Embarking on a European tour and collaborating with Róisín Murphy, the fast-rising quartet say the west is wrong to see their progressive politics as unusual in the Arab world
Mashrou’ Leila are giants in Lebanon. Walking through Beirut with the band on a warm afternoon, it feels like everyone is staring. We squeeze into a retro diner in the city’s bustling Hamra neighbourhood, and have hardly started talking before two women interrupt for a selfie.
As they celebrate their 10th anniversary, the four-piece are already the Arab world’s biggest indie group. They’re also probably the most successful Arabic-language band internationally, with a European tour lined up and a new compilation featuring collaborations with Róisín Murphy and Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard.