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Cynthia & Malikah in Alexandria

July 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Cultural diplomacy expert, former ambassador to the Netherlands, and Hip Hop Diplomacy advisor-at-large, Cynthia Schneider, was in Alexandria 2 weeks ago for the Bibliotheca’s conference: Initiatives in Education, Science and Culture Towards Enhanced US-Muslim Countries Collaborations, commemorating the one year anniversary of President Obama’s Cairo speech. Her report from the field came out this past week in the Huffington Post, and I’m most excited by the news that Lebanese rapper Malikah, the rising star of Beirut’s underground scene, got to perform at the conference. When Cynthia originally asked me to help her and the conference organizers pick a few Hip Hop artists to perform, I immediately thought of Malikah, representing the forefront of the female rap revolution and one of the best examples of the power of Hip Hop to inspire and embolden young women in the Middle East. There were a few other artists that I suggested, including Cairo’s kings, The Arabian Knightz, and the Syrian-American MC, Omar Offendum, who has performed and spoken at similar conferences in the past. However, the organizers were concerned that a Hip Hop program might offend some of the guests, which included a number of powerful muftis and other religious figures. But I’m very glad that Malikah, the most potentially-controversial of all the artists I suggested, by dint of her gender, made it to the stage.

Below is Cynthia’s post. Videos and an interview with Malikah coming soon.

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