||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2011)|
|Birth name||Kareem Salama|
|Born||1978 (age 34–35)
Ponca City, Oklahoma, United States
|Origin||Ponca City, Oklahoma, United States|
|Occupations||Singer, Songwriter, Musician|
Kareem Salama (Arabic: كريم سلامة; born 1978) is an Egyptian American musician. He is known as the first American Muslim country music singer. His music is a hybrid of country, pop and rock music. He has released 3 albums Generous Peace (2006) This Life of Mine (2007) and a third City of Lights (2011), the latter after signing for LightRain Records.
Background and education
Salama has performed in front of wide audiences as far as Rome and London. He also took part in a State Department European concert tour, performing in Paris. He has been featured in major media outlets like the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Readers' Digest, Fox News, Sky News and France 24. Salama was also invited to dinner at the White House where he met President Barack Obama who said to Salama "You can sing!". In October 2008, he also performed at the Global Peace and Unity Event.
While in school, Salama made time to work on his music with a friend and producer Aristotle Mihalopoulos. Salama says that his music is inspired by a variety of things including his own experiences, experiences of friends and family, and things that he reads. As a result of growing in Oklahoma Salama was around country music from the time he was very young and is attracted to the stories and the reverent nature of country music.
Salama highlights universal themes about love, home and family values. His songs are spiritual, without being overtly religious. One inspired by the writings of an 8th-century Islamic scholar, Imam Muhammed Al-Shafi’ee, endorses the idea of tolerance and avoiding violence in his debut single "Generous Peace": “Gentleman, I’m like incense, the more you burn me, the more I'm fragrant.”
The WitWits is a television youth project and is a LightRain Records presentation in association with Zenfilm. It is co-written by Kareem and Omar Salama, directed by W. Ross Wells and produced by Meridith Melville and Brittany Holland. The WitWits is about four kids, Kelly Ann (Alicia Lore), Super K (Caleb Duncan), Spencer (Austin Karkowsky), and Dougie (Grant Goodman) and their adventures in the 1980s, particularly in facing their nemesis, Rodney (Connor Jones). The project includes various television episodes, theatrical music videos as well as musical releases including promotional materials, singles with their debut "Radio Countdown" and a prospective album. The WitWits have also taken part in three release features by Kareem Salama, in "Makes Me Crazy", a promotional song for the project, "Be Free Now" featuring Kelley Peters with appearances of all the kids and "1980 Something" a long video featuring The WitWits in musical as well as theatrical presentation.
Salama has released three albums thus far:
2006: Generous Peace
Released: 2006, independent
- "Get Busy Living"
- "Baby I'm a Soldier"
- "A Land Called Paradise"
- "Hold On"
- "Peace Remain"
- "Come Now"
- "Lady Mary"
- "Chivalry's Not Dead"
2007: This Life of Mine
Released: 2007, independent
- "This Life of Mine"
- Generous Peace"
- "More Than"
- I Miss You (Hopefully)"
- "Rise Up Protectors"
- "My Tears Aren't Pure"
- "It Came to Be"
- "A Friend Like You"
- "Get Busy Living" (Acoustic)
- "My Way Home"
- "Aristotle and Averroes"
2011: City of Lights
Released: 24 May 2011
Label: LightRain Records
- "Makes Me Crazy" (3:31)
- "Heavenly Dreams" (feat. Kelley Peters) (4:13)
- "1980 Something" (feat. The WitWits) (4:12)
- "City of Lights" (4:57)
- "We Could Be Friends" (3:54)
- "Believe in Love" (4:58)
- "If I Could" (3:28)
- "Generous Peace" (3:31)
- "Beat in My Heart" (feat. Electric Love Café) (4:29)
- "Love Relentlessly" (3:41)
- "When I Fall" (4:03)
- "Picnics and Sunshine" (3:39)
- "Aristotle and Averroes" (3:29)
- "Baby I'm a Soldier" (4:51)
- "Baby I'm a Soldier (Part II)" (1:21)
- 2009: "Generous Peace" (EP)
Released: 7 December 2009
Single track: From album Generous Peace
- Generous Peace
- Generous Peace (Pop Remix)
- Generous Peace (Acoustic Remix)
- When I Fall (Bonus track)
- Generous Peace Arabic
- Generous Peace Arabic (Pop Remix)
- Generous Peace Arabic (Acoustic Remix)
|Date||Song title||Album||Record label||Length|
|7 December 2009||"Generous Peace"||Generous Peace||Independent|
|17 January 2011||"Makes Me Crazy"||City of Light||LightRain Records||
|20 March 2011||"Be Free Now"
(feat. Kelley Peters)
- "Generous Peace"  (music video directed by Lena Khan)
- "Generous Peace" (Arabic) 
- "Makes Me Crazy" 
- "Be Free Now" (feat. Kelley Peters) 
- "1980 Something" (feat. The WitWits) 
Kareem Salama in popular culture
- On May 9, 2007, Kareem Salama was interviewed on Fox News about various Muslim American issues.
- A reportage and brief interview about him was broadcast on France 24.
- In March 2008, he was interviewed on Arab Radio and Television Network (ART) program "From America" by Jihan Mansour. He also performed live renditions of some of his songs with Aristotle Mihalopoulos 
- On 13 July 2008, he was interviewed on Sky News by Adam Boulton.
- In December 2007, two thousand Muslim Americans were asked what they wished to say to the rest of the world. Some of their answers were used in the video presentation, using Kareem Salama's song. Lena Khan used Kareem Salama song "A Land Called Paradise" and put out an independent video based on the various quotations received from the survey of Muslim Americans.
- Beirut The Daily Star article by Amany Al Sayyed
- Christian Science Monitor article by Tome Peter: "Backstory: A Country-Western Muslim" (April 4, 2007).
- US Embassy in France site: Diverse audience enjoys Embassy program with country western singer Kareem Salama
- Kareem Salama performance during the Global Peace and Unity event
- Second part of Kareem Salama performance during the Global Peace and Unity event
- ABC News: Muslim-American Country Singer in Syria, Tours Middle East
- Altmuslim: “There's Something Reverent About Country Music” by Shahed Amanullah, April 17, 2007
- New York Times: “Muslim singer with a country twang” by Neil McFarquhar (November 13, 2007)
- The WitWits official website
- The WitWits Facebook site
- Fox News interviews Kareem Salama
- Kareem Salama on France 24
- Part 1 of Kareem Salama interview in "From America" on ART Satellite television
- Part 2 of Kareem Salama interview on ART Satellite television
- Sky News interviews Kareem Salama