Upon departing from Beirut last month, I made my way to Dubai, the Arabian-Gulf city of life that inspired one of my previous posts.
Thanks to the hard-working folks at The Baraka Group & Showtime Arabia, I was given the opportunity to showcase my latest tracks and poetic musings at a venue called SHELTER in Al-Qouz (a warehouse district). This place is really unique in that it "is a first of its kind community workspace that allows individuals from various creative disciplines to engage in an environment that nurtures entrepreneurial small businesses." Since it isn't a typical club venue that serves alcohol, my beloved niece and nephew were able to invite their high-school friends to watch Khalo Offendum rock the mic in their hometown - without having to lie to their parents about where they were going (ain't that right Tala ;) ... Furthermore, it serves food/coffee from one of the best restaurants in the city, mOre cafe' ... so you know my fat-a** was happy!
The show itself consisted of an opening performance by up and coming Indian comedian Nitin Mirani - whose hilariously relevant jokes and impersonations of the various accents found in this Middle Eastern melting pot were the perfect intro to my 1-hour set ... Given the number of Arab expats and International citizens in attendance, the global perspective I've been pushing with the material on SyrianamericanA was well-received ...
This event was subsequently covered by Dubai One TV and Showtime Arabia's "Show Me More" - all you FB heads can peep the latter interview here:
I also premiered my OFFENDUM logo design at this event, a new take on the classic evil-eye that I hold so dear - where two of them meet to form an "OO" that serve as both my initials and an homage to the turn-tables that make what I do possible at each and every show ... This was projected on the wall, flat screen TVs, and printed on some really cool T-Shirts that a few lucky customers got to take home that night ... In the photo below is my good friend Ernst van der Poll, whom you may remember from an earlier post I put up back in April about the local youth diving initiative known as Tawasul ...
In retrospect I realize that these shirts are perhaps not the most flattering for women to wear, so I will make it a point to design a line with a smaller logo print in the middle of the shirt =P
A few nights before I left the Emirates I also had a chance to to do a special 2-hour radio interview on DUBAI EYE - 103.8 (thanks Yara!) ... I gave listeners a taste of what to expect on the solo record, and answered some interesting questions that ranged from:
"When are you gonna do a show in Abu Dhabi?"
"Why are you doing this, music is 7aram!?"
Just before departing from DXB I stopped by the duty-free music store to browse the latest Middle Eastern music releases and stumbled upon a pleasant surprise ...
Shout-outs to Fred Wreck, Shadia Mansour, Don Legend, Murder Eyez, Rojeh, DAM, and of course the one and only - MC Amiiiiiin (ta7ya il-gumhooriyah ... il-3arabiyah ... il-Masriyah ... 100/100 ;)