Sharjah grant breathes new life into Lebanon’s Gibran Museum

Souad Massi


After her exceptional 2019 album, “Oumniyah”, the legendary French-Algerian singer-songwriter released her 10th album this year – a poignant showcase that further expands the sonic palette of her trademark Algerian chaâbi and her inimitable dexterity at the guitar. Adorned with all the characteristics of a Souad Massi record, “Sequana” mixes folk, country, rock, calypso and bossa with poetic lyrics, peppered with themes such as relationships, compassion and love. It even features singer/songwriter Piers Faccini and a superb Arabic-language rendition of “Hurt,” the famous Nine Inch Nails track covered by Johnny Cash. “Sequana” is a must-have addition to Massi’s extraordinary catalog.

Tanjaret Daghet


Although they’ve kept busy as session musicians and collaborated with the likes of Arab indie royalty Zeid Hamdan (on “Beit” in 2019), the Beirut-based Syrian trio hadn’t released a studio album. since her cathartically magnetic 2013 debut, “180 Degrees.” “Nearly a decade later, Tanjaret Daghet have proven the wait is well worth it, as they embrace their experimental side in the same way Radiohead completely reinvented themselves on their music-infused masterpiece. electronica “Kid A”. The group cleverly weaves a sonic embroidery oscillating between psychedelia, deliciously layered vocal harmonies and meditative instrumental passages that illustrate the depth of the connection between the three musicians. “Mareed” is an artistic triumph from a band whose unique sound has been sorely missed.



Just a year into their career in 2015, the Tunisian duo scored a big hit with “Smek”, a track from their debut album which was remixed by Rey & Kjavik and went on to earn over 10 million streams. Since then, Sabrine Jenhani and Ramy Zoghlami have performed across Europe and North America, delivering a distinctive blend of indie-alternative folk and emotive lyrics sung in the Tunisian dialect of Derja to a growing audience that often forms a intimate and lasting connection with their music. . Ÿuma’s third studio effort, “HANNET LEKLOUB,” balances the melancholy, elegant melancholy of their previous releases with earworm hooks and tender vocalization to deliver a mature, memorable, and immensely enjoyable LP.


“Hadis El Layl”

With their sixth LP, Adonis has perfected the formula of danceable pop, alt-rock drive, and anthem songwriting that they began creating in 2012 with their debut single, “Stouh Adonis.” The Lebanese quartet presents a moving collection of love songs – with the title track and the heartbreaking “Ekhsarak” as the stars – culminating in “Ma Endi Fekra”, an ingenious pastiche of two styles of Arabic music battling in a searing commentary on Arabic. The music industry. The album’s final opus uses electric guitar and oriental mizmar as the embodiment of this artistic skirmish and is among the most deeply adventurous works the band has produced to date.

Gultrah sound system


Led by vocalist and guitarist Halim Yousfi, Tunisia’s neo-reggae pioneers have gone through various line-up changes since their 2006 debut, but one element of their swirling combo of rap, jazz, funk and Afrobeat has always remained consistent: they are uncompromising innovators. and pepper their songs with incisive humor and politically provocative messages. Their latest album, “PRELUDE”, is a deliciously listenable amalgamation of vibrant, rhythmic percussion, playful violins, a spirited brass section and fiercely honest socio-economic commentary on the hardships of everyday life in Tunis. A real gem that crystallizes Gultrah Sound System’s status as one of the region’s most exciting bands.


‘Kel Tinariwen’

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Although strictly speaking a reissue of a 1992 recording, the album had previously only been released in Mali – and only on cassette. “Kel Tinariwen” is a flagship album by a group recognized as one of the architects of the Kel Tamasheq desert blues movement. This Grammy Award-winning collective of Tuareg musicians from the Sahara Desert region of northern Mali has been around for over 40 years but remains staunchly relevant. On the contrary, the addition of synthesizers to their idiosyncratic guitar work demonstrates the band’s enthusiasm for reframing their music and making it accessible to a whole new generation of fans.



Many established artists fall into the trap of complacency and end up ignoring the little voice in their head nagging them to rethink and reimagine. Cairokee have never been shy about going back to the wholesale drawing board, but on their bold seventh studio album, the Egyptian rock visionaries truly chart a new direction for their music. “Roma” is a bold foray into pop and trap melodies—the inclusion of hip-hop luminary Marwan Pablo, for example—by a band that made a name for themselves as the rock soundtrack of revolution. album of 2011. The LP swept the charts on music platforms across the country and shines as one of the boldest additions to Cairokee’s already illustrious output.



Coming on his own from electro-acoustic collective Garaseen, whose 2018 EP made waves in the Arabic indie landscape, Idreesi built on the momentum sparked by his debut LP, 2020’s “Loon El Shams,” to ignite a creative flame that resonates with aplomb through his latest pop release. “Ma7boobi” is an emotional anthology of material told from the perspective of fictional characters envisioned by the songwriter, whose penchant for storytelling stems from his experience in theater and as an actor. The album is a deeply expressive chronicle of the singer’s personal experiences and consistently intrigues with his innovative use of unconventional instruments to convey raw emotion. To listen absolutely.

El Ras

‘Ard El Khof’

Rapper and music producer El Rass (aka Mazen El-Sayed) is known for not mince words. Following in the footsteps of 2020’s ‘Bab Al-Doukhoul’, one of the region’s most inventive hip-hop pioneers tackles themes of economic collapse and hardship in his native Lebanon with a murderous wit and a breathtaking lyrical pastime. The rambunctious rhymecaster is in searing form on “Ard El Khof” (Land of Fear), doling out verse after verse clocked to perfection and accompanied by a searing entourage of pulsing beats and delightfully dark synth.

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