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Sophie Chamas


Sympathy for the Devil: Palestine’s Tragic Collaborators

[Film still from Hany Abu-Assad's Omar (2013). Image copyright the filmmaker. Courtesy of Film Press Plus.]

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 character scales the portion of the separation wall isolating his West Bank neighborhood from that of his childhood friends, his resistance brigade, and his love interest. Omar fearlessly scurries along the ...

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How to Do Things with Hair

[Rokni and Ramin Haerizadeh

How to Do Things with Hair Curated by Barrak Alzaid  thejamjar, Dubai, UAE 26 October—2 December, 2013   Curator Barrak Alzaid has been critically grappling with hair—men’s body hair, to be more precise—for years now. “I find men’s body hair compelling, and as I did studio visits over the last four years, I began to log the variety of ways in which men’s body hair, or accessories of men’s body hair, were deployed.” Alzaid recently translated this ongoing ...

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Watch, See, Feel: Kasim Abid’s Whispers of the Cities

[Film still from Kasim Abid's

Whispers of the Cities, directed by Kasim Abid. Iraq/UAE, 2013. Iraqi filmmaker Kasim Abid’s documentary Whispers of the Cities, which premiered at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in October, is the result of ten years spent observing life in the “conflict cities” of Ramallah, Baghdad, and Erbil. The director set up cameras near the windows and balconies of his apartments in the three locations in order to passively document the drudgery of day-to-day life in Erbil in 2002, ...

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Bodies Moving to Memory

[Monira Al Qadiri,

antinormanybody. Curated by Barrak Alzaid. Organized with the support of Kleio Projects & International Resource Network. June 23 – August 10, 2011. Kleio Projects: 153½ Stanton Street, New York, NY. I wandered the Lower East Side on a sweaty summer morning in search of Kleio Projects Gallery, curiously located on 153 and a half Stanton Street, feeling like a young Harry Potter on his first visit to King’s Cross Station, trying to find the peculiarly titled Platform 9 ...

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Sophie Chamas

Sophie Chamas is a freelance writer based in Dubai, and co-editor of the Middle East focused online publication Mashallah News. Her writing has appeared in The State, The Outpost, Al Jazeera English and Kalimat Magazine, among others. A list of her published work can be found on her blog.