Haram – Where Were You on 9/11? EP

Haram
Where Were You on 9/11? EP
Toxic State Records
March 29, 2019

Haram are one of those bands whose songs I really wish I could understand the lyrics to, but the power behind the band lays in its Arabic lyrics and the way their songs are constructed. While the singer, Nader Haram, a native to Yonkers, New York, can obviously speak fluent English; his messages are so much more poignant in Arabic.

Between his identity as a Muslim-American and his home in New York, it’s obvious how much the events of September 11 would have had tremendous impact on his life. Many Arabic speakers did so only behind closed doors following the rise in Islamophobia that followed that day’s events, so it’s powerful to see him take to the stage with the language now.

All four tracks on the EP, as well as the release title are listed in both Arabic and English. While you obviously can’t understand Haram’s lyrics unless you speak Arabic, but that doesn’t entirely matter.

Nader’s singing style combined with the instrumentals creates a lot of emphasis and depth for the listener. Nader has a strong presence, even on recording. Haram played Static Shock Weekend in 2017 and he also only speaks in Arabic between songs, which adds further impact.

“Where were you on 9/11?” is a question nearly all Americans above a certain age can answer. I remember not long after it happened, my only Muslim classmate’s parents had to come to my school and explain their religion and their ethnic backgrounds, in order to keep their children safe while surrounded by us, the white majority student body.

Don’t just casually listen to this EP, at least not on your first through runs through it. Give it a close listen. You won’t be disappointed.

-Linsey McFadden