Who are the best Lebanese singers
It is comfortable to live in our own political, social and also musical bubble. People forget to think outside the box, because our comfort zone feels too valuable and safe. But what is actually happening in the Arab world, which musicians are currently gaining prominence, have long been considered icons or are fighting underground for women's, LGBTQIA + rights, against grievances and violence? You should know these ten musicians - for very different reasons.
The lyrics of the Arab band Mashrou ‘Leila spark controversy, frontman Hamed Sinno, who is open to his homosexuality, sings fearlessly about same-sex lovers, a defective Lebanese society and war in the Arab world. Mashrou ‘Leila was banned from the stage in Egypt, and a little later in Jordan too. And when there was a concert on Egyptian soil a few years later, fans were arrested while waving the Pride flag. Mashrou ‘Leila stand up for the rights of the people in the Arab world; the musicians recently released a video that vigorously denounces the Palestinian grievances.
The Syrian rapper Bu Kolthoum writes reports about the catastrophic conditions in his country and hymns about women.
The superstar with Egyptian roots won the “World Music Award” four times, and four times he was considered the best-selling singer in the Arab world. In 1996 he landed the hit "Nour El Ein", the chorus of which hit not only Egypt, but the Middle East, Spain, India and South America. Amr Diab still has legendary status to this day.
She is considered the queen of Arabic pop. For the past decade, she has been the best-paid woman in the Middle Eastern music business. Nancy Ajram is often objectified as a sex symbol, but she is far more than that: a woman who has struggled to the top.
Another singer who is bursting with strength: Elissa. Also incredibly successful, incredibly well known. After selling more than 30 million long players, the Lebanese is going one better and is currently working on her twelfth studio album.
Ghalia Benali is not known for having sold a lot of albums or anything like that. In fact, she plays a much more significant role: the Tunisian singer and graphic artist is deeply rooted in the LGBTQIA + community of Arabia - her lyrics tell of free people, regardless of their gender, regardless of their sexual orientation. She is particularly known for her songs "Hayamtni", "Lamouni Li Gharou Meni" and "Awaddu" - songs that give women strength.
Fairuz is now 83 years old and is still played up and down on morning radio shows in the homes of many people around the world. Fairuz is downright adored. Rightly so: Not only is she considered an ambassador for the Arabic-speaking world, her exceptionally beautiful voice, which sets the music and lyrics of her brothers to music, made her an icon.
Known as Egypt's fourth pyramid, the planet of the east, the woman is revered for her outstanding vocal achievements. Her exact date of birth is unknown, but she must have been born around the turn of the century in 1900. When she died in 1975, her coffin wandered from shoulder to shoulder of thousands of admirers - until she arrived at the Sayyidna al-Husain mosque in Cairo. Umm Kulthum was an influential, strong woman who was an important part of Arab culture after her death.
With her guest appearance in Jim Jarmusch's "Only Lovers Left Alive", Yasmine Hamdan sang for the vampires of the present and earned quite a bit of attention. It is a model in the Lebanese underground. Her first band Soapkills, one of the first electronic indie bands in the Middle East, certainly contributed to this.
Dina El Wedidi
Arab women have always been very active in the creation of cultural content: as choreographers, dancers, producers, singers and musicians. Women in the modern Arab world have strong role models - and yet they still have many grievances that need to be fought against. One of the rebels is Dina El Wedidi, who reflects on the concept of relationships and the role of women in the Arab world. It becomes the anchor point of many women who do not have the freedom to lead a self-determined life.
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