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Today on Ecléctico you're listening to singer Khaled who, on this popular raï song, combines French and Arabic lyrics. Raï is a style of music from Algeria, mixing traditional folk sounds with Western popular music, that originated in the port city of Oran and spread to France and the rest of the world in the twentieth century. You'll go deeper with an excerpt from a personal essay by Nashwa Lina Khan on 68to05.
"Aïcha (Version Mixte)" by Khaled
1996 | Algerian raï singer, songwriter, and musician
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Over the last few years, I learned that Algerians and Moroccans sometimes have tensions. I have always been in spaces and places where Morocco is so foreign that finding an Algerian is finding a sibling, any Maghrebi is family. Perhaps my ignorance is in my own geographic distance from Morocco and a constant yearning and longing to find parts of this secret self, people who understand the music I love and words I know in a place where they are so rare.
Cheb Khaled is proof of this in a sense. He has both Algerian and Moroccan citizenship, something that has been discussed and even controversial at times. He said during an interview on French television 2017 “You know, I’ve always felt Moroccan since I was a kid. The borders between the Maghreb countries, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, have never existed for me.” His wife is from Oujda. Relationships, like music, have and always will transcend this border.