Sunday, July 17, 2011

Egyptian Pop Music Takes on Israel

Mona Eltahawy, the white man's favorite Egyptian talking head, famously claimed that the Egyptian revolution has nothing to do with Israel's policies. And that not a single soul has chanted anti-Israel chants during the 18 days of the Egyptian revolution that ousted Mubarak. That claim was debunked by a number of sources with videos and footage that prove otherwise.

But even if she was right, pop music shows that there is no decrease in animosity towards Israel in Egypt.

Mubarak exited the stage few months ago. The music from Egypt that we are seeing is a lot bolder than Mona would like to admit. A number of songs released in the past few months had harsh words for Israel, marking this country as Egypt's enemy. This is bad news for Mona who seems to be alone in her arguments about how welcoming the Egyptians are of Israel--they are not. Just because Ms. Eltahawy lived in Israel does not make her an authority on how the people of Egypt feel about the country.

But do not take it from me. Take it from the Egyptian entertainers who tell it as it is, appealing to popular currents in Egypt. I hope Mona and her supporters take note. Pop culture is the best indicator of the pulse of the street. It does not come from a vacuum, like opportunistic voices for hire. Such voices cannot just and go invent another reality that will advance their careers and open Israel-loving doors for them.

Here is some music "moderate" Arabs need to put on their iTunes:

Mohammad Roshdy اغنية محمد رشيدى - رسالة الى اسرائيل

This is an A list singer that does mostly romantic songs, but when it comes to Israel he offers no love.

The lyrics go something like this:

"We have a message to deliver to you! We came to remind you of Sinai and the war that has revealed who's the coward, we are the Arab youth, and we will liberate Palestine"

Ana Ya Israel "Asmy Masr"- Hamza Namira | أنا.. يا إسرائيل - حمزة نمرة

This is the hottest Independent Egyptian singer who is actually making real music and has released one of the best selling albums in Egypt's history. He has the busiest concert schedule compared to any other singer. See toward the end of the song as Hamza performs it live, the crowd goes wild.

The lyrics:

Israel, I am not a government or regime, nor I am not a king with bodyguards!, I am an ancient word as old as civilization. Israel, my son was killed when the meaning of peace was lost! The dead are alive in their places in Hebron, Bethlehem, and Lebanon! I have the greatest name, my name is Egypt!

3enwany - Sodfa Band - ZAP Tharwat - Mohamed Suwaid - Kazaz - عنواني

The all dude band Sodfa with household names like ZAP Thawarwat and Mohamed Suaid, the power duo that records a number of soundtracks for popular shows on Egypt's TV. This is a powerful clip where the Palestine flag can be seen throughout this clip.

The lyrics go like this:
Forgive me Jerusalem! Palestine is my address. I see Saladin standing at your gates with his troops, bringing down those walls, millions of revolutions. We took what's ours. March for liberty"

Finally to me those songs are not about hate or violence, they are about justice. Justice shouldn't offend people, if offends you, then you might be doing something wrong to begin with.


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