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5 game-changing MENA music videos in the last year

We have searched our archives and the web and selected five different music videos that we think has been the most groundbreaking this last year

It goes without saying that picking out just five videos for this list, amongst all the amazing videos that have been released within the past 12 or so months, has been a really tough task. Every month at least a handful of excellent videos are released across all the countries in the MENA region, and if you look at Egypt alone, a list of each month’s five best videos could be made every month! But if we look beyond that, a few videos stand out each year, because of their amazing production, creativity or even just timing or historical relevance. All these above factors contribute to a video being an amazing piece of visual art and if done right, a video can take a song or even an artist's whole career to another level.

This list is not only for the videos with the fanciest locations or biggest budgets, but for the videos we think were the sharpest and most groundbreaking in whatever area of the general music video scene they are targeting. At the moment the MENA rap scene has the biggest attention and output by far, and therefore also the biggest resources both money wise and when you look at the creativity and energy put into the videos, and needless to say this also very much reflects on this list.

ISSAM - PHANTOM

Animation has always been an amazing alternative to real live pictures, especially if you want to create an universe that is hard to conceive with a camera. In the world of music videos, animation very much has a strong position with a lot of prolific artists, from Björk and Daft Punkt to Gorillaz and Kanye West, experimenting with an animated form of visual expression. In the field of animate music videos in the Middle East, one could argue that the video for ‘PHANTOM’ is probably one of the most ambitious made to date. Therefore needless to say it needed to be on this list.

Mousv - Safina

Mousv has been one the most interesting new musicians to emerge this past year, and the video for Safina perfectly captures this. Every frame of the video is stunning from start to finish, and edited so well along the track, that you don't even notice that it's only shot in three different locations.

moktar - silk

This video is an example of a video with a simple concept and idea but done in the most beautiful and fulfilling way possible. Not much more to say, kick back and enjoy.

Marwan Pablo - Ghaba

When Ghaba was released last year, it felt like a nuclear bomb was dropped on the Middle Eastern rap scene. Pablo was back after more that a year away, and with him he also brought a video of dimensions, a true masterpiece in production quality, camera work, art direction and location scouting. Still when watching the video a year past its initial release, one cannot stop being taken aback by its amazing imagery and clean edit.

Nemahsis - dollar signs

The video and track for 'dollar signs' by Palestinian-Canadian singer, is not just important in its message and symbolic value, but is visually absolutely breathtaking. The concept of deceiving the viewer by means of the whole apartment just being a shopping window in a busy street or the whole scene just being inside someone tv, is not new, but in this video it's done so well, that it doesn't matter at all. The fact that the whole video is just one shot, further adds up to this video needing to be featured on this list.