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Beirut Conference 2005: Speech by Mai Ghoussoub

29 November 2005

It is banned to ban Summary of Mai Ghoussoub’s speech at the Freemuse Conference in Beirut, 2005 “Censorship never works.” This was the overall message from Mai Ghoussoub at the Beirut conference on Freedom of Expression and Music in October, 2005. An absolute principle of her youth was the phrase …

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Conference: Freedom of expression and music in the Middle East

29 November 2005

By Ole Reitov “Totalitarian regimes are afraid of freedom and impose one speech, the one that keeps them in power, said Mai Ghoussoub, founder of London’s Saqi Books, in her personal keynote speech at the Freemuse regional conference “Freedom of Expression in Music” held in Beirut from 7-8 October. The …

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Syria: Music censorship film wins award

28 November 2005

  Syrian film director Mohamad Malas has won the Jury Prize for his film “Bab El Makam” at the fifth Marrakech International Film Festival, held on November 11-19, 2005. “Bab El Makam” tells the story of a young woman, who struggles against a society which does not accept her love …

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Iran: More than thirty concerts cancelled

26 November 2005

Iran is experiencing a cultural clampdown, reports Iran Press Service. In three months, from September to November 2005, Iran’s Ministry of Culture has cancelled more than thirty concerts in the country The ministry has also announced the cancellation of the Fajr Music Festival on the grounds that it would overlap …

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Silence is death – Censorship in the Arab world

31 October 2005

‘Freedom of Expression in Music’ conference in Beirut posed many questions but did it reach any solutions? By Trevor Mostyn for The Daily Star BEIRUT: Plato recognized music’s ability to threaten people and society while Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars have at times described it as a source of sin. …

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Saudi Arabia: Never write ‘music’ or ‘violin’

25 October 2005

Never write ‘music’ or ‘violin’Words such as ‘music’, ‘musician’, and ‘violin’ are considered offensive in Saudi Arabia, reports Arabnews.com In Saudia Arabia radio announcers are restricted from uttering words like “dance” or “party,” and according to Arabnews.com there is also a long list of particular words that are forbidden to …

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Lebanon: Islamic scholar rejects religious censorship of music

14 October 2005

“There is no ban on music in the Qur’an, and those talking about which music is haram (forbidden/bad) and which music is halal (allowed) have very weak evidence,” says a renowned Islamic scholar from The Beirut Studies and Documentation CenterBy Ole Reitov, Freemuse  While authorities in Iran are ready to …

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Afghanistan: Bittersweet success of secret girl band

13 October 2005

The Afghan girl group, ‘Burka Band,’ continues to receive media attention and draw new fans, even though they are no longer active. The names of the three female band members remain secret to ensure their security.   They are labelled “Afghanistan’s first serious pop band since the fall of the …

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Egypt: Ruby’s music videos banned on national tv

7 October 2005

  Ruby’s music videos are banned by Egyptian tv for being too sexy, and she has been banned from holding concerts in Kuwait. According to studies by the London-based daily Al-Hayat, the Egyptian singer Ruby is considered to be more popular than any political or intellectual figure in Egypt. A …

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Kuwait: Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram banned

29 September 2005

Officials at Ministry of Information in Kuwait say that its Censorship Department has refused a request for a concert during the Muslim holiday Eid Al Fitr for Lebanese Nancy Ajram and Kuwaiti singer Nabil Shu’ail. A committee member stated that Nancy Ajram – known as “The Maria Carey of the Middle …

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