Why is everyone in Tunisia listening to Hounami

marilyna

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Tuned in to the street

Nov 21st 2013, 9:33 by E.B. | TUNIS

WHAT is it about the song "Houmani" that has made it so popular on the streets of Tunis this autumn? As Tunisia's politicians fiddle endlessly over the choice of a new prime minister and the security services struggle to keep a lid on extremist violence, this very Tunisian blend of rap with reggae and dubstep is heard everywhere, from car radios to street markets and internet cafés. Videos of the song posted on YouTube have attracted more than 5m views. Not bad for a song that cost Muhammad Amine Hamzaoui, who wrote the lyrics, and Kafon, who composed the music, just 250 dinars ($150) to produce.
Mr Hamzaoui coined the word "houmani" to refer to the spirit and culture of the country's working-class neighbourhoods (from "houma" which means "neighbourhood" in the local Arabic dialect). The song's dirge-like opening urges more "muhaba", fraternal affection, seen as one of the best qualities of poor urban areas. It then moves onto darker themes: unemployment, poverty, rubbish-strewn streets, drug abuse, violence, and Tunisians' feeling of impotence. Two years after the 2011 revolution that ousted President Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali, the country's youth still finds itself blocked at every turn, struggling with poverty and a lack of opportunities.
Tunisian musicians, along with bloggers and artists, continue to feel the heavy hand of the security forces. Weld El 15, a rapper whose song "The Police are Dogs" drew the ire of police unions, is in hiding after being sentenced on August 31st to one year and nine months for defamation of public officials. A blogger named Jaber Mejri is serving a seven-and-a-half year sentence for blasphemy, handed down last year. Human Rights Watch, a New York-based lobby, has criticised the Tunisian authorities' readiness to curtail freedom of expression by bringing charges of defamation or harming public order.


Mr Hamzaoui, 25, says his hit's lyrics bear no political message, but rather refer to "a suffocation you feel in the home, in the street, in the political debates on TV". But this, and the video, a sympathetic portrait of the Ariana district in the north of Tunis, has tapped into the frustration of Tunisians in both poorer and better-off neighbourhoods as they revise downwards their expectations of the country's politicians.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/pomegranate/2013/11/tunisian-music?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/tuned_in_to_the_street
 
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Sue the Sponsor

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Great, some trappy olive picker singing about special price and camel rides.
 

simple

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All woe is me ,,trouble and strife ,,,no one understands the younger generation ...Politicians dont know what they are doing ,,,,,But every taxi driver and hairdresser in Tunisia ,can run the country better !!With the exception of Mr tactfull ,of course :)
 
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Tactfull

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i hear it many time when i was drive , Radio Tunis repeat more then 4 time
 
S

Sue the Sponsor

Guest
All woe is me ,,trouble and strife ,,,no one understands the younger generation ...Politicians dont know what they are doing ,,,,,But every taxi driver and hairdresser in Tunisia ,can run the country better !!With the exception of Mr tactfull ,of course :)
The silly honey would probably have an animation team run the government. Thick muslim wankers. Napalm the lot of them or let them live in Lambeth with a couple of Indians ;)
 
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