This Thursday, the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a hearing on “engaging with Muslim communities around the world.” The hearing is part of a series led by Senator John Kerry on improving relations between the US and the Muslim world, and will include testimonies from well-known Muslim Americans.
Hip hop and diplomacy are just as unlikely a pair as heavy metal and Islam to the Western mind. Nevertheless, hip hop and heavy metal are popular forms of music among youth in the Middle East. As in every society, the younger generation struggles to find alternatives to tradition through travel, study, and rebellion. The next generation in the Middle East faces the pressure of rebuilding a region after years of war. They are playing metal and hip hop to rebel against the surrounding culture of violence and war. Popular music suggests that a lot of Muslim youth are choosing an alternative to political activism, living their daily lives apart from ethnic and religious conflict with politics in the West.
Hip Hop Diplomacy in Morocco