Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday, Feb 29 at Univ. of East London: Meet 3 Arab Rap Superstars

If you're in London (or simply on the internet), you have an opportunity to meet 3 of world's greatest Arabic hip-hop MCs: Libya's Ibn Thabit, Egypt's Deeb, and Iraq and Canada's the Narcicyst. For you Ibn Thabit fans, this will be Ibn Thabit's first public appearance since he revealed his face and retired from hip-hop in November.

On Wednesday, February 29 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm GMT, Lecture Hall WBG.02 (click here for map) on the University of East London's Docklands campus will host an event called "Rap and the Arab Spring." The campus is across the street from the Docklands Light Rail (DLR) Cyprus Station, and they'll have signs to direct you from there. If you can't make it, you can still watch the event LIVE (details will be posted here) through a streaming broadcast from (1:30pm on the US East Coast, 7:30pm in Libya and Western Europe, 8:30pm in Egypt and Eastern Europe, 9:30pm in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, etc.)

Bassam Gergi and the folks at OpenAwakening and have worked hard and put together a fabulous panel, so please show them your support by attending tonight's event or tuning in online. You'll be glad you did. Ibn Thabit, Deeb, and Narcy are more than just sick MCs. They're three remarkable young activists, analysts, and poets who understand how social change in the Middle East really works. I've got videos, links, and descriptions after the jump, so check those out, too!

Deeb (@El_Deeb) whose real name is Mohamed El Deeb, is a poet and conscious rapper who lives in Cairo. His music draws deeply from the traditions of old school hip-hop and the classic age of Egyptian music.

Jackson Allers' interview with Deeb, July 1, 2011

The Narcicyst (@TheNarcicyst), whose real name is Yassin Alsalman, is an Iraqi-Canadian emcee, academic, journalist, and exhibition curator (check out "The Arab Winter") who lives in Montreal. His music explores political themes, Arab identity, and dislocation of diaspora life, among many other subjects.

Democracy Now!'s interview with the Narcicyst, March 2, 2011
Rayya El Zain's Jadaliyya article about Diatribes of a Dying Tribe, May 30, 2011
PRI's The World's interview with the Narcicyst, September 19, 2011

Ibn Thabit (@ibnthabit), who still uses the pseudonym he adopted during the Gaddafi era, is a Libyan rapper and activist who lives in Tripoli. His music attacks the Gaddafi regime, celebrates Libya's culture, heritage, and people, and calls for reconciliation in the framework of a new Libya.

My blog post (with many translations) on Ibn Thabit's Retirement, December 1, 2011