What is Raï ?



Omar Abboud



Original Date

April 24, 2016


Raï is a song form from North Africa prominent in the 1970’s a symbol of a lifestyle of cynicism and anti-authoritarianism. Songs often related to alienation, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse and forbidden sexual desires. During its invention, Raï was a mix of rural and cabaret styles of music. My talk addresses the questions: are these songs part of a “culture industry” that defines popular sentiment and generates political commitments, or are the images and metaphors they deploy expressions of such sentiment? More interestingly, other musical forms, even rap, exist in North Africa… but no form could reach the success and popularity that raï did – why is that the case?

Sources & Future References

Contact Info

LinkedIn: Omar Abboud

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