Al-Beyt is a Syrian event collective based in Paris. We met Moaoia and Laure, two of the founding members of the collective. They told us about the history, values and goals of Al-Beyt, and teased their next event in Paris, which will take place on October 2nd at the New Morning.
• How did the collective project come about ?
Even before the collective was born, we were already organising events related to Syria with friends, but we were doing it without a specific purpose. The activities under the name of Al-Beyt officially started in July 2021, with a first event in Montreuil. We are a 100% volunteer team, and above all a circle of friends. Like this, we do things our way, « by us and for us« .
With Al-Beyt, we promote Syrian and Arabic-speaking culture through different types of cultural events. In our philosophy, the festival allows us to share our thoughts, it is a vector for meetings and political friendships. We wish to promote an emerging artistic scene by enhancing the value of cultures in exile.
Exiled people are also part of our audience, because there is an undeniable political link that brings us together. Syrians, Lebanese, Sudanese, Tunisians, French… Everyone intermingles in Paris, just like the members of the collective.
• Why did you choose this name ?
Al-beyt means the house in arabic.
« This name reminds us of our experiences, our forced exiles. All of us, the displaced, in different ways, have lost our home. Our home is a room, a home, a neighbourhood, a city, a country. […]
Al-beyt wants to create a new space that unites us, the displaced from all over the world, […] to transmit our words, our desires, our cultures together. So today, the house is us. We need to cultivate warmth and peace of mind for the souls of people scattered across the world. »
• What is the purpose of Al-Beyt ?
The main goal of the collective is to dedicate all the funds raised during our events to a project to support people in Syria : the purchase of an agricultural and solidarity land in the Idlib region. The most important thing for us was to create and strengthen this direct link with Syria – between the Syrians who are exiled, and those who are still there.
In addition to acquiring this land and then building houses, our current objective is also to find a place in Paris. We really want to be able to manage a fixed location where artists can be welcomed, exchange ideas and perform directly in one place.
• What kind of events does Al-Beyt organise ?
For each event, we try to find a different style. At the beginning, it was more like daytime and evening events, with several activities grouped together. For example, the event at the Consulat in April included a group exhibition, a Palestinian bazaar, a discussion with the association @hashtag_bina, a dance performance, live concerts and DJ sets, and Syrian street food.
We also organise shorter formats over an evening, such as our first event at the New Morning with concerts by Shkoon, Abo Gabi and Osloob.
We try to be regular in our events, every month when possible. With covid, it was more complicated, but we managed to exist in other forms, by being included in other events as a caterer for example.
OCTOBRE, 2ND LINE-UP
On Sunday, October 2nd, 2022, Al-Beyt’s next event will be an all-female Arab hip hop night.
The three artists, Blu Fiefer, Jara and Nepthys, who are coming to France especially for the occasion, each break the codes of the female hip hop scene in their own way, while representing the diversity of Arab cultures.
Blu Fiefer is a Lebanese-Mexican artist, producer and director, approaching her art as a multifaceted platform. Having grown up in an ever-changing environment, Blu embodies the sonic climate that is currently emerging in the MENA (Middle East – North Africa) region.
Today, Blu Fiefer is preparing her first album inspired by the story-telling tradition in hip-hop, while paying tribute to « sha3be » and Arabic music.
The album will be released on Mafi Budget, her new independent label based in Lebanon. With this label, she hopes to foster cultural exchange through collaborative projects with other hip-hop artists in the MENA region.
Jara has established herself as a member of Arab rap music’s next generation. Rapper, artist, hoodjabi & jack-of-all-trades, she is one of the first Saudi female rappers to reach an international audience.
She was only 17 when she left her native country of Saudi Arabia for Sweden to study international relations and psychology. Her decision to pursue music was born shortly after she moved to Sweden a few years ago.
« I was alone most of the time, so writing was my only outlet. » Her versatility as an artist is seen through her being able to rap in different languages, accents and genres.
Nephtys is an urban artist from Brussels. Born to a Syrian father and a Belgian mother, she grew up under their artistic influence. From classical to neo-Soul/R&B, hip-hop and jazz, Nephtys takes us on a journey through her world in English and French.
Refusing the popular stereotypes of mysoginistic rap and violence, she subtly mixes conscious punchlines with her soft and warm voice.
Nephtys is a tribute to the Egyptian divinity ; a companion of births and funeral rites, a woman of all moments, she is considered the alter-ego of the singer.
DIVERSITY, SHARING AND SISTERHOOD
• How did the idea for this event come about, and why did you choose these three artists in particular ?
We already had these three artists in mind, whom we knew either through social networks or through friends’ contacts. So the idea of putting them together in one evening was a very natural.
For us, it was important to organise an event that breaks down stereotypes, with a line-up made up of a Saudi, a Lebanese-Mexican and aBelgian-Syrian artist. It is a strong message in terms of representation, especially as they each have inspiring backgrounds.
And although their backgrounds, origins and artistic styles are different, they are all connected and committed in their own way. Each has a personal reason for participating in this event and finds meaning in it.
Only one out of three artists is of Syrian origin, but what is important for us is to bring together and create a link between artists, countries and the public. Nephtys for example, who was born in Belgium and whose father is Syrian, does not know Syria directly ; this event is a way for her to establish a link with her origins and this community, in a moment of sharing and artistic sisterhood.
Doors open at 6pm
Concert from 8pm to 11:30pm
Sunday 2nd October 2022
7-9 rue des Petites Ecuries 75 010 Paris