Mashrou’ Leila were not meant to last. Their band name, which loosely translates to “overnight project” in Arabic, reflects how temporary the four-piece expected all of this to be when they first formed at the American University of Beirut in 2008. Today, though, the band play to tens of thousands at sold-out shows across the world, and have been lauded by critics and fans as the face of Arab and Middle Eastern alternative pop music today.
“I think we all recognise that it’s miraculous for a band to make it to ten years,” says lead singer Hamed Sinno, sipping on his tea to nurse his tonsils. “It tends to be, like, three years, and you’re breaking up by the second album.”