Nadi al-Sinama in Damascus, or when Cinema Wielded Power to Threaten the Social Order

Spring 2008 | ArteZine

Rasha Salti interviews Omar Amiralay.   How did the ciné-club begin? It was founded in 1952 by a man whose name was Dr. Haddad, if my memory serves me right, he was a French-language professor at the university. The Damascus Ciné-club was instituted to show films to catholic schools students, in other words, it was […]

Jean Genet and the Middle East: Sexuality, Politics and Literature

Spring 2007 | ArteZine

Jean Genet’s first encounters and homosexual experiences in North Africa and the Middle East were part of his tours with the French army in the early 1930s, with the most time being spent in Syria and Morocco. For his stay in Syria, he first arrived in Beirut, where he witnessed the hanging of four men, […]

Reflections: Athir Shayota

Winter 2007 | ArteZine

    Q: How do you see the state of contemporary international art? How does art function in today’s global society?   A: The state of contemporary international art exists in at least two forms: the first is the market driven product that challenges no authority and reflects on benign notions, the contemporary art one […]


Spring 2008 | ArteZine

  Available here in French (PDF).   One sure way of sounding like an old fart to younger generations of Algerians, is to keep reminiscing about the good old days when you could still go to the movies in Algiers, before the wide spread of video and satellite television in the end of the 1980s. […]

Reflections: Mustafa Ali

Winter 2007 | ArteZine

Q: How do you see the state of contemporary international art? How does art function in today’s global society?   A: Fragmentation, aimlessness and uselessness are the big events that have affected art activity. The harshness of the experience appeared in the big movement. Reflected in all art activities and expression, beginning from the art […]

Echo of Islam in the West: Reactions to the Wearable Mosque

Spring 2009 | ArteZine

What the conflicts over the newly planned mosques in countries such as Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Italy, and the United States have in common is the attitude that it is acceptable to build a new mosque, as long as it does not look like one.  Notwithstanding the fact that Muslim citizens in these countries have a […]

Alien, By Any Other Name

Summer 2008 | ArteZine

If pop culture were candy, my childhood would have been one long stomachache. I devoured the stuff like it was religion, sifting through it for signs of higher intelligence, or lower intelligence, and maybe some sense of my own intelligence (that search goes on, by the way). This hunger has continued throughout my so-called adulthood, […]

What to Do With the Mobility Fetish: Notes for Future Artist Residencies

Winter 2012 | ArteZine

There was a time when we weren’t taking artist-in-residence programs seriously enough. But the political map of the world is changing; as funding for art shifts, we find ourselves in a moment where rethinking residencies is necessary. Museums, galleries and public spaces all underwent a significant reformulation of their concepts, histories, limitations and potentialities. Now […]

Murmur in a Giraffe’s Ear

Spring 2008 | ArteZine

A long time ago the Syrian Baathist government nationalized cultural institutions, swiftly placing the iron noose around their necks. I must have been 14 years old when I woke up one morning to found the Cinema Orient (Cinema Al-Sharq) moniker covered with a white canvas that read, in red Arabic letters, Cinema al-Kindi. I’d never […]

Ahmed Zaki…The Real and the Image

Spring 2006 | ArteZine

The following fragments are excerpts from Mustafa Muharam’s book on Ahmed Zaki, which was compiled from the weekly articles that Muharam has written about the late star in the Egyptian weekly al-Qahira. Fragments chosen and translated by Karim Taroussieh.   It is so difficult for one to be objective when writing about Ahmed Zaki! I […]