Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
I may be bias, but the panel on education was of particular relevance in my opinion, since it directly addressed the future of the Arab city & how to best prepare the MENA youth for the challenges that lie ahead (remember - upwards of %60 of the population in the Arab world is under 30) ... and it featured one of the star panelists of the event - a man who was recently named one of the 500 most influential Muslims on the planet - my brother, Mohamad Abdullatif Chakaki.
My show was at a lovely little restaurant on Rue Makdissi called Walimat Wardeh - an old Lebanese house turned restaurant/pub ... A couple hundred friends/fans packed the smoke-filled, humid space as I did my thing on the mic - covering a range of topics that I felt represented the inter-disciplinary goals of the YAAA Conference.
Electric ... maybe thats why they call me Ohmz =P
When I was done, I slowly slipped out of the restaurant & walked over to a shawerma spot on Rue Hamra to fill my empty belly ... Pita bread, garlic mayo, pickles, & tender slices of marinated/roasted chicken to be exact ...
Prior to leaving Beirut, I made sure to indulge in one of the most amazing culinary experiences in the city - Mayrig Restuaruant in Jemmayzeh - if you don't know, you better ask somebody ... This Armenian establishment is top-notch, & is just one more reason to love Lebanon & its diverse blend of culture/cuisine. All the dishes are prepared to perfection, & presented in small portions that are shared throughout the table - salads, fattehs, kibbehs, kiftehs, soujouks, & kebabs ... Two of my favorite dishes there are the rice kibbeh (kibbeh prepared with rice instead of bourghul), and the cherry kabob (sweet/savory gooey goodness) ... To top it all off this ice-cream lover got to taste 4 unique twists on the classic desert - marzipan, rose petal, halawah/halvah, & karawyeh (again, if you don't know - you better ask somebody!) ...
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
During the trip I spent a night at my friends' place in the Bronx & woke up to the sound of a rooster's crow ... in the Bronx ... a rooster ... crowing ... ?
My buddies over at Nomadic Wax (international fair-trade hip-hop label & production studio) asked me to model some of their new fits for a photo-shoot they were doing in Washington DC ... So me & Waterflow of Wageble (Senegalese Hip-Hop crew) roamed through Adams Morgan & U Street ... Visual aid >>
If you've never been to one, you don't know what you're missing ... After a 1.5 hour Orthodox Church service on our feet, the newlyweds walked into their wedding reception to the sounds of Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize" ... followed by some banging Bhangra beats all night long ...
My first solo album has been in the works for quite some time now (2 years?) - but trust me, all good things come to those who wait ... It is currently being mixed in two places - Montreal's UrbanLab Studio & Southern California's ADVENT MP studio ... with production by SandhILL, Oddisee, CessLess, & yours truly - this record is "what your mama would want" you to listen to ... so stay tuned!
I've lived right next to this venue for years & never went to a show ...
I've suffered through miles of traffic for years because of this venue & never went to a show ...
I've found it nearly impossible to park at some of my friends' places for years because of this venue & never went to a show ...
Now I know exactly why ... It's incredible ... 17,000 people can sit comfortably in the middle of the Hollywood Hills & watch some of the most amazing performers from every musical genre' do their thing ... and you can bring a cooler filled with pretty much anything you want inside ... what better way to watch a concert - let alone the legendary Toots & the Maytals ... and "when the sun sets - the fun starts", as the gentleman sitting next to me so accurately pointed out when we first got there ... big ups to Matt for taking the initiative on this one!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
- Chris Faraone
My dear friend & partner-in-rhyme The Narcicyst - Iraqi-Canadian MC extraordinaire - just released his self-titled solo debut & is turning many heads ... The Boston Phoenix recently gave it 4/4 stars (He was robbed - it deserved 5!) ... This is hands-down the illest album of the year - and I'm not just saying that because Omar Offendum is the only other MC featured on it ... The beats bang, the lyrics inspire, & the overall mix is unlike any Hip-Hop record I have ever heard ...
For those of you who have yet to purchase your own copy - quit half-steppin & click here >> http://www.iraqisthebomb.com/
Sunday, May 17, 2009
- May Alhassen (Doctoral Student @ USC)
No Shirley ... No Roger ... Just a bunch of 3arabs on this "Rerun" of What's Happening ...
Hosted by a Levantine version of Live with Regis & Kelly meets The View - Will Youmens, May Alhassen & co... Featuring yours truly performing my rendition of Nizar Qabbani's Al-Qaseeda Al-Dimashqiya - a track off my solo debut SyrianamericanA ... Followed by a collaborative performance with DC-based punk rock drummer Omar Bagnied ... The Egyptian Travis Barker ... Travis Abu-Bakr if you will ...
3iiish ... Sweets?
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
The VBS.TV crew sets sail on a journey to discover what they initially believed to be a "Garbage Island" in the Pacific Ocean ... The sad reality that it is actually billions of particles of plastic broken down into different shapes & microscopic sizes over the years - completely transforming the chemical make-up of seawater - is what they were ultimately faced with ...
I selected this particular clip because it showcases another brilliantly disheartening way to use the term "plastic-fantastic" - but the other related videos on the page are definitely worth checking out as well ...
3iiish Seas ... Please ...
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
:: Layla Lounge :: Washington DC :: April 19, 2009 ::
Monday, April 6, 2009
Find more videos like this on Tawasul
Dubai has been getting a lot of attention recently ... A number of faultfinding articles written by architectural critics have popped up in the wake of it's recent financial decline ... While others have sought to give off the impression that the race is still on for it to be the number one economic & tourist destination in the MENA.
In a previous post I too shared my thoughts on this Emirate, with a specific focus on migrant labor exploitation in lieu of what I described as a "rapid, inorganic, contextless design" - something that many countries in the region have their fair share of.
At the same time I made a conscious effort to distance myself from the typical doomsayers by bringing up the fact that it has a unique ability to draw from cultures all over the world and create spaces where they can engage one another in fresh and exciting ways. One shining example of this is the extraordinary new initiative known as Tawasul - started by some very passionate diving instructors, environmentalists, & even a family member of mine.
As Ernst van der Poll explains in the video I've embedded above, it gives the young people of this ancient port city the opportunity to reengage the underwater world they are surrounded by in a more humble and inspiring way. Since pearl divers were some of the very first people to settle and make a living in Al-Wasl, this project literally brings Dubai back to its roots.
- To cultivate environmental awareness and interest within the youth of the U.A.E in preserving the marine environment and its resources.
- To deliver environmental education, sustainable lifestyle and responsible consumption workshops mobilising the diving community youth to participate in environmental conservation locally and internationally.
- To promote corporate support for local schools thereby strengthening corporate commitment to the conservation of the marine environment.
- To foster a collaborative spirit across cultures in raising awareness on the fragile nature of marine life and to set common conservation goals.
- To apply techniques that preserve underwater life and cultural heritage.
- To support research on environmentally sound approaches to interactions with the marine life on a recreational or commercial level.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
- Satinder Bindra, Director, UNEP
moku: district, island, islet, section, forest, grove
Omar Offendum Loves Trees - Plant One Please!
I was recently asked to participate in the Mokugift Artists & Athletes program. This unique initiative allows my friends/fans to join me, Mokugift, & UNEP in the fight againts global warming by planting trees in areas of our planet that need them the most.
Academic research by Dr Bala of Lawrence Livermore National Labratory shows that trees planted in tropical zones are the most beneficial to the fight against global warming. His study covered the effects of carbon dioxide absorption, reflection of solar radiation, and reflection of solar ration from increased cloudiness. He also accounted for the warming effect of heat held by absorbed sunlight. Therefore, Mokugift trees are planted in the following 12 tropical countries: Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Burundi, Senegal, Zambia, India, Philippines, and Haiti
Mokugift is proud to partner with two award-winning, tree-planting organizations to plant trees in twelve countries fighting deforestation and poverty: Trees For The Future (TFTF) and Sustainable Harvest International(SHI). TFTF and SHI educate local communities about planting techniques that enrich the land and empower them to overcome poverty. As each participating family proudly graduates from these programs with healthy farming knowledge and enriched lifestyles, they inspire other families to adopt the same techniques.
No one is hired to plant the trees. Farmers apply to be part of the programs. Mokugift partners educate local communities on farming techniques while also providing resources such as seeds, materials for nurseries and irrigation equipment. Local communities and farmers plant the trees because they want to enrich their land and community in a way that they will be proud to pass on to future generations.
Fore more information, visit >>
3iiish Trees !
Thursday, March 19, 2009
A recent article in the BBC was full of classic quotes from different players in the Syrian-US Politcal theater ... Here are a few that I found amusing >>
- "The Iranians could take 20 years to weave a carpet ... And the Syrians would say to them: Don't rush, we have plenty of time. But the Americans want to eat their hamburger in three minutes and move on."
An existential problem to say the least . . .
- "George Bush's plan failed, Syria won and Syrians now feel that their policies were correct all along..."
What exactly did we win? A medal? A gift-certificate? A new car?
- "I think beneath the bravado, Syria is in fact uncomfortable with Iran and that both President al-Assad and his people would prefer to look to the West," (the former US ambassador to Israel) says.
Compass references (East/West) are meaningless ... I mean technically, Iran is "look(ing) to the West" when it allies with Syria ... isn't it?
- "Two years ago George Bush decided to ban me from entering America and to freeze my assets in the States. I laughed: I have nothing to lose in America."
I am tempted to say "ignorance is bliss" ... but i'm afraid that would be ... blissful ?
- "People in the region understand that the US policy has been very fickle"
If by "fickle" he means - aggressive, one-sided, & misguided - say word.
- "Obama's silence on Gaza was noted in the region ..."
- But when it comes to real changes no-one in the Middle East is holding their breath.
SyrianamericanA in a pistachio-nutshell my people ...
(Pray for &) 3iiish P E A C E