German band Mellow Maroc delights Jeddah audience

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The German band Mellow Maroc delights its audience at the consul general’s residence in Jeddah on March 8. 2018.
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The German band Mellow Maroc delights its audience at the consul general’s residence in Jeddah on March 8. 2018.
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The German band Mellow Maroc delights its audience at the consul general’s residence in Jeddah on March 8. 2018.
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The German band Mellow Maroc delights its audience at the consul general’s residence in Jeddah on March 8. 2018.
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Updated 09 March 2018
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German band Mellow Maroc delights Jeddah audience

JEDDAH: German band Mellow Maroc proved a big hit with their distinctive blend of reggae and soul during a concert on Thursday night (March 8) at the German consul general’s residence.

The trio — reggae artist Mellow Mark, Mohammed Reda Djender and Mohammed Raafat — have a big following in their home country, and have taken their politically charged songs protesting war and social injustice on tour around the world, performing in countries including Thailand, Cuba, Russia, Morocco, Costa Rica, Senegal, Egypt, Iraq, South Africa and Serbia.

Their performance in Jeddah was their second in Saudi Arabia, following a well-received show at the Janadriyah festival in Riyadh two years ago.

With their gentle guitar sound and soulful singing, Mellow Maroc’s music really resonated with the crowd, combining reggae and soul that evoked joyful feelings and positive vibes throughout the show.

After the show, Djender highlighted the theme of social inclusiveness promoted by the band’s music.

“We are Germans but our drummer is originally from Egypt, I'm originally from Algeria, and our singer, Mark, is a Muslim,” he said. “The thing that joins us is the philosophy of being a German. Of being an open-minded free person working for one society, for one idea called Germany of today. This is the most important juice of our discourse. This is why we see Germany as a very tolerant Country today.”

German consul general Holger Ziegeler said he has been a fan of Mellow Maroc since seeing the band in Riyadh.

“In the true spirit of the close Saudi-German relations, I relate back to two years ago in 2016, when Germany was the selected as host country for the Janadriyah festival in Riyadh,” he said. “We showed that we are not only a country of people that work hard but also a country of people who love to play and love to have fun.

“Our theme for the festival was, ‘Germany: Land of Ideas’ and one of the cultural demonstrations that we had there was the group Mellow Maroc. When I heard them I said it’s not enough to just see them in Riyadh, I need to bring them to Jeddah as well because Jeddah is a place that is also very open to culture historically, and even more so now with the cultural development of Saudi Arabia through vision 2030.”

The formal nature of the evening on Thursday was offset by the casual, laid-back ambiance of the show, as a delighted crowd of distinguished guests was treated to a memorable and heartfelt performance from the band.

“My idea of serving here in Saudi Arabia is building bridges that people can walk in both directions, from Germany to Jeddah, and from Jeddah to Germany,” said Ziegeler.


Father of boy saved in Paris ‘Spiderman’ drama in court

This file photo taken on June 18, 2018 shows Malian immigrant in France turned hero, Mamoudou Gassama addressing the media within a meeting with Mali's president in Bamako. (AFP)
Updated 25 September 2018
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Father of boy saved in Paris ‘Spiderman’ drama in court

  • The man’s lawyer Romain Ruiz said prosecutors had taken “particularly reductive” elements of the story out of context, but added that the 37-year-old father admitted he had “done something really stupid”

PARIS: When a Malian illegal immigrant rescued a child dangling from a Paris balcony, he was hailed worldwide as a hero — but the little boy’s father will appear in court Tuesday charged with negligence. Mamoudou Gassama, the migrant nicknamed “Spiderman” after footage of his daring rescue went viral in May, has since been rewarded with French citizenship and a job in the fire service. But the four-year-old’s father, who has not been named, faces a potential criminal conviction for leaving the child unattended in their 6th-floor apartment, popping out to buy groceries. Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said at the time of the incident that the father also delayed his return because he wanted to play the popular Pokemon Go game on his phone. The man’s lawyer Romain Ruiz said prosecutors had taken “particularly reductive” elements of the story out of context, but added that the 37-year-old father admitted he had “done something really stupid.” “He is leaving his fate up to the court,” Ruiz said.
He added that the father had left home “for between 30 minutes and an hour” and had taken “precautions” to keep the child safe in his absence. The little boy clambered onto the balcony and appears to have fallen, before miraculously managing to grab the rail of a balcony lower down. Footage of the incident, filmed by a bystander below, shows him hanging over the edge, a neighbor on the adjoining balcony desperately trying to hold onto him. Gassama, 22, then scales the building Spiderman-style and pulls him to safety.
In theory, parental negligence carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison under France’s penal code, and a fine of up to 30,000 euros ($35,300).
But such a sentence is thought unlikely in the case of this father, who has been allowed to keep custody of his son. The boy’s mother was away at the time of the May 26 incident on a trip to France’s Reunion island in the Indian Ocean. Both parents were said at the time to be extremely shaken by the incident but hugely grateful to Gassama.