BENGHAZI, LIBYA 6/21/2011 – For centuries, Libya’s position straddling the Arab and African world gave it one of the richest and diverse musical and artistic cultures. But under the regime of Colonel Gaddafi, this culture was actively suppressed in favor of propaganda glorifying the state.
The revolution in February lifted the restrictions on music, among other things, and Benghazi is now witnessing a resurgence of culture once forgotten or forbidden under the old regime.
One of the musical projects enabled by the revolution is Alzaman Al Jameel, a band in Benghazi that performs in the classic Libyan styles. The 14 member band, made up of former music students, performs traditional Libyan and Arabic songs, including some religious laments.
They recently performed the national anthem for members of the Transition National Council, Libya’s interim rebel government.
“Our aim is to support the revolution with music and art,” said Mohammed Othman, the band’s manager.
Alive in Libya visited Alzaman Al Jameel during one of its practice sessions to talk with the members about their band, how they started, and what their role is going forward.
Source: Alive in Libya