The following is the fundraising page/pitch for a 30-minute radio documentary I am producing for the US-based radio news organization – Free Speech Radio News. Go to the Spot.us community media page to donate. Description of documentary follows. Thank you in advance for your support! It is a rare opportunity to expose US audiences to Arab hip-hop and its increasing importance with Arab youth.
The so-called “Arab Spring” uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa have been driven by a largely disaffected youth demographic aged 18 to 30 that dominates the populations of every affected country. In Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, the youth have demanded an end to the rampant corruption, unemployment, lack of democratic rights, and government policies that stifle freedom of expression and freedom of speech. Echoing these demands have been the representatives of the Arabic hip-hop movement living in both the Arab world and in the Diaspora.
This documentary will examine the rise of Arab hip-hop as a soundtrack to the revolution from its beginnings with Tunisian El General’s song “Rayess La Bled (Head of State)” until today. It will include the voices of rappers in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Diaspora including the creators (Omar Offendum/The Narcycist) of the YouTube viral video #jan25 (pictured above) and the creators of the Egyptian rap video “Rebel” (Arabian Knightz)
Interviews will be balanced with testimony from relevant political commentators, photographers, producers and voices from the Arab street in order to discuss how Arab hip-hop contributed to revolution and how it is still inspiring artists and protest movements in the US, and demonstrators in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Lebanon – who are still blasting Arab hip-hop anthems from their boomboxes as they fight Gadhafi’s forces in Libya, the security forces in Bahrain and Yemen and the Sectarian state in Lebanon.
Angie Nassar – hip-hop scholar & cultural blogger, Beirut, Lebanon
El General – rapper – Tunisia
El Deeb – rapper/journalist – Egypt
Rush – Arabian Knightz – rap crew – Egypt
Malikah – rapper – Lebanon/Algeria
John Nasr aka Johnny Damascus – Lebanon
Rayes Bek – rapper/philosopher, Paris/Beirut
The Narcycist – rapper and creator of #Jan25 – Canada
Laith Majali – documentary photographer – Jordan
Muneira Hoballah – director, youth program center ISAM fares american university of beirut
Street Voices – Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon