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Hip-Hop Diplomacy

by on May 16, 2014

 

 

 

 

Since December, musicians have been supporting the protests in countries like Egypt and Tunisia, and much of the music, are being made about these movements is hip-hop. Some of these songs have played a direct role in popular uprisings, while others have helped galvanize international support. The song were singed  rap music  in both English and Arabic, and international involvement  have helped to spread the music over the Internet, via Facebook and YouTube. Music like hip-hop’s role cannot be quantified in those instances and in countries like Morocco and Algeria where hip-hop is the famous a vast audience there has been no revolution. Al-Jazeera blames the enthusiasm of Western media to involved hip-hop’s role in actual revolutions on their idea that “a taste for hip hop among young Muslims is a sign of moderation, modernity .[1]

American Hip Hop group called Chen Lo and The Liberation Family sent in April 2010 by US State Department to perform in Damascus, Syria   Following Chen Lo’s performance, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton was describe US diplomacy’s “Hip hop is America,” she said in other word  that rap and other musical forms could help “rebuild the image” of the United States. “You know it may be a little bit hopeful, because I can’t point to a change in Syrian policy because Chen Lo and the Liberation Family showed up. But I think we have to use every tool at our disposal.” 

Isn’t first time that State Department use hiphop as tool in the awake of Abu Ghraib prison in summer 2003 when American soliders prisoner abuse and resurgence of Taliban. After then undersecretary of state for public relation Karen Hughes launched initiative “Rhythm Road” it was like the jazz diplomacy in the cold war era, but a new approach is required on the war with terror. In this role hiphop would play crucial role of countering “poor perceptions” of the US. 

In 2005, the State Department start to fund and send abroad hip hop envoys rappers, dancers DJs- to perform and speak in different parts of world. Those tours are mainly covered the broad of the Arab  world, with performances taking place in Senegal and Ivory Coast, across North Africa, the Levant and Middle East, and extending to Mongolia, Pakistan and Indonesia.

The artists stage performances and hold workshops those bright to hip hop lead by the ambassadors who are Muslims to local media about being Muslim in the US. The tours aim not only to exhibit the integration of American Muslims, but also, according to planners, to promote democracy and foster dissent.

However it has been hip-hop that has become the most iconic sample and widespread soundtrack of the Arab Spring and, notability it is having the double effect of helping to mobilize activists in the countries. Directly great impacted by of the demonstrators, movements while also solidifying links between Arab diaspora communities in the West with those still residing in the ‘homeland.’

 

[1] http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/music/uprisings-in-egypt-tunisia-and-elsewhere-had-music-to-keep-them-going

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