World Music

The Mesh of Civilisations: Pop culture in the Arab world

Speaking at a recent TED conference Shereen El Feki talked about the increasing use of western innovations in the Arab world to present the values of Islam to the younger generations – highlighting non-traditionally Islamic versions of MTV – such as Egypt-based 4SHBAB, and comic books such as Kuwait’s The 99.

Check out her presentation here:

Is she right to argue that by converging values that many would feel are diametrically opposed, the Arab world and the West can learn from one another to promote tolerance and understanding? Does 4SHBAB really have a chance of pushing the message of the Qur’an to markets already saturated by fleshy pop trash, or are these modern media just more examples of encroaching globalisation and a one-size-fits-all method of getting messages across?

Leon Addie