Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kamel Messaoudi- Chemaâ

Not many of my friends or family know this, but I have had a fascination with Algeria ever since I first heard that famous song by Cheb Khaled in the mid-nineties. For a long time I knew very little about this place except for Cheb Khaled, but I imagined what it must be like in those far off places - it just seemed so exotic with that strange way they spoke. Syria has a strange connection with Algeria, Sheikh Abdul Qadir al Jaz'airi came here after putting up a brave fight against the French invaders and he saved thousands of Christians from a massacre during an outbreak of riots in the city. Many Algerians came to settle with him in Damascus and today there are many families with the surname "al Jazairi" there. In fact Syria's connection with the land of the Maghreb and Algeria goes as far back as the days when Arabs were still in Andalucia. So I guess the connection is a throwback from those old days. In that tradition, I too dream of walking through Algeria's beautiful mountains or strolling through her delightful olive groves.

Here is a beautiful song by the late Kamel Messaoudi called Chemaa. It is in a wonderful style called Chaabi (popular) music in Algeria, and is different from the Rai music that Cheb Khaled is famous for, which is apparently from a region in Algeria called Wahran. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Anonymous said...

classic, thanks for posting.for the info Chaabi music is from the capital Algiers (no other region produces it) and exclusively sung by men who are mainly 50 years and really its the music of old crooners

Maysaloon said...

So is it wrong that I really like it? ;)

Anonymous said...

not at all, old crooners sing it but everyone jiggys to it ;-)

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you call Abdelkader Sheikh when we call him Emir. This may be shows the different roles he played in Algeria and Syria.

Regarding the music, rai music (which I don't like) originated not only in the city of Wahran but all western Algeria, Sidi Belabes, Ghelizane or Mosteghanem being famous for this style.

melicieuse, Kamel Messaoudi who died in his thirties was a chaabi singer and was obviously not 50+. There are so many young chaabi singers. I'd like to add that there is Kabyle chaabi as well with singers as famous as Ait Menguellet, Matoub, Boudjemaa El Ankis (who sings in Arabic too), etc.

Maysaloon said...

Viva Algerie,
Thanks for stopping by and for your enlightening comments on music in Algeria. I also want to say that I think your blog is excellent.

As for the Emir/Sheikh, you may be right and I am wrong, I know in my mind's ear that Sheikh is what I have frequently heard him referred to. But if I am correct then yes, that is a very interesting distinction of the different roles he played in our countries. I would like to read more about him at some stage.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to hear more from you in the future!

Anonymous said...

You are most welcome Maysaloon. Algeria is still unknown to most people in the world, and I am always happy to help change this state.
There exist many books about Emir Abdelkader, and his own writings are available too.

I've been reading your very interesting posts for a long time now, and thought it was time to drop a few lines :)
Thanks for linking to our (we're two) blog!

Maysaloon said...

Thank you so much for your comments and thank you for helping me learn more about Dzair ;) Keep up the good work you two, you're doing a great job!