You can find our next guest on most Monday nights at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, where he is part of Comedy Bazaar and he offers his signature riffs on his particularly interesting cross-cultural dilemmas.
TEHRAN VON GHASRI: My name is Tehran. It's like the capital city of Iran. You're, like, wondering, what were my parents thinking, naming me Tehran, right? But I'm half black, half Iranian, which comes with a lot of advantages. I have a lot of fun at the airport. It's true. Homeland Security knows me on a first name basis.
Rap and hip-hop were both a driving force, and a coping mechanism, for people in the Middle East and North Africa during the Arab Spring. In particular, the music of Tupac Shakur resonates with Arabs, long after the U.S. rapper's own death. But why? Michel Martin looks for an answer, along with Khaled M, a Libyan-American rapper.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR news. I'm Michel Martin. Today, we are going to spend some time across North Africa and the Middle East. It's the first day of spring, and that means it's the Persian New Year. We are going to celebrate Nowruz later in the program, with a comedian who's putting a new spin on the holiday. That's in just a few minutes.
The release last year of a 2007 reunion by the late Sam Rivers' trio confirmed what a creative drummer Altschul is. He has been one for decades. Altschul was a key player on the 1970s jazz scene, when the avant-garde got its groove on. Now, as then, he's great at mixing opposites: funky drive with a spray of dainty coloristic percussion, abstract melodic concepts with parade beats, open improvising and percolating swing. He's a busy player, but never too loud — he's also busy listening.
Though he only just turned 19, U.K. singer Jake Bugg has already developed sharp songwriting skills that shine through on his self-titled debut. Bugg recently swung by the KCRW studios to perform a batch of songs that highlight his range, from heartfelt ballads to the blues-rock guitar licks of the song here, "Lightning Bolt."
Ten years ago on live television, U.S. Marines memorably hauled down a Soviet-style statue of Saddam Hussein in Firdous Square — photographed in 2003 by Jerome Delay of AP. Today, that pedestal in central Baghdad stands empty. Bent iron beams sprout from the top, and posters of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in military fatigues are pasted on the sides.
Today, Iraqi policeman Ahmed Naji stands on the grounds of the Iraqi National Museum — which was guarded by U.S. soldiers in the 2003 photo taken by Anja Niedringhaus. Tens of thousands of artifacts chronicling some 7,000 years of civilization in Mesopotamia are believed to have been looted from Iraq in the chaos the followed the the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
Saddam Hussein commissioned the crossed-sword archways during Iraq's nearly eight-year war with Iran. They stand defiantly in the fortified district for the U.S. Embassy and other government offices. Iraqi officials began tearing down the archways in 2007 but quickly halted those plans and then started restoring the monument two years ago. Captured originally in 2008 by Karim Kadim.
Today, shoppers pass through Baghdad's busy Karrada shopping district. The 2008 photo, taken by Hadi Mizban, shows the scene after a bombing that killed 22 people. Bloody attacks launched by terrorists who thrived in the post-invasion chaos are still frequent, although less so than a few years back.
Street photographer Raad Mohammed poses with a photograph taken by photographer Khalid Mohammed in Baghdad's Tahrir Square. The 2006 image shows an Iraqi soldier manning a checkpoint. It was taken after Baghdad was subjected to a vehicle ban — an effort to prevent reprisal attacks from suicide car bombs after the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Abdullah, 8, poses with a 2003 photograph taken by Niko Price, showing a U.S. soldier visiting the newly opened zoo. The zoo was destroyed during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Only a handful of animals survived, and later the grounds were used as a holding facility for looters detained by U.S. soldiers. It reopened later in 2003 and today houses more than 1,000 animals.
The park that runs along Abu Nawas Street in Baghdad, named for an Arabic poet, is now a popular destination for families who are drawn by the manicured gardens, playgrounds and restaurants famous for a fish called mazgouf. Ten years ago, the park was home to a tribe of children — like Fady al-Sadik in Alleruzzo's 2003 photo — orphaned by the war and was rife with crime.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 11:03 am
A lot of photographers are revisiting 2003 this week — the year the U.S. invaded Iraq — and sharing photos from the years of war that followed. Even more literally, Associated Press photographer Maya Alleruzzo revisited various sites photographed during the war to see what has changed and what hasn't.
One scene speaks volumes: Today, shoppers pass through a busy shopping district in Baghdad. But in the 2008 photo, taken by Hadi Mizban for AP, the sidewalk is covered in fresh stains from a bombing that killed 22 people.
Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 11:37 am
When you read the words of Clotaire Rapaille, a "French-born psychiatrist-turned-marketer" quoted in yesterday's interesting Slate article about the marketing of cars to women, it's hard not to read them in a voice that's sultry and French and not entirely serious, as if he's some kind of sales expert crossed with Pepe Le Pew (despite the fact that this doubtless has no basis in reality).