Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Urban Tribes

Previously I had blogged about Identity, quoting Amin Maalouf, one of the authors I really admire.
A couple of days ago, I realized more than ever that even those of us who
broke the traditional molds (as we say in Arabic) need to belong, maybe to a group of different people each "freaky" in their own way, all wandering away from the herd but in different directions.

I was always questioning if Urban Tribes were born from this need to belong.
Here is a documentary produced by my alma mater, UC3M about Urban Tribe, you can watch it on YouTube (part1, part2).

Let me know what you think of all this.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Life on the move

Something I've been obsessed with, the reason I constantly thinking of the freedom in freelancing.
The idea that's always in the back of my mind when I'm buying stuff for my house (my to-do list has "framing posters" striked out 3 times at least)
The reason my green backpack is my favourite bag (and that I collect bookmarks when I travel)
Something I've been so fixated on that some of my friends testify I've had a past life the 60s

Yesterday I met the woman who made this dream come true, Erin you're my hero!
Read about her and the mini-philosophy that made this possible.


Coincidently, I came across a discussion on Lonely Planet about "portable careers" two days ago.





Tuesday, January 19, 2010

my shortest trip ever

More often than not, we'd like to travel to more places than our time and dime would allow, today I found that one can take a 2 hour 30$ trip to Portugal.

Tonight Mariza the great took us from the Cairo Opera House to Lisboa and back, through the taverns of Mouraria where the Fado was born, and on-board a yellow furnicular up the hill to Alfama where it met Jazz and Coladeras. Luring us with a white rose and her graceful moves to sit and listen to the sad tales of sailors long gone and of lovers waiting in vain. Songs filled with Saudade, nostalgia to the homeland. Telling stories of her childhood and of other artists who sang for Portugal, Mariza made every note matter.
Every tune a candy along the trail leading to the mournful Fado trap, o meu fado meu...My foot slipped, I who have escaped the sad tunes in Lisboa, saw the city again, in its blue hand painted tiles, and its rain-washed streets, I didn't run from Fado this time, I sat quietly and listened by the Tejo river with my wine glass full of teardrops* waiting for the boat to cross to the other side.

Here's to Mariza, for no one I know can turn a concert hall with 1200 people into a sitting room with a fireplace, and no one I know can keep the power of their voice intact when they kneel down on the floor at the end of a sad song.

Photo:
Off to the Sea, Monument to the Discoveries in Lisbon.
Notes:
*Yes, Port Wine is called lágrimas, literally teardrops
More about Portugal:
You can read about my trips to Portugal here
More about the concert:
Chitra Kalyani's article, Daily News Egypt
Mohamed Radwan's article, Al Masry Al Youm

3 days after the concert:

I'm listening to Rosa Branca, over and over, after reading the above article I realize that I was right about its strong flamenco influence, this is how I felt like dancing when I listened to it (saudade for Spain (sigh))
So, still ain't a Fado person, but now a Mariza fan, any vocalist in their right mind should watch her to learn about perfection, passion and projection (speaking of that after seeing her down on her knees, I thought I should never dare to sing out loud again, but I will seek perfection, I promise)