Arab rappers you should hear

The Fareeq el Atrash band performing in Beirut. (Courtesy: Facebook)
Updated 12 August 2018
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Arab rappers you should hear

While the Arab world’s music scene is dominated by traditional oud-led music and mainstream pop, the region is also home to a number of talented hip-hop acts who have broken from tradition to forge their own style.

El Général

The Tunisian MC, whose real name is Hamada Ben Amor, was born and raised in Sfax. The rapper focuses mainly on politically charged lyrics — his song “Rais Lebled” has been described as the “anthem of the Jasmine Revolution.”

Shadia Mansour

Known as the first lady of Arabic hip-hop, Mansour, who’s been active on the scene since 2003, is a Palestinian-British MC who lyrics are fuelled by Middle Eastern politics. Rolling Stone Middle East recognized her for her “hardcore stance on Palestinian nationalism.”

Salah Edin

Dutch-Moroccan rapper Salah Edin, real name Abid Tounssi, is among the more seasoned artists on this list, with three studio albums, a demo, and a mixtape to his name. The 38-year-old, who is also an actor, is signed to Dutch label TopNotch.

Narcy

Iraqi-Canadian MC Yassin Alsalman’s family originally hail from Basra, but he grew up in Abu Dhabi and is now based in Canada. Narcy is something of a polymath — he’s an actor, a published author, and also taught a class at Concordia University: “Hip Hop: Past, Present, and Future.”

Ashekman

Lebanese street art and rap duo Mohammed and Omar Kabbani, known collectively as Ashekman, have taken the country’s capital Beirut by storm since the release of their debut album, “Ashekmanphobia” in 2011.

FareeQ el Atrash

Translating from Arabic to “The Deaf Team,” this Lebanese boasts three accomplished MCs — Edd Abbas, Nasser ‘Chyno’ Shorbaji, and Qarar, along with beatboxer Fayez ‘FZ’ Zouheiry and live accompaniment from John Nasr on bass and Fouad Afra on drums. Renowned for their high-energy live shows.


Rake news: Social media ablaze on Trump’s forest remarks for Finland

Updated 19 November 2018
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Rake news: Social media ablaze on Trump’s forest remarks for Finland

  • US President Donald Trump claimed the forest-covered nation prevents wildfires by raking its forest floors
  • Raking-related terms were among the most popular Twitter hashtags and Google searches in the Nordic nation

HELSINKI: Social media in Finland was ablaze with bemused comments on Monday after US President Donald Trump claimed the forest-covered nation prevents wildfires by raking its forest floors.
Speaking to reporters during the weekend while in California to see the impact of devastating forest fires, the US president again blamed forest management, but said Finland had the answer.
Trump cited the Finnish president as telling him Finns “spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things (in the forest), and they don’t have any problem.”
However the Nordic country’s president, Sauli Niinisto, told the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper on Sunday that he had no recollection of raking being mentioned when the pair met in Paris a week ago.
“I told him that Finland is a country covered in forests, but we also have a good warning system and network,” the president said.
Finnish social media users were quick to pile in, describing Trump’s comments as “rake news” and posting pictures of themselves brandishing the garden implement.
By late Sunday, raking-related terms were among the most popular Twitter hashtags and Google searches in the Nordic nation which is 72 percent covered by forests, predominantly of pine, birch and fir.
Meanwhile Yrjo Niskanen, head of emergency preparedness at Finland’s national forest center, said the US president may have been referring to the practice of removing branches and loose material left in the forest after logging.
But he pointed out that this is not done with a rake — and the wood is collected for energy production.
“I’ve never thought before that it could be removed because of the fire risk, that’s not mentioned in any forestry manuals. It’s taken away purely for business reasons,” Niskanen told the Iltalehti newspaper.