Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Why Declan Walsh (and many Western correspondents) are clueless about the Middle East: on Mashrou` Leila

"Mashrou’ Leila is a wildly popular band across the Middle East,".  No one who knows anything about Arab culture would say that they are wildly popular.  They have their fans but not to the ridiculous degree described here.  Yesterday, when I read this, I asked a well-known Lebanese musician and singer about this.  He said that they are popular in underground music circles in big urban cities.  But certainly not "wildly popular".  If you pick 100 Arabs at random and ask them about Mashrou` Leila: I would be surprised if more than 1% have heard of them.  Western correspondents are not always reliable on Arab politics, and they are certainly less reliable on Arab culture, especially given the language deficiencies.