Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Julia Botros (Intasara Loubnan)

Found this at Babbling Bahrania.
I like it. The singer is obviously very popular and the venue is impressive.
I can't read Arabic.
Have no idea what this is about. No help from Wikipedia. Web searches yield little.
Comments at You Tube are a polyglot collection of who-knows-what.
One place called it "patriotic Lebanese song."

I found this on a blog linked way down a search page.
This video clip from Maronite Christian singer Julia Botros entitled Ahiba'y (My Lovers...or more Accurately My Dears) is one such track that celebrates Hezbollah. While the song does not refer to Hassan Nasrallah or the movement by name it is still overtly suggestive. The image of Nasrallah at the beginning of the video was edited in outside of the television studio for the online version.
Lyrics of the video are translated. A comment notes the connection between music and politics. I find it interesting that the music is pro-Hezballah and the singer is described as Maronite Christian.
If you recall, there have also been dozens of songs and music videos made here in the US by pop and country artists expressing support for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Music is one of the oldest tools used to garner public support (just think how often "The Eyes of Texas" gets played here in Austin). Thanks to YouTube, you can easily find them, and countless such music videos supporting every cause under the sun. I even came across a video with Arab singer Haytham Yousef called "Saddam, Our Father" expressing support for him in pre-war Iraq. Using popular music as a way of garnering public support isn't anything new.
However, I personally feel that when pop culture icons mix with political organizations, it's a delicate dance on the line between entertainment and propaganda. After all, if they are hoping their song of support will cause more people to support a political group, isn't that pretty much the definition of propaganda?
Another thing I think is interesting is the lack of dissenting musicians from much of the Middle East. In the US, for every Darryl Worley (who's biggest hit, "Have you Forgotten?" has gotten praise from the military for its supportive lyrics,) there's a Green Day (who's entire album "American Idiot" was blasting the current administration.) Even in Israel, rap group Hadag Nachash regularly criticizes the government's policies and they've topped the charts several times.
Music isn't a monopoly held by one political party or another, but why is it that you won't see much minority opinion in pop culture? For example, there have been several anti-Syrian demonstrations in Lebanon with hundreds of thousands of people, but would a video like this have been made for the other side?
Good question.

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