Just finished reading Yassin Alsalman’s “Diatribes of a Dying Tribe,” his master’s thesis and multimedia collaboration with Omar Offendum, Excentrik, and Ragtop in “Fear of an Arab Planet, also known as the Arab Summit. I thoroughly enjoyed his analyses of the interactions between hip hop, identity, cultural appropriation and the political realities of “Middle Westerners,” those of us of Middle Eastern descent living in the West who are faced with the types of questions that have risen to thematic ubiquity in my recent writings and musings. The questions of home and belonging, otherness and loyalty are important and contentious; i.e. what does it mean for me to have watched Egyptian police throw tear gas that was “Made in the USA“?
The book is academic poetry, and well worth the read. Download the Arab Summit or buy the book here.
“If the restaurant of life were an Arab establishment, dictators would be the waiters to a Capitalist chef.” (37)