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Yasmine Hamdan

[Screenshot from video below.]

 April 2014 D-CAF Festival, Qasr el-Nile Theater, Cairo Yasmine Hamdan became known with Soapkills, the Arab indie band she founded in Beirut with fellow musician Zeid Hamdan in the nineties. Soapkills’ music quickly became the soundtrack to a vibrant, young arts scene which developed in postwar Lebanon, and the band gradually acquired an emblematic status. To this day, Yasmine is considered an underground icon throughout the Arab world. After moving to Paris, she worked with Mirwais, CocoRosie and Marc Collin on producing her solo albums, which draw on various Arab and Western music genres and styles, and often use irony and humor for social critique.  In ...

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Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani: A Profile from the Archives

[Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani]

[”A Profile from the Archives“  is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Sayyid Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani Known As: Al-Husseini – His father is Safdar Date of Birth: August 1838 Place of Birth: Asadabad (Afghanistan/Iran) Profession: Primarily a politician, he was also a journalist and a public intellectual. He is considered one of the leading pioneers of the ...

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Algeria’s Jewish Past-Present

[Interior of Ghardaïa Synagogue, Image from Sarah Abrevaya Stein]

Given other dramatic events this summer, readers might be forgiven for failing to notice a curious announcement the Algerian Minister of Religious Affairs, Mohamed Aïssa, issued on 3 July. The statement advertised that the ministry was to reopen twenty-five of the synagogues that still remain in the country. This announcement is of far more than local concern, teaching us a great deal about the complex way in which the Middle Eastern Jewish past is put to use in the interest of contemporary politics. Aïssa’s proposal was meant to highlight Algeria’s inclusivity, and, thereby, to distinguish its path from that of nearby Tunisia and Egypt. Part of what made this ...

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Mohamed Choukri: A Profile from the Archives

[Writer Mohamed Choukri]

[”A Profile from the Archives“  is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic  and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Mohamed Choukri Known As: The White Blackbird Date of Birth: 1935 Place of Birth: Village of Ayt Chiker, Nador province, northern Morrocco Nationality: Morroccan Profession: Author   Mohamed Choukri   Born in 1935 in the village of Ayt Chiker in the Beni ...

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Khaled Takreti: Modern Life

[Khaled Takreti,

Syrian artist Khaled Takreti has spent the greater part of his twenty-year career exploring a personal history that stretches between Beirut, where he was born in 1964; Damascus, where he lived before moving to the United States in his early thirties; and Paris, where he has resided since 2004. The episodic nature of the painter’s oeuvre dates back to the 1990s, when he began to address self-reflexive themes through autobiographical composites. The culled figures of his canvases are based on his family and friends, and often include self-portraits; otherwise, fictionalized moments allude to exhumed apprehension or desire. As protagonists and objects recur from one ...

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Samih al-Qasim: The Last Train

[Image of Letter from Rashid Hussein to Samih al-Qasim, May 18, 1970]

[The late Palestinian poet, Samih al-Qasim, was also a talented essayist, writing regularly in the Arabic-language press of Palestine/Israel. He was also a compelling orator and correspondent. The collection of his letters with Mahmoud Darwish is a uniquely great accomplishment of modern epistolary literature. Al-Qasim's correspondence with Rashid Hussein is slim by comparison, yet this 1990 "letter"—addressed on the thirteenth anniversary of Hussein's tragic death—stands out.] Rashid, my brother — Believe it or not, but after all this time separated from one another, you may find it hard to recognize me when you stand there on the station platform, waiting ...

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ABOUNADDARA’s Take on Images in the Syrian Revolution: A Conversation between Charif Kiwan and Akram Zaatari (Part Two)

[The Abounaddara Logo. Image from author]

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Revolutionary Street Art: Complicating the Discourse

[Image from Hossam El-Hamalawy]

The graffiti and street art of revolutionary Egypt have been researched many times over by now. Journalists and scholars have explored the phenomenon in its many aspects—as evolving visual text, as political rhetoric and as an act of protest in its own right. The claims about the protest street art and graffiti that have proliferated across public Egyptian walls since 2011 have been many, and include: the spread of revolutionary graffiti in Egypt was a sign and act of citizens reclaiming public space from the regime; street art worked to raise awareness and build community and solidarity among people; street art served as a tool by which citizens could (re)claim agency, ...

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Call for Submissions: Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Graduate Paper in Modern and Contemporary Arab Art

Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Graduate Paper in Modern and Contemporary Arab Art Submission Deadline: 1 December 2014 Description The Association of Modern and Conctmporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey (AMCA) is currently accepting submissions for the 2015 Rhonda A. Saad Prize for Best Graduate Paper in Modern and Contemporary Arab Art. In its fourth year, the award aims to recognize and promote excellence in the field of modern and contemporary Arab art. The prize is offered to a graduate student working in any discipline whose paper is judged to provide the most significant contribution to the disciplines of Art History and Middle East ...

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Call for Artists: International Juried Exhibition—Focus Iran: Contemporary Photography and Video (Deadline: 21 September 2014)

For Immediate Release Contact: Sasha Ali | Exhibitions Manager pr@cafam.org | 323.937.4230 x25 Call for Artists: International Juried Exhibition—Focus Iran: Contemporary Photography and Video LOS ANGELES — The Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) and Farhang Foundation announce a collaboration for a juried exhibition of contemporary photography and video works relating to Iranian culture and heritage. The exhibition Focus Iran: Contemporary Photography and Video is an opportunity to expose and feature emerging and mid-career photographers and media artists from around the world. Approximately 25 selected photographs and videos will be displayed in a group exhibition ...

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ملف من الأرشيف: محمد شكري

[الكاتب محمد شكري]

["ملف من الأرشيف" هي سلسة تقوم "جدلية" بنشرها بالعربية والإنجليزية بالتعاون مع جريدة ”السفير“ اللبنانية. الملفات لشخصيات أيقونية تركت أثراً عميقاً في الحقل السياسي والثقافي في العالم العربي.]           الاسم: محمد شكري الشهرة: الشحرور الأبيض تاريخ الولادة: ١٩٣٥  مكان الولادة: قرية بني شيكر في محافظة الناظور شمال المغرب الجنسية: مغربي المهنة : أديب

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Studio Visit with Doa Aly

[Much of Aly's recent work is inspired by accounts of mental patients from the 19th century. Image courtesy of MedrarTV.]

Doa Aly May 2014 Cairo, Egypt   In May, Egyptian artist Doa Aly opened her Cairo studio to the crews of Medrar.TV and Vernissage TV for a day. Aly shared with us her artistic processes and how her interests have developed since her first painting show in 2002 to her more recent drawings and performance videos. Much of Aly's work is inspired by her interest in aberrations of the human form, archaic literature, and classical dance. She often uses an interdisciplinary approach to explore lust as a fundamental condition of humanity, taking inspiration from short stories, epics, myths, folktales, and medical manuals that speak of an intense ...

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Telepoetic with Rami Abadir

February 2014 Alexandria, Egypt Medrar.TV is kicking off its special music series with a match up between Telepoetic and Rami Abadir. The Alexandrian band is the outcome of a mixture of musical backgrounds and experiments by the trio: Amir Rizk on drums and pads, Mohamed Desouky on bass guitar, and Ahmed Saleh playing electronics, keys and electric guitar. Telepoetic’s sound has been difficult to categorize although the band’s growing fan base shows that it is gaining wide appeal. Telepoetic’s music is ...

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The Question of Judeo/Arabic(s): Itineraries of Belonging [Lecture at GMU]

CSC cultural Studies Colloquium, a forum for interdisciplinary research, presents: The Question of Judeo/Arabic(s): Itineraries of Belonging Ella Shohat Co-presented with the Middle East Studies Program and the Arab Studies Institute Thursday, September 18, 2014 4:30-6:30pm Johnson Center, Meeting Room E GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY Ella Shohat is the author or editor of numerous books, including Race in Translation: Culture Wars around the Postcolonial Atlantic (NYU ...

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ملف من الأرشيف: محمد عبده

"ملف من الأرشيف" هي سلسة تقوم "جدلية" بنشرها بالعربية والإنجليزية بالتعاون مع جريدة ”السفير“ اللبنانية. الملفات لشخصيات أيقونية تركت أثراً عميقاً في الحقل السياسي والثقافي في العالم العربي.]         الإسم: محمد عبده بن حسين خير الله. تاريخ الولادة: ولد محمد عبده في عام 1849. مكان الولادة: من عائلة ريفية في قرية "محلة نصر" بمحافظة البحيرة في منطقة الدلتا في وقت عانت فيه أسر الفلاحين من الضرائب والقوانين المجحفة التي فرضتها الحكومة ...

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September Culture Bouquet

Almost a decade ago, Saadi Youssef began his poem "Imru' al-Qays' Grandson" by asking: "Is it your fault that once you were born in that country? / Three quarters of a century / and you still pay from your ebbing blood / its tax." He ended the poem with an even more vexing question: "What is it to you / now when you are asked to do the impossible?" As this long hot summer ends, we would not be mistaken to imagine these lines could be about Gaza, Mosul, or Ferguson. ...

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Samih al-Qasim: I Will Engrave Our Names on the Wind

[While well-known as a poet, the late Samih al-Qasim was also a talented essayist, writing regularly in the Arabic-language press of Palestine/Israel. He was also a remarkable public speaker and letter writer. Over a period of two years—from May 1986 to May 1988—al-Qasim exchanged a series of extraordinary letters with Mahmoud Darwish. The letters are monuments to poetry and language and also friendship and love and, not surprisingly considering the authors, contain some of the most moving ...

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Samih al-Qasim: Two Poems

  1. “RAFAH’S CHILDREN” (1971) To the one who digs his path through the wounds of millions To he whose tanks crush all the roses in the garden Who breaks windows in the night Who sets fire to a garden and museum and sings of freedom. Who stomps on songbirds in the public square. Whose planes drop bombs on childhood’s dream. Who smashes rainbows in the sky.   Tonight, the children of the impossible roots have an announcement for you, Tonight, the children of Rafah say: “We have never ...

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من إنجيل العراق الضائع

عراقنا الذي في الهباءاتِ، ليَتَقَدّسِ اسْمُكَ، ليأتِ جحيمكَ، لتكُنْ مشيئتُكَ، كما في السماء كذلك على الأرض. موتنا كفافنا أعطِنا كلّ يومٍ. ولا تغفر لنا خياناتنا، لأننا لا نغفر لمن خاننا. ولا تدخلنا في التجربة، فقد تعبنا. . . آمين  

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Khalil Sweileh: from Barbarians' Paradise

[The following excerpts are from Khalil Sweileh’s Barbarian’s Paradise (Jannat al-barabira) (Cairo: Dar Al-‘Ayn, 2014). The book is structured as a journal chronicling life in Damascus; the entries start in April 2012 and end in December 2013. The narrator moves through Damascus, both present day and past, describing scenes of daily life, both the mundane and the newsworthy, cataloguing the destruction and suffering of the country and its people, and recording the evolution of the conflict. Woven into ...

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نفس الكتاب".. جرحٌ تعجز الكتابة عن لَأْمِه"

المراسلات دوائر لا تكتمل بغير العداوة أو الموت، تُشبه حركتها خفقان القلب ومداعبة اليد لكلب الزّمن، يجري لاهثا خلف حلول الطّريق، دون أنْ يجد الماء في البئر. هكذا يؤوب الجنس الرّسائليّ دوماً إلى صيغة من صيغ العطش: الرّسالة الأولى، ثمّ ماذا؟ الرّسالة الأخيرة، ما الحلّ؟ أيّا يكن الحلّ المفترض، فإنّ كلّا من عبد الكبير الخطيبي (1938-2009) وجاك حسّون (1936-1999)، على مدار خمس سنوات، بين 29 يوليوز/يوليو 1980 و17 مارس/آذار 1985، لم يكُفّا عن تبادل رسائل متقاطعة بلغت 45 رسالة، عبَرت مكاتب البريد في باريس والرّباط ...

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New Texts Out Now: Erin Runions, The Babylon Complex: Theopolitical Fantasies of War, Sex, and Sovereignty

Erin Runions, The Babylon Complex: Theopolitical Fantasies of War, Sex, and Sovereignty. New York: Fordham University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Erin Runions (ER): Living in New York City in 2001 and after, I was involved in the anti-war movement that protested the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. I wanted to understand what compels people in the United States to accept war, occupation, and torture. Religion is one such driving force. The Bible provides much of the ...

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Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab: A Profile from the Archives

[”A Profile from the Archives“ is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Badr Last Name: Al-Sayyab Father’s Name: Shakir Mother’s Name: Karimah Al-Sayyab Place of Birth: Jekor Date of Birth: 1925 Date of ...

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An Excerpt from Sinan Antoon's "Ave Maria"

[The events of Ave Maria take place in a single day. Two characters from an Iraqi Christian family who are drawn together by the situation in the country under the same roof in Baghdad narrate these events. Youssef is an elderly man in his seventies. He refuses to emigrate and leave the house he himself built and where he has lived for half a century. He still clings to hope and memories of a happier past. Maha is a young woman whose life has been torn apart by sectarian violence. Her family is displaced ...

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