"Let Us Be Moors"

Islam, Race and "Connected Histories"

by Hisham Aidi
published in MER229

Seamos moros!” wrote the Cuban poet and nationalist José Martí in 1893, in support of the Berber uprising against Spanish rule in northern Morocco. “Let us be Moors...the revolt in the Rif...is not an isolated incident, but an outbreak of the change and realignment that have entered the world. Let us be Moors...we [Cubans] who will probably die by the hand of Spain.” [1] Writing at a time when the scramble for Africa and Asia was at full throttle, Martí was accenting connections between those great power forays and Spanish depredations in Cuba, even as the rebellion of 1895 germinated on his island.

Le lute de Bagdad

by Elliott Colla
published in MER215

Given the rich lyricism and pointed social quality of contemporary Arabic poetry, it's no accident that politically motivated Arab music is usually vocal rather than instrumental. The close collaborations between Marcel Khalife and Mahmoud Darwish or Egyptian singer Shaykh Imam and Egyptian poet Ahmad Fu'ad Nigm offer vivid examples of politically charged connections between word and melody.

Arab "World Music" in the US

by Ted Swedenburg
published in MER219

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.