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> Laith Bazari, DJ
> Augustine Lama, composer
> Talal Nasereddin, CEO
From Palestine … to Paris
By Maral A. Quttieneh
Laith Bazari was born in Nablus, Palestine, on December 28, 1972. He finished high school in the early 1990s and then left for the French city of Lyon, where he studied for a degree in communications and audiovisual technology. While studying in Lyon, he not only discovered that he was more attracted to “audio” than “visual” but also became completely fascinated by oriental music.
In 1995 he moved to Paris - the city of light and the famous capital of artists, intellectuals, and beauty. It was in the trendy Buddha Bar that Laith discovered the magic of music that imbues Parisian nights with glamour and allure. After being given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be the Buddha-Bar DJ, his career as a world-renowned DJ was launched.
Slowly the DJ of the fashionable, ultra-cool franco-anglo-arab jet set and the “praised master of ceremonies” became one of the best DJs in the world. At the best and most-hip oriental-inspired dance-floor parties, people in cities throughout the world danced frenetically to DJ Laith’s music: Paris, New York, London, Brussels, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Milan, Stockholm, Cannes, Geneva, Monte Carlo, Cairo, Dubai ... Palestine is still awaiting its turn.
His first compilation, La Discothèque Orientale (February 2004) was produced by EMI Music. With the success of this compilation, he released, La Discothèque Orientale, Vol. 2, in September 2004, followed by Oriental Night Club (June 2004, Atoll Music), Oriental Nightclub, Vol. 2, and Club Arabia (2006, EMI Music), Club Arabia, Vol. 2 (EMI Music), and lastly, a double compilation called Club Arabia, Vol. 3 and Oriental Rai (EMI Music). The majority of these CDs remained for weeks and even months on the best-seller lists of well-known music stores in Europe and Dubai, in the category of World Music.
These compilations are all exotic mixes of chill-out, lounge, and oriental pop music. Like Sinbad in A Thousand and One Nights, Laith offers his listener the magic of the East using his unique fusion of Eastern beats and latest Western rhythms. This magical international music allows the audience to forget all the differences between East and West with every single beat.
His latest CD release, Palestine in my heart (EMI Music), contains 15 hits that were chosen from among the most famous Arabic classical singers, such as Mohammad Abdelwahab, Um Koulthoum, Fairouz, and Marcel Khalifeh. He also incorporates songs of Palestinian traditional folklore. This release is a breath of fresh air from Palestine, where the international media tends to cover only the negative aspects of life, such as the political situation, poverty, and military closure. Laith prefers to support his people with music that shows the other Palestine.
Laith, however, is much more than a DJ. He has been a radio producer for various stations in France, such as Radio Orient and Radio Monte Carlo Lyon, and he also covered the Cannes Film Festival for several years. He has crossed over to television and now hosts Rendez-Vous and Stars R Mlive on Mlive TV Arabia, and soon he will begin work on his own biweekly show on MBC.
When I first met Laith, we both worked for radio stations in Paris. He brought the famous Iraqi singer, Ilham Madfai, to my station in April 2005, to help support Florence Aubenas, the French journalist who had been kidnapped in Iraq. I had already heard of him but knew little about him. When he spoke to me for the first time, I recognized his accent; so the first question I asked him was whether he was Palestinian.
He is an impressive character, and it is time for the Palestinian people to know more about him. Do not wait too long to discover his talent and remarkable career!
His is a story of the other face of Palestine - not just a story of a successful career but a story of hope. His is a story that shows us all that the Palestinians are a living and thriving people; and no matter how or where or when, they can be as remarkable in exile as they are in their homeland.
Laith would be pleased to hear from you and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maral Amin Quttieneh is a journalist who received a master’s degree in communications and journalism in Paris, France. She can be reached at Maral2009@hotmail.com.
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