If you type in on google “Arabic pop music” you get to see a list of popular songs and artists. The artists that are on ranked highest and most are Amr Diab (top left) and Nancy Ajra (middle middle). He is Egyptian, she is Lebanese. They share the music genre Arab pop. It is a subgenre of pop music and Arabic music. It combines pop melodies with elements of different Arabic styles. Characteristics such as Middle Eastern instruments and minor key occur. The most popular themes are romance and focus on longing, melancholy and love issues. Alcohol and sexuality, things that are forbidden in the Islam, are rarely mentioned.
The language barrier did not stop the music from charting in Europe. Many artists, even the ones mentioned above speak multiple languages and cooperate that in their songs. Obviously, the biggest audience lays in the Middle East itself. The pop music is not only popular amongst the young generation, but it has also older fans. As a result of the Arabic film industry (mainly Egyptian movies), is Cairo in Egypt the main center for Arabic pop music. Followed by Beirut in Lebanon.
Henna is a natural colouring device. The plant from which it is made is called the Lawsonia inermis, it is also known as the henna tree. With henna you can dye your skin, hair, nails and even fabrics such as silk wool and leather. Originally the Egyptians started using it to colour the hair and nails of mummies.
Before you can actually use the henna you have to make a paste with it. There are many different recopies and this is one:
- Fresh henna powder
- Lemon juice
- Plastic wrap
- Non-metal mixing bowl and spoon.
- Put sifted henna into a bowl
- Add lemon juice
- Add sugar
- Let the paste rest for 24 hours while covered with plastic wrap
- Create your own patterns
The art that results from using henna is called Mehndi. At least that is what they called it in ancient India. It is a ceremonial form of art seen mostly at weddings on the bride and groom as well. Muslims in Afghanistan also started to use it as an indication of coming of age. Both apply it during festivals. It is mostly drawn on the lightest places of the skin, such as palms and back of the hands as well as feet. This way there is a more noticeable contrast.
These are my own creations: