Fans of alternative Arabic music have found a new source of entertainment, airing from the Stanford campus since January 2012. The Arabology show, hosted by Stanford lecturer, acclaimed writer, and DJ Dr. Ramzi Salti, airs weekly on KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM. The show features the newest of the music production in the Middle East, and interviews artists in the performing art scene of the Arab world, focusing on independent and alternative artists.
Aiming to offer a new perspective about the Middle East to the listeners, the show considers that fact that it is not only targeted at Arabic-speaking audience. Dr. Salti often contextualizes each song and translates it, providing information about the artist, the language or the dialect and the various dimensions that build the song.
The show reaches out to audiences in the Arab world through SoundCloud podcasts, a Youtube channel and a blog. Despite the irony, much of the knowledge many Arabs have about Alternative Arabic music airs from the heart of California. To the Arab audience, Arabology is not only a source of knowledge and entertainment, but also a form of musical connection between Arabic countries.
If you’re not familiar with alternative Arabic music, a “Top 20 Alternative/Indie Arabic Songs of the Year” episode is a good place to start with. A countdown of top songs is podcasted at the end of every year as an overview of the produced works. The latest episode was of 2014, aired in December 4, 2014:
Don’t you think the niche of alternative Arabic music is ignored in the Arab media? What would stop a similar show from airing in the Middle East? Share your views.