I’m still here!

I know I haven’t been posting in awhile, but I think I’ll try to come back.  If I want to be a good writer, I guess I should at least practice here!  I talk to a lot of fellow bloggers on Facebook (which is mostly why I haven’t been blogging – that and good old-fashioned laziness!), so that’s good for keeping in touch with friends, but not so great for when you have something to say that requires more space.  I see all these other people here on the blogs with lots of things to say (I’m too late for the Convert Truths blog carnival, but I’ve enjoyed reading the posts), and I think maybe I should start speaking (and writing!) again too.

So what is happening in my life?  I have been living in Prague, Czech Republic since July 2009, with Mr. Musicalchef (since November 2009), whom I met when I was living in Bosnia.  I’ll probably write more later about life in Prague, but you can visit my page on resources for Muslims in Prague if you’re curious about the community here.  I have been teaching English, which I enjoy, but don’t want to do all my life.  But it’s a good job and I’m glad to have it.

I’m still doing research when I have time, although it’s from the armchair (computer chair?) right now, until I get a chance to visit Bosnia again or go back to the US.  I did have the opportunity of participating in a conference here a month ago and giving a presentation on modern Muslim music in Indonesia.  And I’m reading a lot.  Since I spend so much time on the bus, metro, and tram going between classes, the public library is a real friend!

As for cooking, I haven’t been experimenting as much as I used to.  I don’t want to accumulate a bunch of spices and cooking tools when I don’t really know how long I will be here in Prague.  So the “chef” is on hold for now.  We have no oven, so desserts come from Marks & Spencer (thank God for that store!).

I’m toying with the idea of making the blog more “professional,” but if I do that I’ll probably have to lose the name “musicalchef” and stop posting lolcats.  I plan to keep expanding the existing music pages (basically databases) and adding more.  Anyways, I’ll try to update more often!

Brand new video from Debu – “Malam Ini”

Check out the new video from Debu!  This is “Malam Ini” (this night).

You can buy their songs here.  (type “Debu” into the search engine)

Conference in Prague next week (Friday March 11)

Islam, Society and Politics in Southeast Asia

Here is the program

Muslim World Music Day

“The ARChive of Contemporary Music, the Arts Initiative at Columbia University, and Columbia University Libraries present an unprecedented collaborative project to catalog and celebrate the diversity, beauty and cultural importance of Muslim music.


Muslim World Music Day
combines elements of an academic teach-in, a crash course, and a virtual town hall meeting with an innovative crowdsourcing process. A collection of individuals and institutions from a variety of disciplines will work together to create awareness and understanding of the chosen subject in a compressed time frame.

Muslim World Music Day will be a live online effort to identify and catalog all the recordings of Muslim music in the world, in one day. It will be a step towards making this culturally significant body of work readily available to people around the globe for study and enjoyment.”  Read more…

O Zefire with video and translation

This was originally a qasida called Banet Su’adu by the Prophet’s poet, Ka’b ibn Zuheir, written to express his love for him.  It was translated into Bosnian and adapted by Džemaludin Latif-zade el-Bosnevi, one of Bosnia’s best living poets.  I’ll write more about him in a later post, Ako Bog Da.

This video is of Halid Bešlić, you can also find the mp3 of Aziz Alili singing it – that version is more well-known –  here (mouse over “donload mp3,” then “ilahije i kaside,” and select “ilahije download/1.”  Scroll down a bit to look for Aziz Alili).  The text here in italics is the chorus.  Yes I am aware that he sings it a bit differently in this video, but I thought it was the best version :-)  Poor guy was in an accident last year; that’s why his face is like that.

O Zefire

Ti si Sunce koje blista s nebeskih visina;

Drugi resuli su zvijezde što sjaje iz tmina.

O, zefire, kad poletiš do medinskih strana,

Poselami onog što ga moja duša sanja!

Ti si kao cvijet nježan, kao Mjesec ponosan,

Ti si more od ićrama, najljepši ti si san.

Kao sedef sjajni školjkin kada se rastvori,

Takav je tvoj osmijeh blagi kada progovoriš

Takav miris ne imadu ni zafran ni mošus

Kao zemljica što pokriva tvoje tijelo I kosu

Oh Breeze

You are a sun that beams from the lofty heavens

The other messengers are stars that shine from that

O, breeze, when you fly through Medina

Greet the one whom my soul dreams of!

You are like a tender blossom, like the proud moon,

You are a sea of generosity, the most beautiful dream

Like a brilliant white seashell when it opens,

So is your gracious smile when you speak

Such a scent has neither saffron nor musk

Like the fragrance of your body and hair

New albums from Tyson and Baraka Blue

I just wanted to direct your attention to two new albums by American Muslim musicians – Sound Heart by Baraka Blue and Year in the Life of Ty by Tyson Amir.  Both are excellent!  May God reward them and give them further success.  Here’s where you can buy them (or download them for free if you get there soon enough) and listen to the tracks.

Baraka Blue, from the Remarkable Current label

Tyson Amir’s bandcamp site

Videos from “Selam ya Resulallah”

From a concert in Sarajevo yesterday evening – which I missed :-(   Thank you, youtube user Saninpe!

Hor Hazreti Hamza:  “Jecajem te zovem ja”

Gazel:  “Sad Te zovem ya Rahman”  (a cappella)

Hor Bedem and Miralem Babajić:  “Vejsel Karani”

Hor Kewser