Arab Films Entered for Oscars

There are films from 92 countries entered for the Foreign Film category of the Oscars. Among these are eight films from Arabic-speaking countries. Several of the films deal in various ways with the impact of the conflict in Syria. There is the documentary from Syria, “Little Gandhi,” which follows the life and death of Syrian … Continue reading Arab Films Entered for Oscars

On the Use of English in Arab(ic) Music

Ahdaf Soueif once said that “the use of English by Arab authors is expanding at a faster rate than the use of French." I haven't seen any empirical evidence for this, but it seems likely -- or if not exactly faster than French, than at least at an equal rate. Watching 47soul’s recent release “Raf Etair” … Continue reading On the Use of English in Arab(ic) Music

Focus Young Arab Choreographers Opens May 25

Focus Young Arab Choreographers is a project is supported by the Italian culture ministry and eleven different dance festivals in Italy.  The aim is to promote cultural dialogue and exchange between Arab and Italian artists and choreographers. The programme opens May 25 and runs until September 23. Six young choreographers from the Arab world will … Continue reading Focus Young Arab Choreographers Opens May 25

Luxor African Film Festival

The 5th edition of Luxor African Film Festival (LAFF) is scheduled to run between 17-23 March.  The festival was established to remedy the lack of attention paid to African films in Egypt, with Luxor chosen to "de-centralize cultural or artistic events always organized in Cairo and Alexandria" This year LAFF is honoring Omar Sharif, who … Continue reading Luxor African Film Festival

The Oscars and the Berlinale

With the 88th Academy Awards ceremony to take place this Sunday, Al Bawaba looks back at nine films from the region to be nominated for an Oscar, including Hany Abu Assad's Paradise Now (2005) and Omar (2013), and Rachid Bouchareb's Days of Glory (2006) and Outside the Law (2010), but also Incendies (2010), adapted from … Continue reading The Oscars and the Berlinale

Mahmoud Sabbagh’s Barakah Meets Barakah

Mahmoud Sabbagh's Barakah Meets Barakah has been described as conventional in form, unconventional in setting. Surely one of the more conventional films ever to enjoy a premiere at the Berlinale's risk-embracing Forum parallel section, it's of considerable interest as a very rare cinematic export from a country where nearly all manifestations of cinema have been … Continue reading Mahmoud Sabbagh’s Barakah Meets Barakah

From Mathaf to Madrid

The exhibition Looking at the World Around You: Contemporary Works from Qatar Museums is being held from 9 February to 19 June 2016 at the Santander Art Gallery in Boadilla del Monte, Madrid, the "first major loan exhibition in Europe of works from Mathaf, the Arab Museum of Contemporary Art in Doha."   This selection, more … Continue reading From Mathaf to Madrid

Mohamed Ben Attia’s Hedi and the Berlinale

Inhebbek Hedi, directed by Tunisian director Mohamed Ben Attia,  with Belgium's Dardenne brothers as co-producers, is "the first Arab contender in two decades" in the official competition of the Berlinale, running from 11-21 February. Hedi tells the story of "a simple young man" who "does not expect much from the life that is traced for … Continue reading Mohamed Ben Attia’s Hedi and the Berlinale

MENAR Film Festival

The Middle East & North Africa Region (MENAR) Film Festival in Sofia, Bulgaria, kicks off on January 14 and runs through the end of the month. The focus this year is on female directors - the films to be shown include Egyptian Nadine Khan's Chaos, Disorder (2012),  Tunisian Kaouther Ben Hania's The Blade of Tunis … Continue reading MENAR Film Festival

On El Seed’s Calligraffiti and “Beirut’s Banksy”

 "Beirut's Banksy" is a terrible label. The murals and portraits of Lebanese artist Yazan Halwani are not even particularly Bansky like, unless Banksy unironically celebrates celebrities? Halwani's images are generally remediations of pan-Arab/nationalist symbols, the immediately recognisable and nostalgia-enducing images of "Arab poets, musicians and actors, encircled by intricate Arabic calligraphy." People from the golden age of music … Continue reading On El Seed’s Calligraffiti and “Beirut’s Banksy”

Highlights of Shubbak 2015

In a wide-ranging article which provides an overview of the Arab art scene in the West, Lana Asfour writes about the commission and performance of an opera based on the acclaimed novel Cities of Salt by Abdelrahman Munif as part of this year's ongoing Shubbak festival. As Asfour writes, Cities of Salt is "arguably [Munif's] greatest work, … Continue reading Highlights of Shubbak 2015

Sonia Mbarek’s Maghrebi Network

Renowned Tunisian vocalist Sonia M'Barek, who earlier this month performed at French Institute Alliance Française in Manhattan, has spoken of her Wajd project and plans for collaboration with other Maghreb artists. Sonia expressed her desire to participate in work that joins Arab artists mainly from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. She also suggested the idea of creating a great network … Continue reading Sonia Mbarek’s Maghrebi Network

The Second AFAC Film Week

In its second Film Week, The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC) is bringing works by filmmakers from seven Arab countries (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia) to Cairo. The week-long programme will run between 15 and 22 April at Zawya cinema. The films to be shown include: Return to Homs by Talal Derky … Continue reading The Second AFAC Film Week

Arts of the Arab Uprisings

The exhibit "Arts of the Arab World Uprisings" is ongoing at the Arab American National Museum, up to February 9, 2014. The exhibit was created in conjunction with the 2013 Freer Symposium at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Participants of the symposium include Wael Abbas, Khaled Matawwa, Lina Ben Mhenni, Jill Dougherty, Stephennie Mulder, … Continue reading Arts of the Arab Uprisings

Arab Cinema Round-Up

"A truly original programme of Arab cinema for British cinema-goers, this week-long series of classic and contemporary popular cinema takes audiences on a journey of gripping dramas, subversive comedies and exaggerated melodramas, taking in an array of re-mastered cinematic masterpieces and new releases." The Arab British Centre has been doing some amazing work on popular … Continue reading Arab Cinema Round-Up