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Exhibiting the War in Syria: Interview with Khaled Malas

[Khaled Malas is a Syrian architect who curated a series of events on the production of the landscape in Syria from before the First World War until today, entitled “excavating the sky” (12-14 August, 2014), at the 14th Venice International Architecture Biennale (7 June to 23 November 2014). In this interview, he talks with Mona Harb about his trajectory, the project’s threads, processes and goals, building wells as resistance, the support of colleagues and friends, next ...

[Announcement for Mona Kareem's talk at Binghamton University. Image from ArabLit.]

Gulf Women's Writing: On Slavery, Migrant Labor, and Statelessness

On 10 November, Mona Kareem will give a talk at Binghamton University (1:00pm in room LT 1506) on how Gulf women writers adopt—or challenge—nationalist narratives. How, Kareem asks, do women writers deal with racialized minorities, migrants, and stateless individuals? What kinds ...

[Announcement for Mona Kareem's talk at Binghamton University. Image from ArabLit.]

Sympathy for the Devil: Palestine’s Tragic Collaborators

Omar, directed by Hany Abu-Assad. Palestine, 2013. Omar, the most recent film by Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad (of Paradise Now fame), opens with a traversing of obstacles—a prefatory homage to the resilient Palestinian spirit. Exuding youthful vigor, the titular ...

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Hassan Khan: Taraban

Taraban is inspired by two Egyptian songs by Youssef El Manialawy from the early 20th century. Hassan Khan worked with a group of singers and musicians to develop a piece that employs the same modes and transitions as the original songs, yet allowing for improvisation. The musicians working ...  Read More »

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Historical Realities of Concept Pop: Debating Art in Egypt

Today, every phenomenon of culture, even if a model of integrity, is liable to be suffocated in the cultivation of kitsch. Yet paradoxically in the same epoch it is to works of art that has fallen the burden of wordlessly asserting what is barred to ...  Read More »

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ملف من الأرشيف: نظيرة زين الدين

[ينشر ملف من الأرشيف عادة بالتعاون مع جريدة السفير. لكن المادة أدناه من تأليف بنان غرامش]       نظيرة زين الدين  الاسم: نظيرة زين الدين الحلبي. تاريخ الولادة: ولدت عام 1908 لعائلة لبنانية. والدها شيخ ورئيس أول محكمة استئناف في لبنان، وهو القاضي سعيد زين الدين. مكان ...  Read More »

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Mohamed Abla Painting Award

Acclaimed Egyptian painter Mohamed Abla starts a painting competition and prize for the first time in 2014, awarding selected artists a group show at the Cairo Opera House, and one painter EGP 20 thousand. In December, over 100 artists below thirty applied to the competition which accepts works of painting, collage ...  Read More »

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The Flow and Entrapment of Syrian Jazira Music

I was surprised when I received an email from a Palestinian friend asking if I would like to go to a concert by a Syrian singer, Omar Souleyman, who was performing at a popular club in central London in 2010. The email included a link to a YouTube clip of Souleyman singing at a local wedding in Syria. I was familiar ...  Read More »

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Basim Magdy: Measuring the Last Breaths of Time on a Fading Scale

For his solo show at Gypsum Gallery, Egyptian artist Basim Magdy presents a photography series of subliminal landscapes, produced from film that has been altered with household chemicals. Magdy shot the photographs in various locations and times and then treated them with chemicals, spurring hazy, mythical colors ...  Read More »

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نقش حرّان اللجاة: خيبر أم جُبير؟

يعد نقش حران اللجاة، الذي عثر عليه في جبل العرب (جبل الدروز) في سوريا في القرن التاسع عشر، واحدا من أهم النقوش العربية قبل الإسلام. بل لعله أهم هذه النقوش كما يقول الدكتور جواد على: "وهذا النص هو من أهم النصوص المتقدمة، وأكثرها قيمة بالنسبة لمؤرخ اللغة العربية، لأنه نص دون بلهجة القرآن الكريم، باستثناء أثر سهل ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Abir Hamdar, The Female Suffering Body: Illness and Disability in Modern Arabic Literature

Abir Hamdar, The Female Suffering Body: Illness and Disability in Modern Arabic Literature. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Abir Hamdar (AH): The whole project was triggered by a question from a friend. She was suffering from a chronic illness and said she ...  Read More »

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Studio Visit: Photographer Lina Hashim

Lina Hashim is an Iraqi photographer based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She focuses on ways through which Arab emigrants adapt to their lives in Northern Europe and balance their lives with their cultural values and religious beliefs. Hashim studied anthropology and photography and is currently enrolled at the Royal Danish ...  Read More »

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Maurice Louca: It Will Set

March 2014, 100Copies Music Space This is one of eight tracks released by Maurice Louca in his second solo album, titled "Salute the Parrot." The track was made in collaboration with Alaa 50 (vocals), Alan Bishop (saxophone), Bashar Farran (bass) and Chris Michael Shaheen (drums). Louca ...  Read More »

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October Culture

Our October culture bouquet arrives a bit late, but heavy on poetry, original, and translated; Marilyn Hacker, Deema Shehabi, and Sheida Dayani share their new poems. Sinan Antoon translates Amjad Nasser and Ghatfan Ghannum, and Suneela Mubayi translates a poem by Wadi Saadeh. Margot Badran reviews Qarm Qart's latest ...  Read More »

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To Carry Sisyphus and the Rock Together

To Carry Sisyphus and the Rock Together Ghatfan Ghannum  Tr. Sinan Antoon I do not care if I am number 1234, 4567, or any other number. There is no difference whatsoever if I become a refugee in the European continent. I held many names in the past. I travelled and moved in my country without fear of canons ...  Read More »

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Amjad Nasser: Questioning Ibn Arabi

  Questioning Ibn Arabi Amjad Nasser I From Seville to Damascus where I plunged through the scents of Salhiyya’s kitchens and the voices of its persistent sellers until I found you. The sky might be one and the same. . . with clouds raining here and refraining there, with angels absorbed in arranging a mercy ...  Read More »

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Excerpts from Diaspo/Renga

Excerpts from Diaspo/Rengi Marilyn Hacker and Deema Shehabi   M The Litani flows under the Pont Sully, past four Arabic bookshops.   (One is run by anarchists.) She stops to watch a barge pass.   The Crusaders gave her those blue-green eyes. Not that interrogative   smile at the ...  Read More »

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The Ordinary Man of this Neighborhood

The Ordinary Man of This Neighborhood   When all he expected was coldness and pain And all he received in return Was a normalcy of life to a power unimaginable By his afflicted mind, Then he The ordinary man of this neighborhood Living somewhere in the state of New York Has either been exiled, Or ...  Read More »

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A Poem by Wadi Saadeh

An Attempt to Reach Beirut from Beirut Wadi Saadeh Dedicated to Sargon Boulos Did I have to step out today to stroke the enemies’ rocket with my small fingers to embark upon a road whose asphalt is melting as I recall the workers in its mine who were dismembered by dynamite as I recall its blind, its ancient ...  Read More »

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Soren Thilo Funder

 September 2014, Copenhagen This week we feature Danish filmmaker and artist Soren Thilo Funder. Funder likes to make films about films and the process of cinematic production. In “The Adaptation” audiences get to see the performers in WWII French military uniforms, but also wearing GoPro cameras, breaking up ...  Read More »

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Moving in the Maze with Cairene Artist Qarm Qart

Qaram Qart Restart  until 13 November 2014   Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo    People in Cairo, especially intensely in wust al-balad (central Cairo), are living in a maze imposed by the state.  Along with the people, the state is caught in the maze of its own making.  And if the state has ...  Read More »

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Larissa Sansour

September 2014, Copenhagen, Denmark In our second video produced with Kopenhagen Channel, we feature Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour, shedding light on her latest film in the works, titled “In the future, they ate from the finest porcelain.” The film offers a meta-comment on the Israeli occupation of Palestine, ...  Read More »

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Arab Jewish Identity and the Art of Hospitality: A Conversation with Michael Rakowitz

In the media clips below (produced by Creative Time Reports), the artist Michael Rakowitz speaks with independent curator Regine Basha and scholar Ella Habiba Shohat about the disappearance of Arab Jewish identity, in the context of their recent collaboration Dar Al Sulh, a temporary restaurant serving Iraqi ...  Read More »

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Press Release: Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA Hails Divestment Victory & Thanks All Supporters

[The following press release was issued on 19 November 2014 by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of California Los Angeles] For Immediate Release Students for Justice in Palestine Hails Divestment Victory, Thanks all Supporters Contact: sjpucla1@gmail.com Divestment organizers at ...  Read More »

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شعراء ما بعد الطوفان

توطئة كان التغيير نفقا مجهولا ننتظر الضوء في آخره، وكنا نياما في المركب لا نعلم بأمر الطوفان، الطوفان في نهاية النفق. خرج لنا جيل ما بعد التغيير بصورة لامعة ومتفردة، مزج ألم الماضي بأمل المستقبل واضعين جسرا من التساؤلات بينهما. فتحت جفوننا الشعرية بعدهم على الطوفان، على الفاجعة والدم، طوفان الدم لنصبح شعراء ما بعد ...  Read More »

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Armenian Diaspora Tourism in Turkey: An Interview with Anny Bakalian

[This interview explores the rising phenomenon of diaspora Armenians traveling throughout Anatolia, following their ancestors’ footprints. Specifically, it focuses on the following questions: What is the meaning of Armenian diaspora tourism to Turkey? Is it a return to the homeland? What emotions do travelers share ...  Read More »

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Kenneth Balfelt

In September, Medrar.TV organized an arts documentation workshop with Kopenhagen Channel to feature a selection of Danish and Arab artists working in Denmark. We start the series with a profile of Danish artist Kenneth Balfelt, who has been implementing projects in public spaces around the world for over a decade. His ...  Read More »

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Maspero II: The Sequel

March 2014 Darb 1718, Cairo In 2011, artist Ali Abdel Mohsen invited a selection of artists to reflect on Egyptian State Television in an exhibition titled ‘Maspero’. Egyptian State Television sent out its first broadcast on 21 July 1960. This was the first step in what would become "a long history of ...  Read More »

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Exhibiting the War in Syria: Interview with Khaled Malas

[Khaled Malas is a Syrian architect who curated a series of events on the production of the landscape in Syria from before the First World War until today, entitled “excavating the sky” (12-14 August, 2014), at the 14th Venice International Architecture Biennale (7 June to 23 November 2014). In this interview, he ...  Read More »

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Laughing in the Kingdom: On Saudi YouTube Comedy

“No woman, no drive. Said I remember, when you used to sit in the family car, but backseat. Ova-ovaries all safe and well. So you can make lots and lots of babies.”  These are the opening lyrics of a satirical song parodying Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” and poking fun at a Saudi cleric’s statement in ...  Read More »

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Gulf Women's Writing: On Slavery, Migrant Labor, and Statelessness

On 10 November, Mona Kareem will give a talk at Binghamton University (1:00pm in room LT 1506) on how Gulf women writers adopt—or challenge—nationalist narratives. How, Kareem asks, do women writers deal with racialized minorities, migrants, and stateless individuals? What kinds of feminist positions are taken within ...  Read More »

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Next to Here

Young Photographers from North Africa and the Middle East  September - November 2014 Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo This exhibition presents 18 photographic works by young documentary photographers from North Africa and the Middle East. The works originated in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, ...  Read More »

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نون إنسان

-1- تنحني هذه الرسوم والكلمات لحرف النون، فالنون وعاء كلمة إنسان (ا ن س ا ن). والإنسان تحتويه نونان، لذا كان الإنسان مثنى مذ كان. فكلمة إنسان تضمر المثنى وتعلن المفرد، لأنها تدلّ على الذكر والأنثى. فيها نستعيد المثنى الذي كان علامة سيد الشعراء وملك الغرباء. فأمروء القيس لم يقف ويستوقف ويخاطب المثنى في بداية معلقته، ...  Read More »

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