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Anthems for the Arab Spring

May 23, 2012 Leave a comment

From USA Today (UK edition)

Rappers provide anthems for the

Arab Spring

By Naomi Westland, Special for USA TODAY

Eighteenth-century French revolutionaries marched to La Marseillaise, and two centuries later, rock music spurred opposition to the Shah of Iran and Czechoslovakia’s communist regime. It’s no different with the uprisings in the Arab world.

  • Egyptian rapper El Deeb's song Stand Up Egyptian encouraged protests against the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.“Arab hip-hop, especially that coming out of Tunisia and Egypt, played a major role in creating the soundtrack to the so-called Arab Spring,” said Joshua Asen, a documentary filmmaker and writer of the Hip Hop Diplomacy blog.
(Photo by Jeff White – Egyptian rapper El Deeb’s song “Stand Up Egyptian” encouraged protests against the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.)

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Rapper Faces Death Threats in Iran

May 15, 2012 Leave a comment

From The New York Times

By THOMAS ERDBRINK

TEHRAN — With lyrics that tread on ultrasensitive topics and an album cover that shows the dome of a mosque in the shape of a woman’s breast, Shahin Najafi is an international rapper who elicits an intense reaction here.

Schahryar Ahadi/dapd

But Mr. Najafi’s latest song, “Naghi,” named after a Shiite saint, has prompted a particular uproar. Opponents of Mr. Najafi are using a recent fatwa by a leading cleric, Ayatollah Lotfollah Safi-Golpayegani, which labels all those insulting the 10th Shiite imam, Ali al-Hadi al-Naqi, also known as Imam Naghi, as apostates. An Islamist Web site then offered a $100,000 bounty to anyone who kills Mr. Najafi, who was born in Iran, raps in Persian but lives in Germany.