Sindibād in Trap: A Youthful Revolutionary of Hope and Resilience

By Sanabel Abdelrahman

A blurred scene of a young man giving a speech from behind a dimly lit podium with two laid-back aides to his sides starts off the popular 2020 track Amrikkka by Palestinian rapper Shabjdeed. The stoic young man raps to us, in a mellow, robust voice about the collapse of Iraq at the hands of the United States of America, which he curses repeatedly throughout the song. Shabjdeed takes off his formal suit, revealing a military uniform underneath, as he walks away from the podium and into a meeting, with the Flag of Arab Liberation[1] showing behind him. He maintains his gaze at us, quizzingly, curtly singing:

Shabjdeed – Amrikkka (Prod. Al Nather) © 2020 BLTNM Records, Palestine.

I see shapes shifting in front of me.

I am so drunk; I barely make it to the door; barely reached the house and dropped my keys in the dog bowl.

I slept on the stairs, that’s the best kind of sleep.

And this is a glimpse of my day.

Sindibād crossed the seas; a treacherous world,

departure, and anguish.

شايف أشكال تتطعوج حولي

قد منا سكران مش محصل الباب

يا دوبني عرفت كيف أصل الدار حطيت مفتاحي فأكل الكلاب

ونمت عالدرج هذا نوم الهنا

وهاي نبذة عن يومي أنا

قطع البحار يا سندباد

عالم غدار فراق وعذاب

The music then crescendos into an alluring, melancholic rocky tune and the lyrics veer from the personal to the punching political. This track, considered a “lyrical finger to America”[2] turns into a visceral commentary on the destruction of Iraq by the eponymous Amrikkka with the KKK reference to a white supremacist foundation of the colonizing country.

Listening to this song, one cannot help but wonder why the figure of Sindibād is evoked in this highly political song about the aftermath of the US-American invasion of Iraq? Applied to the larger contemporary Arabic music scene, one may add the question: why is this 1001 Nights hero constantly evoked in Arabic trap music, and how? Furthermore, what is the connection between the post-2011 Sindibād of the trap and rap scene to the one of bygone decades, for example the Sindibād of communist-folk singer al-Sheikh Imam or that of 1980’s and 1990’s pop songs? Or that of Sindibād in twentieth-century Arab writings?

In this essay I will trace the pattern of summoning a particular Sindibād in specific moments of modern Arab history through music. I will argue that the fictional Sindibād, the sailor from Baghdad, is called upon in times of political crisis, usually to address a sense of collective disillusionment following failed projects of Arab liberation and independence. This musical phenomenon appears in the 1970s and1980s, a period of disillusionment with the promises of ‘independence’ of Arab states and the collapse of the dreams of pan-Arabism. This phenomenon also returns repeatedly in the years succeeding the Arab Spring in 2011, that are characterized by a great collective frustration over the failure of the revolutions.

The character of Sindibād, the sailor from Baghdad, appears in the collection’s later tales and across seven adventures narrated consecutively by the witty Shahrazād in 1001 Nights. The world-famous collection of eighth- to fourteenth-century Middle Eastern folktales was first translated into French by Antoine Galland between 1704 and 1717[3], and later into other languages. Galland’s translations of the tales have been criticized for their orientalist approach[4] and for the alterations made (including omissions) to cater to the French[5] and general European audience.[6] Galland also neglected to credit his collaborator who transmitted many of the tales, the Syrian storyteller Ḥannā Diyāb[7].

Though Sindibād’s adventures vary in degrees of out-worldliness and magical realism, all seven adventures convey a similar cycle. Every time Sindibād succeeds in achieving a life of comfort and pleasure, he longs to return to the sea and sets out on a new adventure. Once at sea, disaster strikes: a storm destroys his boat, or a giant whale eats it. Often, he is left stranded on foreign, dangerous islands, struggling to survive. Upon being rescued and returning to Baghdad, Sindibād would enter the cycle again. Following the seventh adventure, however, and after twenty-seven years of a peripatetic life, Sindibād vows to God never to travel again and to be content with a quotidian life in Baghdad.

The first Sindibadian tale begins with Sindibād al-Ḥammāl (Sindibad theporter) who takes a break to relieve his shoulders and begins chanting a song about his hardships. This is when Sindibād al-Baḥrī (Sea Sindibad) hears him and invites him to recount his seven adventures. Thus, from the beginning, we are presented with the bifurcation of the character into land Sindibād and sea Sindibād. Perhaps this doubling of one and the same figure, living at sea and on land, indicates a perennial continuation of Sindibād’s journey across the world. It also manifests Sindibād’s recurring dilemma of settling down or adventuring. Ideas surrounding mobility and freedom of movement could also be contrasted to the present status quo in the Arab World regarding refugeehood, asylum seeking, immigration, and exile. I argue that another Sindibād makes an appearance in modern Arab history and that is Sindibāʻ (traitor Sindibad) who emerges in times of political turmoil to distract Arabs from the hopes of liberation and need for revolution. I will explain this in more detail in the following paragraphs.

It is first important to establish that the technique of summoning Sindibād in text is not a new phenomenon. Scholar Saʻīd ʻAllūsh calls this “the retrieval of tradition through [literary] mediums”[8] and even identifies this as “reading of Sindibādian phenomenon”[9]– which recurs in Arabic literary texts. This is more so the case as the figure of Sindibād and his journey have become synonymous with a widely shared Arab experience[10] that aims to construct a brighter collective future by transcending the present[11] marked with defeat and stasis[12]. Indeed, this “al-fiʻl al-sindbādī”[13] (Sindibaian action) holds the potential for change and transformation[14] according to ʻAllūsh.

As in literature, this folkloric figure appears repeatedly in contemporary trap music. Shabdjeed makes several, more direct references to Sindibād in his eponymous album. SINDIBAD, which contains 13 tracks, is introduced in a 36-second prologue titled ‘Lā Tamut Qabla an Takūna Niddan’ (‘Do Not Die Before You Become an Adversary’) – a revered statement made by Palestinian revolutionary and writer Ghassān Kanafānī. Referencing this strong statement that calls on Palestinians to continue with their struggle against the Israeli occupation politicizes the prologue and by that the entire album. In this prologue, Sindibād is not mentioned passively but is the very person who opens the door to the album, specifically with the line:

Titled [the album] Sindibād, light up the fires of war in the face of enemy forces

بعنوان سندباد أشعل نيران الحرب بوجه قوات العدو

Shabjdeed’s debut full-length album ‘Sindibad el Ward’, produced by Al Nather, with Muktafeen’s creative direction. © 2019 BLTNM Records, Palestine.

By situating Sindibād explicitly within Kanafānī’s popular motto, the former transforms into a harbinger of Arab resistance. As a result, Sindibād is not only directly politicized but is situated deeply within an intense, pertinent scene in which Shabjdeed plays a pivotal role. The young trap artist reflects with us, in WEN WARD that:

It appears we have hit rock bottom

Sindi evil, that Sindi bāʻ [sold]

Spare us your evil, brother

يبدو أننا وصلنا القاع

سند الشر هاد سندي باع

إكفي شرك عنا خيا

In a deeply intriguing play of words, Sindibād’s very name is fractured in this verse. The first part of his name is suffixed with ‘evil’ and then the verb bāʻ[15] (to sell) – both carrying negative connotations. Thus, we are confronted with a mutated Sindibāʻ who stands in stark opposition to the heroic Sindibād. Compellingly, Sindibāʻ makes an appearance, as Shabjdeed tells us, when “we have hit rock bottom”. Arguably, Sindibāʻ, or traitor Sindibād, could potentially be extracted from this song and planted in certain Arab contexts that elude the spirit of revolution and change. That is, unlike savior Sindibd, Sindibāʻ attempts to distract the masses from the urgency for revolution and liberation through entertainment and commercialization as I explain later.

This nightmarish space describes not only Shabjdeed’s own life under Israeli occupation[16] but also the terrain that evoked the resurrection of Sindibād. The hero from Baghdad thus emerges in times of dark uncertainty and ‘rock bottom’. It is worth noting that the current Palestinian space also mimics that of Sindibād’s “space of bereavement”[17] in the original tales, especially owing to the lonely sailor’s dangerous fate.

The space from which both Sindibād and Sindibāʻ appear is described in detail in Shabjdeed’s songs. The description of this distorted, rock-bottom space is reflected in the other tracks on the album such as ARAB STYLE describing Israeli soldiers, MADRASEH which recalls the Maskūbiyya prison[18], and MTAKTAK which mimics gunfire rhythm through an electrifying beat. In FILIM, we hear about how “living has become like a film, I wake up only to continue dreaming”. The haunting verse echoes throughout the soundscape of the track like someone’s lost words.

Why would Shabjdeed and other trap artists across the Arab World utilize Sindibād rather than any other traditional figure? Perhaps it is due to Sindibād’s tales of bravery, of defying death in a way that is similar to Shabjdeed insisting that “we do not fear death and if it comes close, you will see that I will hold its gaze”. Maybe it is because of Sindibād’s fate of meandering, alone, in dangerous territories, reflected by the trap artist claiming that he can hide in the clouds. Such associations are crystalized in the title track, SINDIBAD , which opens with a line claiming that “I am Sinbidadian, my life is flowing, flowing”. Yet, it might be that the appearance of ghosts[19], horses that live in the sea[20], a giant bird that conceals the sun[21], centaurs[22], and flying satanic creatures[23] infuse Sindibād’s tales with a magical agency against hardships while translating a longing to go back home. When re-contextualized into the present-day Arab context, Sindibād’s struggle becomes one against colonial and post-colonial hardships and his longing for home becomes a painfully relatable one for a liberated Arab World.

Shabjdeed – SINDIBAD (Prod. Al Nather) © 2019 BLTNM Records, Palestine.

It is perhaps no coincidence that one year before Shabjdeed evoked Sindibād in 2020 within the context of the bloody U.S. occupation of Iraq and Israel’s occupation of Palestine, Marwan Pablo, a pioneering figure in the young Egyptian trap scene, evokes the folkloric figure in another eponymous track. In SINDBAD, Marwan Pablo summons Sindibād during a new year’s resolution to let go of harmful friends and consuming lifestyles that are seemingly shrouding his life in the eternally alluring and equally toxic city of Cairo.

MARWAN PABLO – SINDBAD (Official Video Clip) | (مروان بابلو – سندباد (فيديو كليب © Marwan Pablo

He repeats the phrase ṣaḥḥ al-noum, a statement one makes when greeting someone who has just woken up, but which also carries the implication that this person was in a metaphorical slumber; that epiphanies were on their way to reveal themselves. Even though SINDBAD is, on a superficial level, directed at his lover, especially when he says, “forget what had passed; forget the chase and go befriend Sindibād”, Pablo’s contextualization of the toxic lifestyle of Cairo’s youth allows us to read this track as a manifestation of socio-political frustration in post-2011 Egypt. “Wake up my friend, sober up; pay attention to who’s driving” he warns us.

Journalist, writer, and DJ Mohamad-Ali Nayel traces the politics of music during 2011 up to the present day. He describes the rise of underground, especially DIY music during 2011 as an electrifying collective moment. The 2011 politically charged underground music “felt for a moment like a kind of virtual pan-Arab communism. Such connections became a vitalizing occurrence that nourished a neglected collectivist Arab identity.”[24] Yet, around 2013, many of the young Arab musicians and their audiences were overcome by a “sentiment of resignation [that] was provoked by the realization that politically-charged music could not materialize organized politics”[25].

This post-2011 defeat, according to Nayel, transformed political music into individualistic and egoistical rap battles that were created for the mere entertainment of certain classes. They were depoliticized and campaigned within the waves of normalization between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Yet, as Nayel explains, this atmosphere of “fetishizing identities and commodified music”[26] started taking a different turn – namely, a return to the political with the emergence of Palestine-based artists like Shabjdeed whose Sindibād “represents the youth of al-Quds”[27]. Nayel concludes that because of Shabjdeed, Daboor and other similar artists’ music, “this collectivist spirit comes back at us [from 2011] sonically undeterred from the place of beginnings: Palestine.”[28]

By summoning Sindibād into the post-2011 disillusionment in which millions of Arabs had lost hope of liberation and a decent life unhampered by the ongoing ramifications of settler and post-colonialism, the mythical figure transforms into a revolutionary who is summoned to provoke the youth into revolution. This occurs at a time when the status quo of after defeat is protracting and engulfing the spaces those Arabs inhabit.

This is all the more the case since Sindibād is often seen not as a single character but many[29] – even in the original tale.

The pattern of summoning Sindibād in times of collective disillusionment is not specific to the current time. The same pattern can be discerned if we go back to the 1970s-1980s and trace some appearances of Sindibād in the literature and music of the era. For example, Sindibād is found in al-Sindibād by al-Sheikh Imam, a communist poet, songwriter, and oud player, most known for his song Shayyid Uṣūrak (Build Your Castles) which calls on the Egyptian people to revolt. In al-Sindibād, he describes the adventures of the eponymous hero such as mounting a flying Roc Bird, and some of his benign qualities such as wisdom, perseverance, patience and strength. Yet, the lyrics take on a much more political tone when al-Sheikh Imam chants about the revolt of al-sha’b [the people] within the context of the Sindibād story.

al-Sindibād © al-Sheikh Imam

Al-Sheikh Imam adds in a follow-up to the performance that his song is about al-sha’b and that all other regimes must fall. “When al-sha’b demands something, it becomes the word of God”. He then directly mentions Palestine as the impetus for him writing this song: “Palestine was built through the struggles of its people, the blood of martyrs…Palestine brings the plants back to their soils, the estranged to their homes, the abducted to their people. The honor of Arabism cannot be defiled”. He dedicates this song to all Arabs “in whose blood runs the love of Palestine”.

We detect a similar Sindibād in the historiographical accounts of Egyptian writer Ḥusayn Fawzī,’s Sindibād fī Sayyāra[30] (Sindibad in a Car) and Sindibād Miṣrī[31] (Egyptian Sindibad). In Sindibād Miṣrī’s introduction, Fawzī declares that his impetus for writing the book is to give hope to the Egyptian people after the catastrophes of the Second World War. “I believe in my homeland and in my people, made up of millions of those deprived of health, of education, and from physical and mental luxuries. It was for that that the happiest moments I have ever known in my life was when I was telephoned from Cairo, while I was in Alexandria, and informed of the Free Officers Revolution[32] on 22 July 1952.”[33] Yet, the Nasserist dream that the Free Officers’ Revolution had promised eventually collapsed, resulting in a sense of mass disillusionment.

Left: Book Cover, Ḥusayn Fawzī, Sindibād fī Sayyāra (Cairo: Dār al-Hilāl, 1972); Right: Book Cover, Ḥusayn Fawzī, Sindibād Miṣrī: Jawla fī Riḥāb al-Tārīkh , 3rd ed.(Cairo: Dār al-Maʻārif, 2012)

The way Sindibād, who is an implicit protagonist in Fawzī’s autobiographical accounts, views Fawzī’s trip is not characterized by the kind of original magical realism found in 1001 Nights[34] but by an overtly political streak. For example, when venturing into North Africa, Fawzī (or the implied Sindibād) describes not the giant egg of the Roc Bird[35] or the head of giant fish[36] that he had mistaken for an island, but French colonization. “In Algeria, I was shocked at the experience of French colonization in a capital that is of the most stunning among the Maghreb countries… And I hated not being able to see in the historic city a trace of the native people among the colonizers.”[37] We see how in this crucial moment of the post-Nasserism dream, Sindibād is called upon to rectify the disillusionment resulting from defeated dreams of Arab unity, independence, and flourishment.

This is more so the case when we bear in mind that Sindibād is a youthful figure who traveled alone. Often, he is contextualized within “al-adab al-shaʻbī”[38] (popular literature). In fact, in Sindibād’s tales, we can see how he tried to escape the life of the wealthy ruling class seven times in his life, every time subjecting himself to myriad dangers. And so, when summoned within in the current political context, Sindibād does not reflect a particular kind of leadership, ideology, or political movement.

Sindibād is a non-aligned revolutionary figure whose evocation by young Arab artists at this time indicates their insistence on finding new ways to perceive and resolve a mass disillusionment – particularly by refusing to fill it with certain political ideologies or by glorifying past Arab leaders[39]. This was reflected in waves of unity and solidarity with Palestine in May 2021 that swept the Arab World and were not associated with a certain political movement. Rather, they comprised a collective, non- ideological, expression of Palestinian life against Israel’s ethnic cleansing and other practices of settler colonialism.

In comparison, when assessing the prevalence of Sindibād in Arabic pop songs between the 1990s and early 2000s, we notice a certain contrast in terms of content, experience, and agency. That is, the great majority of generic Arabic (mostly pop) songs that evoke Sindibād within this period do so within a purely romantic, individualistic context, in which a lover’s travels, reticence, or distraction is compared to the sailor’s peripatetic, adventurous lifestyle. In Ṣāyer inta Sindibād (You Have Become Sindibād), by pop star Faḍl Shākir, for example, Sindibād is the character to whom his lover, the flight attendant, is compared. In the Moroccan band, Groupe Alouchack Atistique, the beauty of the sea and the exoticization of the lover are achieved through this comparison. Sindibād makes an appearance in a national Kuwaiti song in which the singer, Nabīl Shuʻaīl, encourages tourism to the country. Sindibād was thus defanged and turned into a scarecrow of heartbreak and romanticism. These mainstream pop romanticizations of the figure may be more aligned with Sindibāʻ, in which the hero from Baghdad is completely drained of political agency and revolutionary potential, and instead commercialized.

It is important to take a closer look at those Arabic pop songs, in which Sindibād’s political, revolutionary potential is absolved for simple entertainment and romanticism. Especially with regard to the period in which these musical productions emerged: the 1990s up to the early 2000s. This period can be considered as a buffer time between the waves of (socialist) ‘independence’ and post-independence as well as the Arab Spring that began in 2011. The apoliticization of the figure of Sindibād during this buffer period contrasts with the 1970’s and 2011 moments that had once held hopes for the collective Arab dream of real independence and liberation. The politicization of Sindibād in the 1970s, 1980s and 2010s meant summoning the peripatetic sailor as a revolutionary instigator. Thus, a continuation of the same figure is set in motion and continues in the aftermath of the defeat of the Arab Spring in order to resist the commercial slumber of Sindibāʻ and to follow Sindibād’s footsteps of courage and insistence on life.

Nayel declares that “five years after the Arab uprisings, the performing self during the protests in summer 2015 appeared as the spectacle that mattered the most. When the hype failed to materialize an organized mode of politics, those who were attracted by the chimera of collectivism were left orphaned.” It is in this orphaned space that Sindibād emerges, who, as Egyptian poet, Salah Abdul Sabour tells us “is like a hurricane – he dies if he rests”[40]. Perhaps it is for this reason the resurrected sailor from Baghdad has the last word in the outro track, reminding us that not unlike the dream of liberation, Sindibād will not give in to defeat:

you will not catch up with Sindibād

you will not surpass Sindibād

مش رح تلحق سندباد

مش رح تسبق سندباد


References

[1]The Arab Liberation tricolor of red, white, and black bands became the flag of Egypt after the 1952 revolution, the basis of several Arab states, with two green stars, the colors of the United Arab Republic, formed by Egypt and Syria from 1958-1961. Used between 1963-1991, the Flag of the Iraqi Republic, consisted of three stars and signified Iraq’s aspiration to join Syria and Egypt into a pact of unification.

[2] Mohamad-Ali Nayel, “Music Politics After the Arab Spring (Part 2)”, Jadaliyya, June 21, 2022, https://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/44194/Music-Politics-After-the-Arab-Uprisings-Part-2

[3] Ulrich Marzolph, “A Scholar in the Making: Antoine Galland’s Early Travel Diaries in the Light of Comparative Folk Narrative Research”, Middle Eastern Literatures 18, no. 3 (2015): 283.

[4] Richard van Leeuwen, “European Translations of the Thousand and One Nights and Their Reception: Orientalist Falsification or Literary Fascination?”, CLINA 2, no. 1 (2016): 29- 41.

[5] ʻAbd al-Wāḥid Sharīfī, “Anṭwān Jālān wa-Alf Layla wa-Layla”, al-Ādāb al-Ajnabiyya 98 (1990): 57- 64.

[6] “The work was ruthlessly appropriated by the translators to be reshaped according to their tastes, political interests, and ideological outlooks, and to fit in the broader colonial discourse shaping Europe’s relations with its Other”. From van Leeuwen, “European Translations”: 33.

[7] “ He [Galland] never acknowledged his indebtedness to him [Diyāb] publicly, and the scope of Ḥannā’s [Diyāb’s] contribution to the Nights is only recently being explored in detail”. From Marzolph, “A Scholar in the Making”: 283.

[8] Saʻīd ʻAllūsh, “Alf Sindibād … Wa-Lā Sindibād”, Fuṣūl 2 (1994): 147.. Translation mine. [استعادة الموروث عبر وساطات]

[9] ʻAllūsh, “Alf Sindibād”:147. Translation mine. [ استقراء الظاهرة السندبادية.]

[10] Muḥammad ʻAbd al-Raḥmān Yūnes, “Baʻḍ al-Malāmeḥ Al-Sindibādiyya fī Aʻmāl Ṣalāḥ ʻAbd al-Ṣabūr”, ʻAlāmāt Fī al-Naqd 24 (1997): 334.

[11] Yūnes, “Baʻḍ al-Malāmeḥ”: 323.

[12] Yūnes, “Baʻḍ al-Malāmeḥ”: 321.

[13] Yūnes, “Baʻḍ al-Malāmeḥ”: 319. Translation mine.

[14] Yūnes, “Baʻḍ al-Malāmeḥ”: 322

[15] In the Palestinian context, this verb is usually used to refer to traitors; either those who sold their principles or literally sold Palestinian land to settlers.

[16] For more information refer to: Nayel, “Music Politics After the Arab Spring (Part 2)”.

[17] ʻAllūsh, “Alf Sindibād”: 174. Translation mine.

[18] An Israeli prison located in Jerusalem in which Palestinians are often subjected to torture. For more information see: “Māthā Yajrī bi-Sijn al-Maskūbīyah Al-Isrāʼīlī bi-al-Quds?”, Aljazeera, August 5, 2018.

[19] Kitāb Alf Layla wa Layla, Night 527

[20] Kitāb Alf Layla wa Layla, Night 528

[21] Kitāb Alf Layla wa Layla, Night 530

[22] Kitāb Alf Layla wa Layla, Night 535

[23] Kitāb Alf Layla wa Layla, Night 555

[24] Mohamad-Ali Nayel, “Music Politics After the Arab Spring (Part 1)”, Jadaliyya, June 8, 2022, https://www.jadaliyya.com/Details/44193/Music-Politics-After-the-Arab-Uprisings-Part-1

[25] Nayel, “Music Politics After the Arab Spring (Part 1)”.

[26] Nayel, “Music Politics After the Arab Spring (Part 2)”.

[27] Nayel, “Music Politics After the Arab Spring (Part 2)”.

[28] Nayel, “Music Politics After the Arab Spring (Part 2)”.

[29] ʻAllūsh, “Alf Sindibād”: 152.

[30] Ḥusayn Fawzī, Sindibād fī Sayyāra (Cairo: Dār al-Hilāl, 1972).

[31] Ḥusayn Fawzī, Sindibād Miṣrī: Jawlat fī Riḥāb al-Tārīkh (Cairo: Dār al-Maʻārif, 1969).

[32] Also known as the 1952 Coup d’etat, is when the Egyptian Free Officers Movement, led by Jamāl ʻAbd al-Nāṣir and Muḥammad Najīb toppled King Fārūq.

[33] Fawzī, Sindibād fī Sayyāra, 10. Translation mine.

[34] 1001 Nights has been frequently referenced as the first magical-realistic text par excellence. For more, consult Taḥiyya ʻAbd al-Nāṣir,“Al-Arshīf al-ʻArabī fī al-Wāqiʻiyya al-Siḥriyya”, Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 31 (2011): 185- 214 and Ḥāmid Abū Aḥmad, Al-Wāqiʻiyya al-Siḥriyya fī al-Riwāyah al-ʻArabiyya (Cairo: al-Majlis al-ʻĀlī lil Thaqāfa, 2009).

[35] Kitāb Alf Layla wa Layla, Night 531.

[36] Kitāb Alf Layla wa Layla, Night 526.

[37] Fawzī, Sindibād fī Sayyāra, 16. Translation mine.

[38] Mukhtār ʻAlī Abū Ghālī, “Sindibād Ṣalāḥ ʻAbd al-Ṣabūr (Naqd Usṭūrī)”, ʻĀlam al-Fikr 4 (1996): 183. Translation mine.

[39] Regarding the evocation of Saddam Hussein in the song Amrikkka: “This sentiment [anger] is echoed by many young Arabs who are not motivated by sympathy and support for the person of Saddam [Hussein] but rather as a recognition of an Arab regime that challenged America during a time when obedience had become the norm. Shab Moori, the visual director at BLTNM [the independent record label that produced the album], commented that “we did not glorify Saddam Hussein. We said that the way he died was not fitting for an Arab leader, a dictator or not a dictator, to be hanged by America.”” From Nayel, “Music Politics After the Arab Spring (Part 2)”.

[40] Ṣalāḥ ʻAbd al-Ṣabūr, Riḥla fī al-Layl wa-Qaṣāʼid Ukhrā (Cairo: al-Hayʼa al-Miṣrīyya al-ʻĀmma lil-Taʼlīf wa-al-Nashr, 1970). Translation mine.


Sanabel Abdelrahman holds a Ph.D. in Arabic Studies with a focus on Palestinian literature from Philipps-Universität Marburg. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Toronto’s Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. She is a prospective EUME Fellow at Forum Transregionale Studien for 2023/2024. Sanabel’s research focuses on the manifestations and functions of magical realism in Palestinian literature within the context of settler- and post-colonialism. She is interested in contemporary Arabic literature, arts, and film. She investigates literary and distorted spaces, re-processing traditional figures into contemporary literature, magical realism’s revolutionary potential, surrealism, and folktales. She has published essays on platforms such as Jadaliyya, 7iber, al-Akhbar, Fus7a, and NO NIIN as well as in some exhibition spaces.


Citation

Sanabel Abdelrahman, Sindibād in Trap: A Youthful Revolutionary of Hope and Resilience, in: TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research, 18.04.2022, https://trafo.hypotheses.org/46575



Diesen Blogbeitrag zitieren
Editorial Board (2023, 18. April). Sindibād in Trap: A Youthful Revolutionary of Hope and Resilience. TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research. Abgerufen am 18. Mai 2024, von https://doi.org/10.58079/ut6p

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