Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tuffar Rappers from Ba`albak

There is a movement that needs to be covered more in the press. It is the Tuffar movement in the Ba`albak region. Some overage of the movement suffers from prejudices and from stereotypes about them as criminals and drug dealers. Even an article in Al-Akhbar a few months ago did not deviate from that norm. Tafar is being very poor, or penniless. Tuffar characterizes a movement associated with the Ja`far clan in Ba`albak and champions the poor and neglected in the region. It is Shi`ite but not with Hizbullah and not with the Amal movement, the two Shi`ite political groupings in the region. Many in Lebanon blame (often unfairly) the car theft and drug dealings on Tuffar. Tuffar is a lawless movement that champions rebellion against the government, and is more political than often assumes. A supporter sent me rappings by Tuffar which speak to their sentiments and feelings and political expressions. There is this one and this one. Listen carefully to the lyrics. By the way, the Lebanese accent of that region is my favorite accent from Lebanon. It is close to Fusha and I like how they stretch words: so jurd becomes jooord.