Since folks typing in Arabic are looking for Johnny Depp and landing on this blog, here he is enjoying the hospitality in someone’s home in the Middle East. Inshallah, he had a good time and didn’t get too wired on the coffee.
And now, we shall listen to music while giving Johnny unasked-for career advice:
Farid al-Atrash was a Syrian-born musician and actor, and we can thank his mother for turning him on to music. He and his mother moved to Egypt when al-Atrash was a child to escape French occupation. His mother was an oud player and got him started on the instrument; he later studied at a music conservatory and was mentored by Riyad as-Sunbaty. Al-Atrash had a long career as a singer, composer, and instrumentalist. He also starred in 31 films from the 1940s to the 1970s–so, Johnny, if you take up the oud, you can move to Egypt and be a movie star.
Ehab Tawfik “Ah Ya Nari.” As if having good looks and talent aren’t enough, he’s got a doctorate in music and wrote his dissertation on methods of Arabic singing in Egypt during the second half of the twentieth century. Johnny, you’re a handsome fella and a voracious reader. Time to up the ante and go to grad school.
Abdel Halilm Hafez “Ouloulou.” Okay, the poor man’s life could have been written by Charles Dickens. Hafez’s mother died delivering him; his father died when he was 5; Hafez was infected by a waterborne parasite as a child and had complications for the rest of his short life … but, despite all the hardships, Hafez used his fame and wealth to help others, giving to the poor and donating his time and energy in hospitals and orphanages across the Middle East. You were born in Kentucky and lived in Florida, so you’ve had your own Dickensian times, Johnny. You’ve also dressed up as Captain Jack and visited hospitals, so you’re good on the whole giving back to the community thing.
There’s lots more great music from all over the Arabic-speaking world, but it’s late and we have to go to bed. تصبح على خير (good night)