July 2nd, 2008

Sticky! Sha3kira Ma3shup & “Arab Face”

Really enjoying the discussion on that sha3bi post — please help keep it going if ur so inclined. This post is mainly a way of bringing that discussion “to the top” but I might as well share a related find…

It’s not embeddable, but this video mashup of a sha3bi song and a Shakira/Beyonce vid is pretty awesome in its way. Serves the girls right for putting on “Arab Face” (pdfs are [still] the new mp3s) and busting some “bellydance” moves (see, e.g., 2:50 — are those hieroglyphics?).

I wonder, tho, whether this is an ironic appropriation? I guess I’ll ask fantomme.


  • 1. mk  |  July 3rd, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    this pdf is no new mp3, but rather a dead link..

  • 2. wayneandwax  |  July 3rd, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    ooops. thx, mk. it’s live now.

  • 3. wayneandwax.com » W&hellip  |  July 11th, 2008 at 9:23 am

    […] long as we’re on the topic of “Arab Face” I’ve decided to dust off and finish up this post that’s long been sitting in my […]

  • 4. David  |  July 11th, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I don’t know if Shakira really counts as putting on Arab face, given that she’s of Lebanese, or part Lebanese descent. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’d been introduced to belly dancing by a family member.

  • 5. wayneandwax  |  July 11th, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I see your point, David, tho I’m skeptical/curious about when&how she learned those moves. Plus, her heritage doesn’t preclude her ability to put on “Arab Face.” As we know, even black folk could — and did — cork up.

  • 6. rachel / theantisuck  |  July 13th, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    In defense of Shakira, (an artist i love and find interesting) she IS part lebanese and i feel like her ‘arab face’ is relatively genuine. the style of bellydancing she does is pretty mid-eastern – no indian influence there (only latin) and shes not just wiggling her hips, shes actually pretty decent as a bellydancer errrr or raqs sharqer and has clearly spent some time practicing, and if this rollingstone article can be believed her forays into bellydancing do seem to have been family influenced. http://www.rollingstone.com/artists/shakira/articles/story/5937750/shakira She also doesnt do it just for exoticizing herself to western audiences. If anything she tones it down for us – shes a global artist who really plays to her audiences and you can see her on youtube performing in full bellydance regalia for concerts in the middle east, adding more arab bits to the music itself http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDAcuTG5s7E  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83yy64hvFOw and they LOVE it. Mid-easterners seem to claim her as their own, like zidane and other arabish global celebrities. 

    As for her columbian heritage, rather than combining bellydance w/ indian elements she blends it w/ latin dress/moves which coming from her doesn’t seem that offensive and seems prettty natural too, part of a shared history, Andalusia, etc and her family history. She comes from a long line of mideast/latin blenders, the most significant to me being Amr Diab, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIbyHgUKfQk ricky martin drew a lot from him and his successes and paving the way for an artist like shakira? so to me it has roots. Speaking of that amr diab video – it is itself an ‘orientalist’ blend of latin/gypsy/roma/pan-mideastern pieces and the product of an egyptian artist, prolly the most popular arab pop singer of the 90’s in the middle east & obvi a big crossover artist too.


I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com

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