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Rappers, Divas, Virtuosos: New Music From the Muslim World

About the Show

Trying to do justice to Mariem Hassan's story was an incredibly complex task, encompassing the most number of different shoots than any of the other projects. Although Manuel Dominguez of Nubenegra Records was extremely helpful in supplying us with archival footage of Mariem's career, the history of the Saharawi people needed telling as well, compelling us to search for documentary and news sources.  We also sent a crew to shoot in the Canary Islands and Spain to get the current, candid interviews with Mariem that you see.

 

-Michal Shapiro, Director of Music Programming

Mariem Hassan:
Voice of the Saharawis

For the last 13 years Mariem Hassan's heartfelt, piercing voice has been the musical ambassador of the Western Saharan people. The Saharawis became refugees in 1975 when Spain abandoned it as a colony and ceded it to Morocco, after the exploitation of Western Sahara's people and resources. The Saharawis now live in isolated refugee camps under harsh conditions and with little freedom. As the film traces Hassan's development as a singer and shows her tireless effort to promote the Saharawi cause and culture, it also outlines how her people lost their homeland and the efforts being made by European countries to help them regain their sovereignty.

Series Funding Provided By:

Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art

Credits

Credits

Producer: Steven Lawrence
Field Producer/Directors: Alicia Reginato, Benet Roman
Editor: Gloria Bremer
Coordinating Producer: Maria Luisa Gambale
Associate Producer: Michal Shapiro
Assistant Editor: Gabriella Kessler
Camera: Benet Roman, Alicia Reginato, Magda Timoner, Manuel Dominguez

Watch

Music Video: Mariem Hassan, "Haiyu"
World Music: Mariem Hassan, "Haiyu"

World Music: Mariem Hassan, "Haiyu"

(Western Sahara) We're thrilled to have a video from one of the great singers of world music. Mariem Hassan has a voice that would make Aretha Franklin sit up and take notice. She's been rightly called "The Voice of the Sahara," and as a representative of her people she has also been a tireless advocate for their cause. Not enough people know about the plight of the Saharawis, who inhabited Western Sahara prior to Spain's colonization of it. Spain abandoned the territory in 1975 to be divided up between Mauritania and Morocco. Since then, the Saharawis have struggled to get their land and independence back, and hundreds of thousands of them live in refugee camps under dire conditions. Mariem Hassan has kept the culture of the Saharawis alive and visible, and by doing so, has nurtured their spirit through these trying times.

World Music: Mariem Hassan, "Haiyu"

(Western Sahara) We're thrilled to have a video from one of the great singers of world music. Mariem Hassan has a voice that would make Aretha Franklin sit up and take notice. She's been rightly called "The Voice of the Sahara," and as a representative of her people she has also been a tireless advocate for their cause. Not enough people know about the plight of the Saharawis, who inhabited Western Sahara prior to Spain's colonization of it. Spain abandoned the territory in 1975 to be divided up between Mauritania and Morocco. Since then, the Saharawis have struggled to get their land and independence back, and hundreds of thousands of them live in refugee camps under dire conditions. Mariem Hassan has kept the culture of the Saharawis alive and visible, and by doing so, has nurtured their spirit through these trying times.

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Mariem Hassan: Voice of the Saharawis
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