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French Version

MC's not AK's

MENASSAT and Arab Images Foundation invite you for a historic night of "Reconciliation hip-hop" featuring Palestinian and Lebanese rappers. Monday night's free concert in Beirut is part of Nada Sehnaoui's eye-opening installation, "Haven't 15 years of hiding in the toilets been enough?"

Menassat, Here's what's happening in Arab media.

Political division is nothing new in Lebanon. But the responses to that political division are what distinguish the cultural and social landscape these days.

Lebanese artist Nada Sehnaoui's installation, "Haven't 15 years of hiding in the toilets been enough?" is one such cultural offering that is aimed to coincide with the 33-year anniversary of the start of the bloody 1975-1990 civil war that cost some 200 thousand lives.

The installation itself consists of 625 toilet seats set out into a field in downtown Beirut in a manner eerily similar to a graveyard.

The toilets themselves are a reference to the fact that during the civil war, Lebanese families hid from the bombing in their bathrooms to avoid shattering glass.

"Now, we hear war drums and we may be killing each other again. This is why I am raising the question: have we not had enough?" Sehnaoui told the LA Times.

As well a stage has been set up in front of the installation, to showcase nearly two weeks of artistic performances alongside the testimonials of former combatants and others who lived through the civil war.

The exhibit has a special focus towards the Lebanese youth who often have no memory of the horrors of war as experienced by their parents' generation.

At least three of the nights have been dedicated for youth oriented discussions or artistic offerings.

"Through my work, I am trying to tell the young generation, 'Don't destroy your country and yourselves through violent means,'" Sehnaoui said.

On Monday April 21, MENASSAT and Arab Images Foundation have organized a free concert which is being billed as a night of "Reconciliation Hip-Hop."

It will feature performances by rappers from the 961 Underground Family, as well as old-school Lebanese hip-hoppers from Kita' Beirut and young talent coming from the Palestinian camp of Bourj al-Barajneh.

These performers include 961 veteran, MC Moe, considered the top hype man in Lebanese hip-hop today, and the two youngest members of the 961 Underground Family – female rapper Malikah, aka MC Lix, and MC Zoog, both finalists in the Arab equivalent of an American Idol rap talent search for MTV Arabia's flagship program, Hip-HopNa (Our Hip-Hop).

As well, other members of the 961 Underground Family and members of Kita' Beirut, Siska, RGB and Bannelly, will be joining in alongside young Palestinian rappers from I-voice, YaSeen and TNT.

"You see how the people are seated on the toilet bowls?" YaSeen from I-voice said while attending the exhibition's opening last Sunday. "Wait till they hear the hip-hop coming from Lebanon. There's no way they will be able to stay on those seats," he said.

The concert will also feature projected images from photographer Samer Mohdad's book "Les Enfants de la Guerre – Liban 1985-1992" (Children of War – Lebanon 1985-1992). It is scheduled to start at 8 p.m., next to the Starco building in downtown Beirut.

Beirut 21-04-2008

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