“They’re not there to talk about gender, but obviously it stems from a feminine and feminist perspective,” said Hafez. And, as there is a prevalent American media depiction of Middle Eastern women as disempowered, audience members who entered the venue drunk on that spiked Kool-Aid were likely to leave sobered up by the diversity and evident power of the performers. Said choreographer and NYLA artistic director Bill T. Jones, who conceived the festival with Kriegsmann, “We think [women from the MENA region] are oppressed or deluded. Then we see these women expressing themselves as individuals. That’s important for us to see.”
"On 25 January 2014, thousands of people gathered in Tahrir Square to celebrate the third anniversary of the Egyptian revolution. On that day, only the supporters of the army and the actions of its commander in chief were admitted into the square. The Muslim Brotherhood and opposition protests taking place in the vicinity were immediately crushed with tear gas and live ammunition. The proximity of the celebrations and the killings led many journalists to call it a day of 'death and dance'. The festive crowd was likened to a 'hysterical choir of fear'."
Youssef Nabil’s hand-coloured homage to Egypt’s Golden Age and the art of the belly dancer. Nabil’s oeuvre is an act of self-preservation, but also an act of preserving a history beyond that of his own: the history of a country and culture
The Musicians Syndicate attempted to shut down two “Satanist parties” held in Cairo on Saturday night, according to syndicate head Hany Shaker, citing a Western conspiracy to corrupt young Egyptians.
"I wanted to make a film about the disenfranchised youth, the millennials, who are more voiceless and have less political representation, less economic opportunities," says Sabbagh, who, like many emerging Saudi creatives, cut his teeth making YouTube videos. "It’s also about censorship, the layers of censorship and authority."
This essay revolves around a very personal question for me -- the name of the language I spoke with my grandparents and parents. Baghdadi-Jews like my family spoke the language, first in Iraq, then in Israel, and later in the US. For us, it was simply Arabic, although we also knew of course that it was a dialect, a specific form of an ‘amiyya; in our case, Iraqi, Baghdadi, Jewish Arabic. Within the Jewish-Baghdadi dialect itself, we commonly referred to it as haki mal yihud (the speech of the Jews) in contrast to the neighboring dialect, haki mal aslam (the speech of the Muslims).
Review of Speed Sisters, directed by Amber Fares. Palestine, 2015