Heavy metal kaman wa kaman
I have been thinking about writing an update on the scene as it looks today, but today Arian Fariborz of the Deutsche Welle/Qantara beat me to it, Fariborz interview´s fellow blogger and friend, Hossam el-Hamalawy on the history and progress of the heavy metal scene to what it is today, here(Arabic) and here(German) - It´s still not available in English, but as soon as it is available , i will post the link. UPDATE: The link to the English language article Respectable Rebels can be found here.
another source about heavy metal in the Arab and Muslim World is Mark Levine´s Heavy Metal Islam, published last year. You could also look on his flickr account for images used in a campaign against metalheads in Egyptian media in 1997, when about a hundred people got arrested for listening to strange music and dress oddly, papers writing about kids worshipping Satan.
The headline is inspired by the fact that heavy metal finally seems to have become recognized as regular music, in terms of having venues to play at, as seen on the photo in the article , the Bibliotheca Alexandrina provided space for a festival,it´s also a testament to the fact that the genre stands stronger than ever after a tough time , and a strong come back, the fortunate choice of Bibliotheca Alexandrina as a venue is of course not always the case, rather the exception to the rule, but this is indeed a long way from secret venues, and an underground environment, though al Baron Palace is equally high class to Bibliotecha Alexandrina in my eyes, and i´m quite sure that al Baron Emplain himself is headbanging around in his grave just a few hundred meters away from the hindu inspired Palace.
The myths about the young satanists in 1997, is of course , just as many, as those of the creator of Heliopolis, Baron Empain, having won the land that Heliopolis was built upon in a card game with the Khedive is a myth, but it makes a good story, so did the ¨Satanistic metalheads¨ , but the kids paid a heavy price for that fantasy.
I´l leave you with a clip , that some of you will love, and most probably hate, it´s an instrumental version of an iconic song we all know, inta Oumri, but this time, with a whole different set of instruments than the traditional way we are used to hear it being performed. I give you the Palestinian-Israeli group from Acre, Khalas , with their interpretation of anta Oumri. For a better understanding of their take on the song and the incomparable Oum Kalthoum you might read this. Enjoy, or turn it off.