1950-1969 Middle East, North Africa

1 January 2001

1950. Egypt. Belly dance
Historically speaking, dancing and sex have had a long and sordid affair. During the 1950s, belly-dancing was forbidden in Egypt because of its perceived lewdness.

1965. Israel. The Beatles
British super group The Beates were due to play a gig in Israel in 1965, but were banished from the country after the government at the time refused to grant the necessary permits over fears their music would corrupt Israeli youths. 43 years later, in January 2008, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were invited back to Israel. The Israeli ambassador to London, Ron Prosor, was set to apologise to the remaining two band members, as well as the relatives of the late John Lennon and George Harrison, to express the country’s “great regret”, according to Israeli newspaper the Yediot Ahronot.

1967. Algeria. Raï
In 1967, the Algerian government banned Raï music (as well as alcohol). This sent the music underground, and producer Rachid Baba Ahmed became its reference point, helping the chebs and chebas.


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