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Next Music Station
Karima Skalli
'What I wish is for our culture to reach the world.'
Last Modified: 19 May 2011 13:03

"Music, and singing in particular, chooses which body to live in. When I was a little child, I used to sing or recite rhythms without knowing the meaning of the words. I did not even know if I was singing or not, as I could not understand the words most of the time, maybe because of the shyness girls have when they are young. Everything we heard from our parents used to affect us.

I started singing when I was a child, but I used to sing on my own, in isolation. Once, when I was nine, all my family members were sitting together at home, singing and having good times with my brothers. On that day, my father, mother and everyone who was there noticed that I had a beautiful voice, though I was singing without understanding the meaning of the lyrics. I was singing Shall I meet you tomorrow?, and I did not know the exact lyrics back then. I even thought Shall I meet you tomorrow? was all one word.

He [my father] likes singing as a hobby, but not outside home, as we come from a conservative family with traditions, and because of the image of women in general back at that time. Their mentality was relatively different from ours now. It took me years to get what I wanted, and the decision of course came after an outburst. 

I always thank God I come from Morocco, as it enjoys huge and amazing cultural variety in all fields; music, cooking, dressing ... There is beautiful variety, and I would never be able to know it all, even if I wanted... Thank God for this variety that we have as it gives us the ability to be open to others. 

Women singers who sing poetry must enjoy high cultural knowledge, invisible powers, inner and outside beauty, and elegance. I am not saying these are conditions or rules, but they are superior characters in Arab women singers in particular. 

Arab, particularly Moroccan, women always give their best, and always justify themselves. I, as a mother and a housewife who has kids, always feel the urge to justify myself and work more. This is a part of the character I am talking about, such as feeling guilty too, because of spending a lot of time outside home, or because we have freedom that we should respect.

I believe that everything becomes clear with honesty, loyalty and respect of freedoms. The image is always in our imagination, but it is not real. We must make a lot of effort to make it reach others.

We, here in Morocco, always make our best to understand others, to understand the oriental dialects and the European and American languages. We always initiate to understand the other.

That is why we want some effort to understand the real image of Arab women in general.

I am Moroccan and I am responsible for, as well as proud of, my cultural knowledge. I am wearing the beautiful Moroccan Kaftan dress because we have our own elegance. Then why look for others'? The Moroccan Kaftan is very beautiful.

When I sing Andalusian songs abroad, I notice that most of the people; Arabs, Americans, others of various nationalities, even members of the band, have expression of satisfaction on their faces when I give them a Moroccan product. This is very pleasant.

We receive impact of other cultures. What I wish is for our culture to reach the world."

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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