They Cannot All Suck
To be fair and balanced to the artists and creative folks in the Arab world, I have decided to showcase two music videos that deserve praise.
Latifa. Many Arabs grew up with Latifa, one of the few female artists with staying power (the industry is not easy on female artists). Listening to Latifa’s music is like hearing Sweet Child of Mine by Guns and Roses or Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones for the first time. She rocks pure and simple.
Born in Tunisia and adopted artistically by Egypt and recently Lebanon; Latifa has been a star in the Arab world since the early nineties and has been making good music in all Arab dialects. Her latest album Fil Kam Youm Elli Fato has more hits than any recent Arab Album. She still dominates the charts while looking gorgeous and making good music. The models and dancers in the clip are all good looking. Cool. She looks energetic and ready to rock the Arab world with greater boom than the Bush doctrine.
Latifa actually has won the World Music Award in 2004 for Middle Eastern Artist for her Ma Etrohsh Ba’ed album. But unlike Elissa, Nancy Ajram, and Amr Diab who also won the award in different years she actually mentioned Palestine and Iraq in her speech. Watch her speech
The world might have a Queen Latifa, but we know that queens are mortal. Latifa is not.
Ragib Alama. The hit maker and the superstar of the Middle East is back with a fantastic music video and a pretty damn good album. The video is decently creative, and uses various visual effects that further the story, not distract from it. Too many videos use style for style’s sake. The graphics, the performers and model all fit the clip. I think it introduces Capoeira dance to the Arab scene. The animated Arabic calligraphy is lovely, too.
Alama, for the first time, is not trying to be 20 years old. He did not dye away the salt and paper look from his hair. He also keeps it real with a Palestinian Kaffiya. I must admit that the clip has a European feel to it — thankfully it did not leave me the urge to inflict harm upon myself like after watching a European film.
These are two examples of good Arabic music videos that do not go over the top. You might not see it the same way I do, but you might agree with me when I say if the Arab world had as many scientists as it does singers and dancers, we would not be where we are today.
Tarboush Tip: Will