My husband brought home some new music the other day. He had heard her music playing on the radio in a taxi and asked the driver who the singer was. Her name is Grace Deeb. I’m not sure where she’s from (which Arab country). Usually, it’s a safe bet to guess either Egypt or Lebanon, but you never know. The CD that Jeremy bought has her singing almost entirely in Arabic, but a couple of her songs have English or French verses in them. And unlike the vast majority of other Arab pop singers, she usually sings in the Levantine dialect of Arabic, not Egyptian, which is refreshing.

In fact, that’s why I find myself really enjoying her music: it’s refreshing. Don’t get me wrong – I certainly like my share of Amr Diab or even occasional Elissa songs. But Grace Deeb’s music stretches beyond the cookie-cutter Arab pop rhythm and beat to offer something unique. I was excited to have discovered an Arab singer whose style fit my music tastes so well. Finally, here was someone who was really different…right?

I visited her website to find out more about this talented singer, whose music style led me to believe that she seemed to care little for the mainstream Arab pop world of garish eye makeup and a plastic surgery-perfect mouth. Sadly, what did I see on her website but…well, a heavily made-up face and an impossibly pouty smile.

Granted, it’s my fault for attributing characteristics and values to her that she never professed. Still, I had hoped, and I was disappointed. Her music is so different from everyone else’s – is it any wonder that I assumed she would be different, too?

I still enjoy her music immensely, but I’ve all but given up finding a modern Arab pop star whose style I love and who isn’t afraid of how they look when they first get up in the morning. I guess for now, I’ll have to settle for halfway.

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