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Saturday, 9 July 2011

Lounès Matoub

This post came about by accident. Yesterday, I happened to be in London and when I was there, a man from Algeria asked me the way to the nearest underground station. So in the course of helping him to find the underground station, I asked him about what life was like in a country ruled by quite a dictatorial government and while he was telling me about the restrictive life in such a non-secular country he told me about Lounès Matoub.

Lounès Matoub wrote political songs in which he advocated for equal rights for the Berber world and for Algeria to be a country under secular rule. He was therefore unpopular among many from the Arab population and often found himself accused of writing "blasphemous" music. In the end he became so unpopular that he was assassinated in 1994. Although no one is entirely sure how this happened, many suspect that the Algerian government assassinated him. The Algerian government blamed the killing on Islamic terrorists. Nevertheless, he is regarded as a hero and a martyr in Khabylie and among the Berber population.

This is currently the best song I have heard by Lounès Matoub but I could very well become attached to more of his songs in the future since he is an artist new to me. In a lot of cases I like the background music to the songs but I find it hard to like the actual song because I don't understand the majority of what he is saying. Nevertheless I think his music is worth highlighting because he should be remembered for the people and the causes he tried to defend. 

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