A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, June 20, 2014

Jack Shaheen Remembers Casey Kasem

Jack Shaheen, who has written and taught extensively on Arab stereotypes in American pop culture and media (The TV Arab, Reel Bad Arabs about the movies, etc.: see my 2011 posting on Jack), has written a short piece, "Remembering Casey Kasem," about the recently deceased disc jockey, music historian, and longtime American Top 40 radio host. (As a father I also had to watch a lot of Scooby Doo cartoons, and through much of its classic era. Casey was the voice of Shaggy.)

Jack notes what I already knew but many fans of Casey may not have: Kasem's long involvement in Arab-American activism and in combating stereotypes (Jack's specialty). Born Kemal Amin Kasem in Detroit of Lebanese Druze background, Kasem took his Arab background seriously and in his own Hollywood way did a great deal to shatter those stereotypes.

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