Jun 28, 2007

The youngest Oud Master in the world, 15 years old!

I found this video by coincidence. Amazing video of Mohammad Abo-Thikra, who graduated from Beit Al-Oud (house of Oud) Academy at age 15. He studied with Naseer Shamma, considered to be the best technical oud player in the Arab world.

It is sad that such great accomplished is not known except by coincidence! Arab organizations, even well respected ones like Beit Al-Oud, do a very bad job announcing their news.

Jun 22, 2007

Globalization and small-shops owners

This interesting article shows an example of Globalization's good and bad effects:
Efficient big companies raising the bar, and on the other hand small-shop owners losing out

Chain Reaction: the story of Jordan's first chain pharmacy

In short, it talks about Pharmacy One, which is a chain-pharmacy in Jordan. In few years, this pharmacy has expanded into 17 branches, and it's taking business away from many pharmacy owners who have been in business for over 30 years.

what is the solution for these small-pharmacy owners?
are they the unavoidable collateral damage of Globalization and modernity?
or should the government enact laws to prevent Chains from providing better service or cheaper prices?
or maybe the government can offer educational programs to help those owners understand the new rules of the game? (but those go only so far)

It's a hard problem. It is even much harder if you are (or know) somebody who is losing his 30-year-old business to one of those efficient chains.

Similarly, an investor chose Hai Nazzal, which is a relatively poor neighborhood in Amman, to build a mall. That was a surprising step at the beginning. But soon it attracted almost all shoppers in the area. Many of the old clothes shops in the neighborhood closed up as a result... what do you do with these people who support usually big families? One can talk as much as he likes about free market, development, and globalization... but, to have a sizable portion of the population lose their livelihood in a short period is a real problem.

I'm not saying flip the laws, raise walls, and halt free market... one must find a solution to ease it on all these unsuspecting citizens who lost their livelihood within few months.

do you guys know/thought of any good solutions for this problem?
I think soon most of the arab world will fall into it soon.

More interesting posts about Globalization & Arab World:

Jordan’s Pharmaceutical Industry and Tomatoes

Industrial Jordan in the Age of Globalization

Jun 7, 2007

Aswat's June 2nd Concert

Aswat, the San Francisco Arabic Music Ensemble - part of Zawaya.org, had a very nice concert last Saturday June 2nd, 2007. As some know, I play the Nay with them. They are very professional, and a lot has gone into preparations of this concert.

Here's a video of the very first piece we performed. It's a Sama'i (a common form in classical arabic and turkish music - it's made of 4 parts, where 2nd part keeps coming back). This piece was composed by Safar Ali, who was a prolific classical Arabic music composer from Egypt (1884-1962). It's in Nahawand maqam, which is similar to the Western Minor scale.

More videos soon inshallah. Hope you like it:
(note - wait for the short Nay solo part towards the end)
Credits: Video by my brother Saad Arrabi - check the nice smooth zoom-in & out movement.