Guest Feature: Farrah Berrou

With all of the news flooding our phones, social media timelines, and TV screens, this week felt like a thousand lifetimes. World Mental Health Day is this Saturday and I hope everyone who reads this newsletter is finding some way to take time for themselves or to do an activity or a hobby that brings joy.

Okay, let’s get right into it. This week, I’m so excited to welcome our second guest in the musical question series: Farrah Berrou!

Farrah is a Lebanese/American wine nerd based in Beirut. She is the creator and host of B for Bacchus, a media platform and podcast dedicated to wine stories of the Fertile Crescent, the co-host of A Better Beirut, a podcast featuring informal interviews with people and their initiatives that aim to improve Lebanon, and an ambassador for afikra, a global education platform revolving around Arab culture.

Farrah has a cool presence on Twitter and is truly doing so much for the community. And I’m so glad she came through to share her taste in music with us:

  1. What is your favorite song right now?

    Sunrise by Catz ‘n Dogz will be on repeat until I hate it. It's like a track you listen to at a beach party with a drink in a plastic cup that has more ice than drink. I play this and pretend dancing at a club is still an activity we'll do this decade.

  2. What’s your go-to song for all your feels?

    Youth by Daughter. Or anything Meteora/Hybrid Theory from Linkin Park. I am instantly 15 again.

  3. Name a song that reminds you of home.

    Shim El Yasmine by Mashrou’ Leila, which is about a gay couple, reminds me of Lebanon and I feel like the forbidden love in the song is the relationship a lot of us have had with our country. And this (Inni Mneeh by Mashrou’ Leila) is where we're at mentally these days.

  4. Name a song you know all the words to.

    Cry Me A River by Justin Timberlake. Justified is such an underrated album.

  5. Name a song that gets you really hype and ready to go

    I grew up in Southern California being trained to embrace my Southern Lebanon roots without knowing it. Cocktail Men Lebnan by Tony Kiwan played at all our family gatherings and it's now been replaced with Intro to Shamstep by 47 Soul and El Seka Shemal Fe Shemal by Cairokee, and they all get my blood pumping.

Big shout out and thanks to Farrah for joining and sharing her song selections! All of her songs will be included with this week’s playlist. Be sure to check out the premiere of Season 2 of “B for Bacchus” where Farrah interviews Dr. Helene Sader from the American University of Beirut about the Tell el Burak Archeological Project and the Phoenician wine press discovered there!

What I’m Listening To

🎧 Arab Flows (Arab + diaspora artists) 🎧

🎤 Las Vibras (Latinx + Hispanic artists) 🎤

🎼 Other Music 🎼

Full Playlist

What I’m Reading

🇱🇧 Lebanon 🇱🇧

🌍 Arabs and the Diaspora 🌎

🎶 Music, Culture, and the Arts 🎶

📚 Other Reads 📚

Your Weekly Sample

In his song “Raise Up” Petey Pablo samples Hossam Ramzy’s cover of “Enta Omri” (originally by Oum Kalthoum). Check it out!