Moroccan Grooves, Blogged
A fan scours record collections from Marrakech to Montreal for music by Morocco’s bygone Jewish pop stars
By day, Chris Silver works for a Jewish task force trying to raise awareness about civic inequalities facing Israel’s Arab citizens. But he dedicates his free time to Jews in an Arab land, with his blog, Jewish Morocco. Silver created the blog in 2008, while traveling in Morocco, as a way of sharing the stories, photographs, and other artifacts he was collecting to document what Jewish life there had been like in its heyday. Along the way, he developed a particular interest in the country’s Jewish musicians and singers—characters who were beloved by Moroccans of all backgrounds, and to whom he gives ample space on his blog.
Silver joins Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry to talk about some of the unique voices he’s discovered, what happened to Jewish Moroccan singers once they left the country in the 1950s and ’60s, and where he gets his missionary zeal (hint: It has to do with Bob Dylan; Mama Cass; Bill Cosby; and Chris’s dad, Roy). [Running time: 25:55.]
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Moroccan novelist Abdellah Taïa confronts the challenges of gay life in the Mideast in An Arab Melancholia
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