MENA/MED In Memoriam 2019

Tourbeau

Active member
Here are some famous folks who departed in 2019. Did I miss anyone?

Houari Manar (December 18, 1981 – January 7, 2019)
Houari was an Algerian Rai singer who was known almost as much for being a semi-closeted gay performer as for his music. Even though he never fully came out, his refusal to deny or hide his sexuality made him a trailblazer in the Muslim entertainment industry.




Dick Dale (May 4, 1937 – March 16, 2019)
"The King of the Surf Guitar" used his Lebanese ancestry to create his own unique style of midcentury American popular music. One of his most beloved recordings was his version of "Miserlou."




Ezzat Abou Aouf (August 21, 1948 – July 1, 2019)
Dr. Ezzat was a multitalented Egyptian actor, musician, and composer. Although he started out for a career in medicine, he soon transitioned to music where, as the group 4M, he and his sisters helped usher Egypt into an era of MTV-style synth pop. He later became a popular actor and ambassador of Egyptian cinema to the world.




Hossam Ramzy (December 15, 1953 – September 10, 2019)
Hossam needed no introduction for most belly dancers. Alternating between being traditional and innovative, this prolific Egyptian drummer and belly dance music producer was legendary.




Haitham Ahmed Zaki (April 4, 1984 – November 7, 2019)
Haitham was an Egyptian actor, perhaps best known to dance students who watch Arabic movies for playing the great Egyptian singer Abdel Halim Hafez in the biopic "HaIim."




Sha'aban Abdel Rahim (March 15, 1957 – December 3, 2019)
Another entertainer who needed no introduction, Sha'abola was an iconoclastic Egyptian sha'abi singer. If upper-class Egyptians thought sha'abi music was crude and unsophisticated before, Sha'abola hit like an atomic bomb with his song "I Hate Israel" in 2000. The epitome of "no filter," he sang what he thought, and nothing was off limits or too outlandish. It would be hard to imagine mahraganat music today if Sha'aban Abdel Rahim hadn't kicked the door down first.

 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Doreet "Didi" Gordon. Pretty well known in Goth Tribal circles, we lost her last June. I took classes from her for several years - a picture of the two of us from several years ago:
didi-large.jpg
 

Tourbeau

Active member
Thanks for adding Doreet "Didi" Gordon, Zorba! I didn't see any solo clips of her online, but I believe she is the center dancer in this performance. If you feel there is a clip that better showcases her style, please link it.




In the meantime, here are a few more highlights...

Another song by Houari Manar...




Hossam Ramzy's version of Abdel Halim Hafez's song "Khusara khusara" was so popular that Jay-Z sampled it in his own song "Big Pimpin'."




Hossam also collaborated with Phil Thornton on a series of recordings fusing New Age and Middle Eastern music. ERMAHGERD! EVERBDDY LERVZ "DERWERD GERN"!




Okay, I confess. I adore how cheesetabulously insane 4M was. I could easily jack my own thread linking all of their videos. Their cover upthread of "Habibi ya eini" is prime, but how do you refuse this original disco classic?



But my all-time favorite of theirs is this batty, amped-up cover of Abdel Halim Hafez's "Ana kol ma 'oul al-touba."




Speaking of batty, there's a treasury of Sha'aban Abdel Rahim songs where he raps/sings/complains about famous people, including President Bush, then President Obama (first, he liked him, then he didn't). At one point, Sha'abola declared himself better and more popular than Michael Jackson, and challenged him to...something. Sigh. Ya Sha'abola, you looked like Shrek's Egyptian cousin and your singing voice could have belonged to a troll, but your musical legacy waisn't hobbled by credible accusations of being a predatory child molester, so I guess you won?

Most of Sha'aban Abdel Rahim's music used roughly the same melody and beat, so here's his Michael Jackson challenge, and one can extrapolate from there...



Or if you prefer something slightly less unhinged, here's a collaboration Sha'abola did with the Kuwaiti group Miami. Sha'aban Abdel Rahim is the guy in the yellow print shirt in the video.

 
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Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Yep, that's Didi. I was in that group and did that dance - although there were a couple or three of us that didn't make the cut for shows like TribalFest. Here she is doing a duette with her duette partner, "Vulgaire Turpentine":
 

Tourbeau

Active member
These are great. However, I was under the impression that Dick Dale was Greek and not Lebanese.
According to Wikipedia, Dick Dale's real last name was Monsour, and he was Lebanese on his father's side and Polish-Belarusian on his mother's side. Wikipedia has certainly had bad information on it, but one of the articles it cites is this one (apparently an archived copy that was promoted through the US State Department), so one hopes somebody adequately fact checked it...

https://web.archive.org/web/20130610012353/http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/article/2006/09/20060914165844ndyblehs0.0821802.html

I know I've heard people say that "Miserlou" is a Greek melody, so I wouldn't want to make the call on who gets to claim ownership of it, although that article quotes Yale Strom as saying it has "distinctive Arab modalities" and "characteristic Eastern Mediterranean syncopated rhythms," so I guess that's hedging your bets. I suspect the origin of "Miserlou" is like who invented hummus or spiced lamb on flatbread. You just nod along with whatever ethnic group is currently claiming it because it goes so far back that the truth has faded into the mists of history.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Immortal Egypt is one of the all-time great compilations of music in any genre. ❤????? (Anyone noticed all the smilie choices we have now?)
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I sold a lot of my dance CDs when I retired. I kept all of Hossam Ramzy and Phil Thornton's collaborations, along with a handful of other favorites.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Ok, ok! You sold me! I've heard of it, but am not sure if I've heard it or not. Off to eBay/Amazon...
 

Greek Bonfire

Well-known member
Yep-I'm sure there have been multiple claims of ownership. Regarding Dick Dale's claim to being Greek, years ago I read something where he said he was honoring his Greek mother with his version of "Miserlou" but I have to admit that I can't find anything to back this up other than what I heard - somewhere - years ago.

According to Wikipedia, Dick Dale's real last name was Monsour, and he was Lebanese on his father's side and Polish-Belarusian on his mother's side. Wikipedia has certainly had bad information on it, but one of the articles it cites is this one (apparently an archived copy that was promoted through the US State Department), so one hopes somebody adequately fact checked it...

https://web.archive.org/web/20130610012353/http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/article/2006/09/20060914165844ndyblehs0.0821802.html

I know I've heard people say that "Miserlou" is a Greek melody, so I wouldn't want to make the call on who gets to claim ownership of it, although that article quotes Yale Strom as saying it has "distinctive Arab modalities" and "characteristic Eastern Mediterranean syncopated rhythms," so I guess that's hedging your bets. I suspect the origin of "Miserlou" is like who invented hummus or spiced lamb on flatbread. You just nod along with whatever ethnic group is currently claiming it because it goes so far back that the truth has faded into the mists of history.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
When I was a Greek Folk Dancer, "Miserable Lou" was claimed to be a Greek-American folk dance. Much like "Never on Sunday".
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Fotia, I deleted your post only to get rid of the spam message quoted in it. Nothing you wrote was a problem. Just sayin'.
 
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