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Oktoberfest with First Rock Rap Band in Palestine
Maria C. Khoury, Ed. D. — What more extraordinary event can one imagine in a small ancient village than the collaboration of the Finest in the Middle East with the first rock rap band in Palestine? The Taybeh Oktoberfest, October 3 and 4, 2009 in Taybeh-Ramallah, will have some traditional happenings and certainly some revolutionary happenings. On Saturday night, 9 pm, is when CultureShoc “will be rocking Taybeh with music styles that go beyond the norm in the Palestinian music scene and following the Holy month of Ramadan releasing songs on radio,” said lead Rapper, Suleiman Harb.
Lead Singer, Amira B. Dibsy, says that CulturShoc creates songs and music arrangements “exclusive to us and an experience like no other… imagine a mix of Arabic-Oriental- Western sounds, blending the essence of Rock, Hip-hop and Rap ….the result is the shock we bring you with each and every song containing an identity of its own and telling a story of its own… beats that will make you sway from side to side or make you want to JUMP!”
This amazing new band includes handsome lead and rhythm guitarist and composer, Ahmad Al Sharif, Apo Sahagian, Amer Yaghmur as bass player and Souheil Abu el Said on drums. The band members admit that fate and luck brought them together in addition to their desire to bring something new to the music scene in Palestine. They are all Palestinian in blood and up bringing with a few mixed of two cultures but certainly contributing to the very diverse characters reflected in the one very essential denominator they share in music and more music.
CultureShoc launched the first performance in August 2008. The band has gone from seven original songs to a current total of eighteen although the first concerts included performing covers now it’s all about originals and cover, though few, to entertain the crowds’ association with popular songs.
They are thrilled to be the one and only original Rock-Rap Band in Palestine and they says that CultureShoc songs “talk about Life…real life and the elements of life that we identify with as Human Beings…. we live these stories…you probably do too and we bring these stories to you using diverse effects of lyrics and music. Since the first concert the band has tried to constantly look for ways to lead songs into deeper dimensions and take them to higher levels by also making it their priority to record an album.
Some original songs include, “Traffic,” “Dungeons-Reloaded,” “No mans Land,” “Silly Boyz,” “Heyye Yaba Heyye,” and more. The band reflects the opinion that they take one’s music boundaries beyond limits known thereby becoming a shock to traditional culture. They offer fans a new hope, a new horizon and a new level for music “to climb walls and cross borders,” as they specifically believe being song composers, arrangers and performers. Personally, not only do I admire them but I just love them!
Note: Dr. Maria C. Khoury, graduate of Hellenic College, Harvard University and Boston University organized the 5th Taybeh Oktoberfest, Oct 3 & 4, 2009 in Taybeh-Ramallah, Palestine.
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Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com
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