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Gabriel S. Maloof’s Syrian & Oriental Record Shop in Boston’s Syrian Neighborhood

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    Gabriel S. Maloof’s Syrian & Oriental Record Shop in Boston’s Syrian Neighborhood     The stamp on this label reads," Gabriel S. Maloof, Dealer in Syrian & Oriental Records,  93A Hudson Street, Boston, MA." Courtesy of Richard M. Breaux collection. Much of the research and writing on Arab Americans, Arab American music, and Arab American 78 RPM records has focused on Manhattan and Brooklyn’s "Little Syria" or the Detroit/Dearborn metropolitan area. Although Boston’s "Syriantown" neighborhood has received increasing attention with respect to its restaurants, churches, and businesses, these same sources, say very little specifically about the role of music and record shops in Boston’s “Little Syria” even though we know that by the late 1920s and early 1930s there was at least one well-known record seller in Boston’s neighborhood that centered around Hudson Street, Tyler, Harrison Avenue, Oliver Place, and the area adjacent to Boston’s Chinatown –

Jalil Azzouz: A Palestinian Oudist at Home on the Midwest Mahrajan Circuit

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  Jalil Azzouz: A Palestinian Oudist at Home on the Midwest Mahrajan Circuit Jalil Azzouz, 1956. Photo courtesy of Richard M. Breaux collection. The second wave of Arab immigration to the United States began after World War II, which officially ended in September 1945. The government continued to enforce quotas on immigrants to the US from Middle Eastern countries. Even immigrants to the US from Palestine, which came under British mandate rule, faced restrictions. No matter Great Britain’s ally status during the second World War, nor small changes in the ability of certain groups of immigrants newly permitted to become naturalized citizens, the second wave of Arab emigrants, especially those from Palestine and Jordan, became more visibly present in their sponsorship of events on the eastern, midwestern, and southern hafli and mahrajan circuits. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Palestinian youth grew increasing impatient with the British Mandate government’s  persecution of Palestinia

Mike Hamway: Syrian American Derbakist Extraodinaire

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  Mike Hamway: Syrian American Derbakist Extraodinaire  Mike Hamway, Derbake Player. Courtesy of Richard M. Breaux collection. Usually in Arabic music ensembles, a lead singer, oudist, or violinist gets the majority of attention or have the opportunity to showcase their talents in an oud or violin taqsim. Derbake (dirbakeh, darbuka) players or drum players hardly ever warrant attention, but this month’s post changes all that. One of the most sought after, East Coast derbake players of the middle period was older than many of the other musicians with whom he performed. This fact also helps us understand his passing in the 1960s as the nightclub era was in its infancy. This derbake player is best known for performing with Anton Abdelahad , Joe Budway, Philip Solomon, and Russell Bunai . We’re talking about, of course – Mike Hamway. Mike Hamway was born Michayel Hamway 7 November 1892 in Aleppo, Syria. It’s unclear how many siblings he had or who taught him to play the derbake, but Hamwa