YaHalaly Yamalay…yes!

Today in class we sing the Palestinian/Lebanese party song “YaHalaly Yamalay” — the capital H indicates a throaty Arabic pronunciation. We don’t just dance the dabke though, as we would at a wedding or any wild party, we focus on the diversity of Arabic rhythms. In class the teacher calls out a number of beats — 5! 9! 15! — and the kids stomp that many times, remembering that 7 is generally a lucky number, 13 not as much.