Monday, April 23, 2012

Dabke

I was having dinner tonight at one of the restaurants in the trending Zaitunay Bay. The music in the background was at a comfortable volume - low and just how I like it. This song came up and I remembered one of my favorite sounds ever. There are some things that we love but for some reason they slip into the back of our minds...

There is something about this song (and the video) that arouses this need in me to love, and to love more, the land of my fathers - a little country amongst several countries that form the Levantine region. I love the dabke but there was a time many long years ago when I was more westernized and thought of our culture and traditions as unsophisticated and unrefined. I remember my father would explain to me the beauty of the dabke: this noble act of holding hands together and feet stomping the ground in accord as the ultimate expression of unity and harmony. I never understood what my father was trying to tell me. I continued to listen to rock music.

But then, living as an expatriate in London made all the difference. I studied at a school that encouraged all things Arabic and I saw our world from the perspective of an outside observer. And then I went deeper into the study of our history and that's when the search for my identity took a different turn. Arabic is a beautiful language, Umm Kulthum is a great singer, and the dabke is a magnificent dance...

They say time changes us - sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better. I still listen to rock. But I am not that person anymore who thought that I was above the dabke (or what it represented)...


2 comments:

Rany said...

Comments are back! :) that's cool and the black is gone, that was sort of unexpected; I actually checked if I typed the URL correctly after opening the page.

I love dabke too, it's almost as crazy as Hendrix smashing his guitar, it always gives that thrill to me but it's also full of discipline, harmony and our historical identity, that's why I love it. (There's also the ghandour biscuit that holds the "dake" name, it's a big reason to love it but it's another issue I think :P)
But I hate the name Zaitunay Bay, it's St. Georges bay and there's a whole story that includes slaying dragons that gave it its name, this new name thing (in which language is "zaitunay"?) is a cheap move from solidere to corner the owner of the St Georges hotel not to mention that the name sounds fake, unauthentic and doesn't relate to Beirut.

Mabrouk the renovation!

marooned84 said...

The beauty of originality.

oh, and STOP SOLIDAIRE :)