Monday, August 13, 2007

Keeping it riyal

Saudi Arabia has produced its first ever pop music video. As you might expect, it's a pretty religious affair:

Unlike pop videos popular elsewhere in the Middle East, the video's female star, Ruwaina al-Jihani, appears covered up in black with only her face showing.

The saucy minx. I've a few Arab songs on my iPod. I fondly like to imagine that some of the young ladies singing on them, who have voices that could make an imam kick the kaaba, would show more than their faces. Very sensual it is, anyhow, and not very religious. Anyway, I digress, because I can't imagine they are officially available to the Saudis (who would at least understand the lyrics). Back to the topic in hand.

The song tells of a young Muslim who strays from the true path by smoking, flirting and skipping prayers.

You know this will end well. The noteworthy thing is that this morality tale seems to echo the spirit of a 1950s American pop song (although I'd say it lacks the verve of that sub genre):

He suffers by losing his fiancée, falling behind at work and then having a serious motorcycling accident.

Only he lives, and goes back to the mosque – along with his motorbike gang – and all is well again.

Here is the vid, anyhow. Slick, though they make it pretty hard for anyone not get the message: Western ways, having fun - bad. Praying - good. (I particularly like the bit with his colleagues dressed in traditional dress praying while he lounges at his desk smoking and wearing, the horror, jeans and t-shirt). The music, well, it's no worse than most of the shite godless infidels turn out.

PS: Here's something that I imagine will not be available in Saudi Arabia anytime soon, though I can't rid myself of the suspicion it's all an elaborate joke. (It includes a sample of Serge Gainsbourg's 1967 paen to the Israeli armed forces, which is how I found it in the first place. Do you think I'd go looking for French Hassidic rappers? Now if only he were a techno artist, I could end with a Hassid House gag to complement the headline).

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Blogger David O'Mahony said...

Ah Bill, we miss your headlines. It's not a bad little song actually, when one judges it purely on its audio qualities (my Arabic, surprisingly enough, is non-existent).

11:53 pm  

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