double down fridays

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Double-Down Friday: Al-Jazzy-Era

Music has long been a bridge between peoples and cultures and in the modern era, this is increasingly true. (Remember that movie where the Egyptian police band gets stranded in Israel? Or that movie where the camel weeps to the soft ‘hoos’ of musicians?)

Today, music is more globally accessible, and therefore more relatable to seemingly disparate peoples and places. As an American, this is especially evident in the middle and near east.

When journalist Gregory Warner (GlobalPost) brought his accordian to Afghanistan, he probably didn’t expect it to be such a powerful instrument of good. Watch:

But it isn’t just the Man In Black who transcends geographic and cultural borders. Counter-culture, of all things, seems to trump accepted culture in its ability to cross the divide between peoples. Take a look at these two photos:


I spy a Rancid shirt.

One of these photos was taken in Casablanca, Morocco. The other, well, wasn’t. If you can’t tell (I don’t really blame you) click to find out which is which and read about a recent heavy metal festival that took place in the North African nation.

So, what can be made of these musical connections we share with foreign peoples? Well, maybe music needs to play a greater role in popular diplomacy. Maybe we need to know how many other foreign leaders listen to Pink Floyd. And maybe, just maybe, Bono does deserve to be a U.N. goodwill ambassador.

(Credit: Gert Van Langendonck / For the LA Times).