Monday, May 18, 2009

Lebanon gets Artsy

You may have started to hear a little buzz around a Lebanese band called "Mashrou3 Leila" or "Mashrou' Leila."

I actually first stumbled onto them after watching Episode #2 of the "Flying Kebab" series.

Ok, hold on, first things first. Let's give credit where credit is due. I first heard about Flying Kebab after reading The Lebanese Inner Circle's post on it.

Flying Kebab is a film project by three Brazilians. It is a series of short episodes, the first of which takes place in Brazil. In it, the lead character Fernando, or Nando, finds out that he has received some kind of an inheritance in Lebanon, and leaves to go collect it, without really knowing what he is getting or where he is going.

The second episode, titled "The Things I do For You Babe," takes place entirely in Lebanon.

The episode opens up with a really beautiful sequence of shots from Lebanon, all being played to the sound of a song called "Raksit Leila" by Mashrou3 Leila, which is how I discovered the band.

In terms of Flying Kebab, I really like the plot so far, it will be interesting to see where it goes. I'm really enjoying the great shots that they have of Lebanon, plus the funny "only-in-Lebanon" things that take place that you'll only understand if you've been there (i.e. cursing Palestinian taxi driver, etc.) but the acting could be better for sure...

Now back to "Mashrou3 Leila." Check out their MySpace page and listen to their songs. They really are amazing, again, something huge is that you DO NOT HEAR LEBANESE/ARABIC MUSIC LIKE THIS. Is it an absolute reinvention which is modeled off of more underground, Westernized music rather than your traditional mainstream Middle Eastern pop music.

"Chem el Yasmine" is my personal favorite.

( SIDE NOTE: Guys, if you are reading this, you need to PLEASE sell your album online/sell it on Itunes (which is actually very simple for anyone to do) because I lovelovelove you songs and need them on my ipod! Also, can we get a website for the band or at least update your MySpace and make some more info available to the fans? Maybe a Facebook Fanpage (instead of just the group) where you put info about upcoming concerts? Not trying to mainstream you guys, just want access to your music! <3<3 )

Then when you're done with that, check out these pictures. They are the photos of Fernando Borges, that actor in Flying Kebab, who also happens to be an amazing photographer. He has some really good shots of Lebanon, and I mean really good shots, as well as shots of Mashrou3 Leila from a concert they had recently.

Ok, so that was quite a bit, to summarize:

1) Watch the 1st two episodes of "Flying Kebab"

2) Listen to Mashrou3 Leila's songs that are available for free on their MySpace

3) Check out Fernando's Flickr pics of Lebanon

Let me guys know what you think!


My favorite of Fernando's pics from his Flickr:


  1. lol that's EXACTLY how I got to know Mashrou' Leila :)
    Cham El Yasmine is my favourite too music-wise, but in my opinion the lyrics are really not that good (some lebanese words they chose are not made to be sung, they are just heavy on the ears)

  2. hello from Greece
    i listen this group in myspace and i love this songs but from where i can buy this album ????

  3. hi giorgos, sorry for the late reply.

    So i checked Mashrou3 Leila's myspace and you can't buy their album there yet but I would keep checking as they JUST had their album release party in Lebanon two days ago. Here's the info on that.





    Live performance, followed by a party with a DJ set by Ziad Nawfal Entrance + Album = 20,000 LL at the event - no booking needed, the place fits more than 1000. for more information or any questions, contact us at:70178088 come. and bring a friend. and spread the word.