It would appear that “West Asian feminism” has often been disregarded by the dominant (Western) narrative of the movement. Lebanese alternative rock band Mashrou’ Leila very elegantly celebrates their brand of feminism in a music video (above) for the track Roman. The video is helmed by Jessy Moussallem, an emerging female director from Lebanon.
The song begins with singer Hamed Sinno’s tenor, along with harmonies that give the lyrical complexity of betrayal, struggle and conflict an interesting twist. The chorus begins with a prominent bass line, matched by tasteful choreography set to the song’s refrain: “Aleihum!” which translates to “Charge!”.
The video is headlined by an all-woman cast, and the all-male band form only a part of the additional bunch, emphasising the concept of a female gaze. The women don an array of West Asian clothing – kaftans and abayas, headscarves and niqaab. “They are styled to over-articulate their ethnic background, in a manner more typically employed by Western media to victimise them,” said the band, describing the choice of clothing.