Abdu Hafid

My friend, Phil Murphy, filmed this video of Abdu Hafid, the man who made svinj (Moroccan donuts) just outside of Phil’s house in the Fez Medina. Abdu Hafid explains that he recites verses from the Quran while making his svinj because he hopes to bestow blessings upon anyone who eats them.

Phil is getting his PhD in Ethnomusicology from UCSB, and spent a year in Fez on a Fulbright scholarship, learning Moroccan Arabic as well as traditional Moroccan music. He has a great blog as well, full of beautiful photography and music. Check it out: http://philinfez.tumblr.com/

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Rai Music

Rai is a form of folk music that originated from Bedouin tribes in Algeria.  It is influenced by Spanish, French, African, and Arabic music, and today also incorporates hip hop, reggae, and funk.  Rai, meaning “opinion” in Arabic, can be considered the Arab equivalent to the blues.  Rai lyrics often address the social issues facing native populations as a result of colonization.  The genre became popular among young people, seeking to modernize traditional Islamic values and attitudes. It has been controversial throughout Algeria and there have been many attempts to censor it.  Rai singers are called “cheb,” coming from “shabaab” for “young,” in contrast to “sheikh,” denoting age and respect.

Cheb Hasni – Chira Li Nebghiha

Cheb Khaled – Ouelli El Darek (come back to your home)

Cheb Tarik- L’Histoire (The Story)

Fairouz

Habbeytak Bessayf – (I Loved You in the Summer)

Fairouz is one of the best known and most beloved voices in the Arab World. With a career spanning over 60 years, there are many Fairouz songs to enjoy.  Her music is part of the soundtrack of the Middle East, often playing in the background, in taxis or cafes, slowing the modern day hustle and bustle down just a little bit.  I love Fairouz, and this song is one of my favorites.

English Lyrics:

In the cold days, in the days of winter
When the sidewalk has become a lake and the street full of water
This girl has come from her old house to await him.
He told her to wait but he has gone away
And he forgot about her and she goes away in winter.
I loved you in the summer, I loved you in the winter
I waited for you in the summer, I waited for you in the winter
Your eyes are summer, My eyes are winter
My love full is beyond summer and beyond winter
The stranger passed by and gave me a message
My lover had written with his tears
I opened the message whose letters are lost
And days passed, years made us strangers
While winter had erased the letters of the message
I loved you in the summer, I loved you in the winter
I waited for you in the summer, I waited for you in the winter
Your eyes are summer, My eyes are winter
My love full is beyond summer and beyond winter
Is beyond summer and beyond winter.