Digital drawing on top of original A3 ‘Sand Dunes’

One thing that always fascinates me are intact family lineages, especially when relations are well maintained. Throughout my life, growing up in the Netherlands and Germany I have hardly had access to my Fathers side of the family, my Jordanian (Palestinian) roots. Leaving me to feel quite lost at times and in search of identity.

 (source: Wikipedia)Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 14.02.39

The family lineage of Malian musician Toumani Diabate can be traced back 700 years!  All of them are Griot, passing on history with the help of the Kora (African harp)..

(This is not what the strings of a Kora normally look like, but the filmmaker (Andrew Oberstadt) has turned the shutter speed to 1/8000 🙂

To think that Diabate has learned to play songs that have been played in his family for all of those centuries is very moving. You will listen differently to his music keeping in mind people were listening to the same melodies 700 years ago.


Having lived among the Senegalese Community for 3 years in the UK has really shaped my love for West African Music. Especially because the father of my children is a musician, so I was exposed to a lot of Senegalese and other West African music from all sorts of genres. Submerging oneself in another culture really enables you to witness it fully, not as something exotic, but as normal, as human. It helps to break down the feeling of superiority over another culture.. I wasn’t even aware I had this attitude, that feeling of knowing it better, coming from a better place a first world country…I only realized I looked at the world like that when I allowed myself to dive into another culture.

Beautiful jam session in Bamako, Mali:



I have posted about the Kora in previous posts, click on the drawings below to go there:





Thanks so much for visiting my blog, I really appreciate the support.

Back on Monday with a new post! In sha Allah (God Willing)

Much Love, Salam



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s