Latin Arabia

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Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Schwarmas + Tacos

This is in the USA, but the company is blending Arab (Schwarma) + Latin (tacos).

El Chile Caliente (The Hot Chili)

Notice that he has a lot of Arab items on the menu.

While this might seem odd to an American, the Arabs have a big footprint in Latin America. Apparently, this footprint is now moving here to the USA.

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Surf Rock is Arabic in Origin

Misrlou – the start of Surf Rock

Miserlou (1963) by Dick Dale and the Del-Tones was the start of American surf rock.

However, it goes back to a Mediterranean folk song of unclear origins.

The earliest known recording of the song was by a rebetiko musician, Tetos Demetriades, in 1927. In 1930, Michalis Patrinos and his rebetiko band recorded a cover version in Athens, Greece.[2] As with almost all early rebetika songs (a style that originated with the Greek refugees from Asia Minor in Turkey), the song’s actual composer has never been identified, and its ownership rested with the band leader. The melody was most likely composed collaboratively by the band, as was often the case at the time; the initial lyrics were almost certainly written by Patrinos himself. Patrinos, who originally lived in Smyrni, named the song “Mısırlı” or “Misirlou” which means an Egyptian Muslim girl, as opposed to Egyptian Christians who were referred to as Αιγυπτιοι (Aigyptioi) in Greek.

Dick Dale was half-Lebanese, and an Oud player before he picked up guitar. He grew up playing these tunes, and would have been familiar with the tune.

The song was rearranged as a solo instrumental rock guitar piece by Dick Dale in 1962. During a performance, Dale was bet by a young fan that he could not play a song on only one string of his guitar. Dale’s father and uncles were Lebanese-American musicians, and Dale remembered seeing his uncle play “Misirlou” on one string of the oud. He vastly increased the song’s tempo to make it into rock and roll. It was Dale’s surf rock version that introduced “Misirlou” to a wider audience in the United States

The Greek recording

One of the comments on the video says:

There are claims “Misirlou” is Arabic in origin, specifically coming from Alexandrian singer/composer Sayyid Darwish and his song “Bint Misr.” He supposedly recorded it around 1919 but until a copy surfaces, we’ll just have to wonder! DICK ROSEMONT

The song’s oriental melody has been so popular for so long that many people, from Morocco to Iraq, claim it to be a folk song from their own country. In fact, in the realm of Middle Eastern music, the song is a very simplistic one, since it is little more than going up and down the Hijaz Kar or double harmonic scale (E-F-G#-A-B-C-D#).

The song goes back to a Greek refugees from Turkey, composed about an Egyptian woman.

However, the melody seems to go back even further to the Arabs.

The melody may go back to the Hijaz, the West end of Saudi Arabia.

So there you have it. Surf Music may be Arabic in origin.

So it looks like this:
Hijaz → Egypt → Greek neighborhood in Turkey → Greek recording in America → Adopted by Dick Dale to Surf Music

Try not to forget that when you hear these blond, blue-eyed All-American boys play the song.

May 8, 2017 – Edited: Minor edits.
November 24, 2017 – Edited: Added video.

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Palestinians or Arabs?

This was preached in the United States. However, America has over 30 Million Latins; a greater population than many Latin countries.

The preacher is giving a standard Evangelical line.

The Palestinians do not exist. They are merely Arabs from somewhere else.

I understand his point. He wants to assert Israel’s right to the land. I agree with that.

However, I am not so sure you can say an invented people do not exit.

America invented itself in 1776. Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and a large section of Latin America invented themselves in 1810. Belgium invented itself in 1830.

Nations invent themselves all the time.

There was a considerable Arab population in the land before 1900. Even Jewish sources admit that. About 500,000 non-Jews.

Natural birth rates could explain most of their increasing numbers up to 1948.

Was there migration in during the Mandate period, as Joan Peters asserts? Yes; but most of the Arabs there were not immigrant stock. Joan Peters was not wrong, but she did exaggerate.

The Palestinian-Christians of Chile certainly feel they are Palestinian. They formed a soccer team in 1920 called the Palestinos – Not the Árabes, or Syrios del Sur (South Syrians). They considered themselves Palestinian as early as 1920.

That does not mean the Palestinians have a greater claim to the land than the Jews. It means only that the line of reasoning of the Preacher has its flaws.

One can say the Jews have a better claim. One cannot say the Palestinians have no claim.

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