Thursday, March 26, 2009

More on Kareem Salama

I've posted a couple times before on Kareem Salama, the Egyptian-American country singer from Oklahoma. Technically, his story should not be part of this blog, as he is American, not a "foreigner" picking up and transforming country music or the Wild West myth.

Still, as I've noted, the interaction of his immigrant parents with the Wild West dream, and how Kareem interacted with that, resonates with the experience that I've witnessed among fans in Europe. And the interest he triggers as a Muslim (albeit an Oklahoman) who sings country music continues to make waves. now has an interview with Kareem, posted as Hesham Hassaballa's column on Muslim music.

Although I can see Islamic thoughts infused in your music, there is nothing overtly Islamic in your songs. Is this intentional?

I would say talking about love is overtly Islamic. It may also be overtly Christian, Jewish, or even overtly human but the fact that the subject matters I discuss are common to all people doesn't make them any less overtly Islamic. If what is meant by “overtly Islamic” is the mentioning of Arabic words and specific religious figures, that kind of music is better left to the great Sufi writers who are far better at writing devotional works for the traveler on the path.

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