Monday, 3 June 2013
You see, despite not watching much television here, in Doha ( I am not implying that I am doing something useful or intellectual. It is just that there is absolutely nothing to watch on TV in Qatar) I still get to watch the Arab music videos when (very rarely!) I go to the gym. I have a program I follow at the moment, which takes thirty minutes on the treadmill. That means thirty minutes of being stuck in one place, waiting to collapse and die. So, any distraction is very welcome. Even in a shape and form of an Arab pop video.
It fascinates me how vastly different the concept of what is considered cool can be in various parts of the world. Because, clearly, the creators of these videos must think what they are creating is cool. Or, at the very least, beautiful. Or, romantic?
Let me just give you one example of an Arab pop song video.
There is a beautiful, in a very obviously Lebanese way, woman, walking along the beach, looking sad and lost. A man in a very sharp business suit is walking and singing, approaching a farm yard where an old man is aiming a big rifle at a black horse who is refusing to behave and therefore, is going to get shot. The man in a suit runs up and grabs the old man's arm, stopping him. Every gesture is dramatic and in a slow motion. Even the running. He then tames the horse by throwing his smart jacket over its head. In the subsequent scene the girl sneaks into the stables and gets on the horse. The horse goes crazy and takes her into a forest, where the man ( at least not wearing his office suit any longer, but still in a smart white shirt) is chopping some wood. He saves the girl and they live happily ever after.
I was curious, after having watched that video, followed by another one of a dude clad all in white, playing a piano at the sea, right at the water edge....where do these videos actually come from?
Having Googled Arab pop videos, I learnt that most of them originate from Egypt or/and Lebanon.
But! I have two Lebanese girlfriends, one here, and one back in the UK; and I can assure you that these two girls are possibly two most stylish friends of all the friends I have. Sophisticated and cool, with taste. So, I am confused. Who dares to create these appallingly bad videos, embarrassing my Lebanese friends? Because, in all honesty, I might have to say that these videos are worse than Azeri songs at Eurovision. And that is bad, guys. That is really, really bad.