Sunday, June 08, 2008

Pro-Sahrawi singer Khaled assaulted in Morocco

Who could hate that face?

In 2003, American country listeners boycotted the Dixie Chicks for opposing the invasion of Iraq. The boycott was unnecessary and, as it turns out, on the wrong side of history. The reaction to the Dixie Chicks, though, looks downright reasonable compared to Moroccan attack Algerian rai singer Khaled just for waving a SADR flag in Spain.
Spectators had thrown items at the singer while on stage and a glass bottle reportedly hit his leg. Khaled thus interrupted his performance but later got back on stage. The act was understood as "a reprisal against the singer who waved the flag of the Western Sahara - occupied by Morocco - in one of his concerts in Spain."
Obviously, assaulting a rai singer puts the Moroccan culprits in great company. I would understand their anger a little more if Khaled was waving a SADR flag at the Moroccan concert (even though that kind of full-frontal honesty is exactly what's needed), but he was in another country when he waved the flag. Also, was anyone actually surprised that an Algerian supports Polisario?

The saddest part is that Khaled seems like such a nice guy. He's apparently all about democracy and feminism, going so far as to sing a song about a woman who refuses a suitor's gifts because what she really wants are equal rights and respect

Thanks to the internet, I'm currently jamming to Khaled's "El Harba". What other rai is worth checking out?

Update: Alle points out that Khaled was scheduled to play this year's Dakhla Festival in occupied Western Sahara, but this article about the festival suggests he cancelled: "Sunday evening, Khaled declared fixed price for health reasons, officially, but the festival ones was convainced that Algeria had made pressure on the icon of the raï."


  1. Anonymous2:04 AM

    Cheb Khaled also played the Dakhla festival recently, in Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara. Maybe he's compensating for that by waving flags now.

    What to listen to...? More Khaled, I suppose. But if you want raï stars in trouble, try Cheb Mami. Less of a feminist, though (and less good).

    For really good Algerian music, but not raï, try Rachid Taha.

  2. Oof, attempted abortions? I'd say he's not as much of a feminist!

  3. Anonymous4:39 AM

    I thought Khaled cancelled the planned concert and never played in Dakhla. Didn't he?

  4. Poorly-translated thing I found on the internet suggests you're right, Laroussi. But the Moroccans think Algeria muscled Khaled into doing it.

  5. Khaled was invited to sing in Dajla along with the Iraqi singer Kadem El Saher , but he refused to do so,Only Kadem did so..Algerian singer arent like Mauritania or other Arabic singers if one goes to Morocco they arent only in troble with their people , but also with their government.

    Here are some good rai singers to check out..Cheb Hasni( consider to be a legend), Cheb Feudel, Cheb Bilal, Cheb Sahraoui and Cheba Fadela..Ther's a realy famous song by Cheb Khaled tile aicha you should check it out.

  6. cheb khaled has not played in the Dakhla festival for sure but some such as KADEM SAHER and some Mauritanian "artists" are coming to berform in the Moroccan festivals organised in WS but i think they are artists with no principles they are only looking for money.the Moroccan occupation is also organizing those days the first international cinema festival under the direct guidance of mohamed 6 the king of Morocco here in Aaiun with the participation of some Egyption artist and actors.i think Morocco since 2005 especially after the break out of the indepandance intifada in western sahara and the frustration of his dream to annex it because of the intifada blackened his name all over the world it is trying another tactic to convey to the world that everything is all right in western sahara.

  7. Thanks for the recommendations, everyone. Aicha is one of the songs I downloaded and I'll be sure to check it out--it seems like Khaled's big hit.

    Turns out Khaled never did go to the Dakhla festival, although he was listed on promotional material. Devotee, I think you're right that bringing tourists and journalists to Western Sahara for artistic events is part of the Moroccan plan to cement control there.

    Worse, it looks like even the artists participated in the extending the occupation--I've read reports of some musicians at the festival saying Western Sahara is Moroccan.

  8. Anonymous5:56 PM

    that shows you how moroccans are protective of their country

    and the best song is (oran) in arabic called (wahran)

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  10. That is the price the famous or the popular people have, they should always be prepare for situations like this one.

  11. Anonymous12:30 PM

    the same Cheb Khaled who was naturalised Moroccan in August 2013?

    epic fail guys

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