it happens twice, three times or more - till they lost count of the number of times they did this, it would not be normal to keep calling it a coincidence.
The reaction is either laugh, or go into silence, or just shocked with eyes full open!
Well, there are those who say that great minds think alike. Based on that, the flow of thoughts is common which might lead to say the same thing at the same time.
However, some say that such a connection is a sign that those two persons has met in a different life, especially those who believe in reincarnation. There are others who just bash this thing out and say that it is just a matter of coincidence. On the other hand, people would say that those two are very close, not necessary in physical terms, but their mind and soul are very close i.e. common mindset, some name it.
I thought that such a occurrences can only occur between soul mates, it has been proven in many sources related to history, sociology or psychology, however, they are not considered as such.
Those two know each other briefly. I mean that they don't go to details about their personal details, they meet every now and then, have a little talk about different things, and discuss many things. There is no physical attraction involved, there is no eye contact that can be some sort of an influence to any of them. They even don't share the same taste in many things in life, like music or life-style, or food!
Yet, they feel very close
What does that mean?
A headbanger as many know about me would find it difficult to imagine me listening to this kind of music, but the song in the below video gives me the shivers
For those who didn't know who this young man is, this is George Wassouf, the legendary Syrian singer.
This song is originally from the late 1980 and the video above says it is from 1990, but came out for the first time on the 2003 album "Salaf W Dein".
The lyrics and music is originally by the legendary composer Riad Al Bandak, and the mixing on the album was done by the great maestro Mazin Zawady, who is the main composer of George Wassouf's band until today.
Speaking of Sultan Al Tarab (the nickname of Wassouf), according to many sources on the internet confirmed that the 2009 album will be out in a couple of days.
I just got a top quality of one of the songs, which is simply beautiful.
As usual, can't wait to get a hand of the whole album.