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Anny Gaul


Romance, not Romanticized: Three Stories of Love and Loss from the Boston Palestine Film Festival

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Love During Wartime, directed by Gabriella Bier. Sweden, 2010. Paradise Lost, directed by Ibtissam Mara’anah. Israel-Palestine, 2003. 77 Steps, directed by Ibtissam Mara’anah. Israel-Palestine, 2010. All three films are playing at the Boston Palestine Film Festival this week. In their films, Ibtissam Mara’anah and Gabriella Bier both focus on romantic relationships that cross the Palestinian-Israeli divide. Bier’s Love During Wartime follows a married couple grappling ...

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Hope, Translated

[A view of Spain as seen from Tangiers. Photo by Anny Gaul.]

Laila Lalami, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin, 2005. Tahar Ben Jelloun, A Palace in the Old Village. Translated by Linda Coverdale. New York: Penguin, 2011. Already, the narratives of the Arab Spring dominating the American media have a nebulous relationship with the human stories behind the events. The deaths of Mohammed Bouazizi and Khaled Said usually mark the beginning of the story, to be sure. But beyond a handful of famous and visceral ...

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From Dance to Transcendence

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Dunia: Kiss Me Not on the Eyes. Directed by Jocelyn Saab. Egypt/Lebanon/France, 2005. It might seem that a dance film about female circumcision can only devolve into a cliché-laden take on an over-exhausted (and over-analyzed) subject, but Dunia: Kiss Me Not on the Eyes manages to encompass both the drama of dance and the complexities of female circumcision without being hijacked by either. Refreshingly, Dunia is less about female circumcision (or khittan, as it is referred ...

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Anny Gaul


Anny Gaul is a PhD student in Arabic Language and Literature at Georgetown University, where she earned an MA in Arab Studies. Her research and writing interests include gender and development, the politics of representation, and food.