Various Artists – From Tunis – Kasbah To Kairo – Tahrir Square And Back (2011)

FrontCover1This very important sampler is subtitled “Our dreams are our weapons soundtracks of the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt”, this is an intriguing reminder of the role music has been playing in the Arab Spring; upheavals across north Africa and the Middle East have been helped by the protesters’ use of social networking sites, with songs of struggle often intercut with news footage and posted on YouTube. The musical variety is remarkable particularly in Tunisia. There are sturdy, revolutionary pop songs and folk-rock anthems, but also furious rap from Hamada Ben-Amor, better known as El Général, whose protests landed him in jail earlier this year. There’s rousing orchestral work and oud songs, and an experimental, compelling call to arms from Alia Sellami, who creates unsettling effects by singing into bottles. In Egypt the emphasis is more on rock bands. There’s a powerful lament for a martyr from Ahmed Farahat and an emotional song of patriotism and freedom by Aida el Ayoubi, written nearly 20 years ago and now revived on the internet. (Guardian)


At first this bifurcated selection of eight liberation songs from Tunisia and six from Egypt sounds noble and no more. Although the 14 tracks vary considerably, all are on the respectable side except for one Tunisian rap, which was recorded well before the revolt got the rapper imprisoned. But soon the Tunisian sequence hits home: uplifting neotrad opener to songpoem with crowd chatter to haunting rap to marchlike hymn right through a rock anthem that swept all the way to Tahrir Square. Unfortunately, after a Nubian opener the Egyptians’ contributions don’t connect as deep. The two oud-and-percussion features by two Coptic brothers are too many, and the saved-for-last “The Challenge,” by Tunisian oud-and-zither brothers with their own album on this very label, strives a little too solemnly to, as the notes put it, “build a bridge between Orient and Occident.” A matter of taste, of course–tragic sacrifices and momentous changes merit some solemnity. But I’d love to hear just one beat from the rappers I know damn well were taking their A game to the Cairo streets. (by Robert Christgau)

This album should remind us, how many people in the world have to live unfree !


01. Zorah Lajnef: Tounis Hurra! (Free Tunisia) 3.04
02. Skander Guetari & Khaled Waghleni: Itkallem Ya Tounis (Speak, Oh My Tunisia) 5.37
03. El Général: Rais Lebled (Head Of The Country) 3.53
04. Rabii Zammouri: Nasheed Ath’thawra (Hymn To The Revolution) 2.05
05. Alia Sellami: Revelation 4.57
06. Amine & Hamza: N’seyem Tounis (Breezes From Tunisia) 7.48
07. Hany Adel & Amir Eid: Sawt El Hourreya (The Voice Of Freedom) 4:03
08. Mohamed Mounir: Ezzayy? (Why?) 3.33
09. Mohamed Rashad & Aya Farouq: Wallahi Al-Azim Ya Baladna (Oh Our Country, We Swear) 4.06
10. Joseph Tawadros & James Tawadros Helm: Ash-Shaab (People’s Dream) 4.48
11. Ahmad Farahat: Ash-Shaheed (The Martyr) 4.10
12. Joseph Tawadros & James Tawadros: Gomaa Hayran (Uncertain Friday) 5.47
13. Aida El Ayoubi: Bahebbek Ya Balady (I Love You Oh My Country) 4.08
14. Amine & Hamza: The Challenge 8.10
15. Arabian Knightz feat. Lauryn Hill: Rebel 3.43
16. Rayes Lebled: El Général (Tunisia) 3.49




I got this rare item from Mr. Sleeve … thanks again !!!