In a world where news is increasingly shaped by the likes of Al Jazeera, the “real” soundtrack to the world’s news is composed of the Arabic language.
In this interview with Al Jazeera Arabic’s Omar Alsari, producer and co-founder of The Syrian Electronic Music Association (SEMA), Omar Alsheikh discusses the origins of The Arab Music Academy, and the challenges of producing a soundtrack in the turbulent Arab world.
This is a lightly edited transcript of the interview.
Interviewer: What inspired you to begin with the idea for The Syrian Digital Music Academy?
Alsari: I was working on a project called “The Syrian Electronic Movement”, and this project was inspired by the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011, and I wanted to explore the possibilities of an alternative way of organizing the Arab world’s protests.
I wanted a way of creating music that could bring people together.
I found that the music that we did in the Arab countries was very fragmented and not very coherent, so we decided to create our own.
We tried to combine different genres of music, like the Arab classical music, the Arabic classical music.
We also tried to mix up some popular songs from the Arab states.
The first track that we released was “Citizen’s Song”.
I wrote this track about my country, Syria, and it is a very emotional track that is about the people of Syria, about the way they are suffering under the oppression of Bashar al-Assad.
I thought this track was a good way to get a lot of people in Syria to sing this song.
I decided to put it on a soundtrack.
The next track was “Dame Noor’s Song” which is about my aunt who died fighting in the civil war.
This song is a beautiful song.
It is about people dying for their country, for the rights of the people.
It was a very important song for us because it tells us that we are not alone in this struggle.
The next track is “The Revolution Will Not Be Told”, which is a tribute to my grandfather who was killed in the revolution and was a member of the Free Syrian Army.
The song tells us the people are ready to fight for freedom and democracy, but also for the freedom of our motherland.
The third track is called “Al-Watani’s Song”, which tells the story of my father.
He was a fighter in the Syrian revolution and he was killed by a sniper.
He told the story about my father and about the war in Syria, as well as the revolution that took place.
The last track is titled “The Song of the Revolution”, which describes how the revolution is changing the world, because the people have finally gained control over their own destiny and are no longer the victims of the oppression.
The theme of the track is that the revolution will not be told in the form of words, but will take place in the lives of the Syrian people.
Interviewers: What was the process of creating the Syrian Electronic Academy?
What is the difference between an Arabic and Arabic-language radio station?
What’s the difference?
Arabic stations are produced by a studio and produced by an Arabic speaker, while Arabic-speaking stations are created by a producer, who is also a translator.
Al Jazeera was created with the aim of being Arabic-English and Arabic music.
It’s a platform that is open to all, whether they are Arabic speakers, English speakers, or anyone else.
We have Arabic-Arabic and Arabic speakers on the board.
The producers and the listeners can choose to listen to both.
We are all part of the same family, we share the same passion and desire to be able to produce music, and to be part of a movement to bring about change.
We are not interested in commercial or any kind of monetary gains.
We hope to help the people and the revolution by creating a platform to make music that is free, free of commercialization, and open to the people in the country.
Interview: What are the biggest challenges in creating the Arab Digital Music Association?
Is it difficult to produce Arabic music in the world?
Alsheikh: We are working on an Arabic-based radio station, and we are also working on creating a music library.
This will be an audio library that will contain all the music from all the Arab regions, and all the songs from all of the countries in the region.
We will be working with different artists to create a new generation of artists.
Al-Wetani’s song, for example, was created by an artist from Saudi Arabia.
There is also the work of Aylin and Mufassar from Jordan.
These are people who are working to bring together Arab artists to make a new sound.
Alawites are a minority, and they are trying to create something that will not only be Arabic, but that will be Arab.
Interview to be aired on Al JazeeraEnglish on Friday, 20 November, at 15:00 GMT.
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