Tuesday, September 18, 2012

AMENDS Talks and Application Launch

I attended last year's AMENDS Summit at Stanford and was very impressed by the speakers and the way the whole event was conducted.  This year's summit promises to be as exciting as ever!
--Dr. Ramzi Salti, Lecturer in Arabic, Stanford University

Happy Fall! On behalf of the American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford University, we are honored to announce the launch of the AMENDS Talks from our 2012 Summit. These Talks are a truly unique opportunity to hear the voices of some of the leaders who at the forefront of the changes in the Middle East. We hope you will engage with the youth leaders' ideas, share the Talks with your family and friends, and seek ways to contribute to their movements and initiatives - or start projects of your own. Check out our promotional clip of the Talks. Your help spreading the AMENDS Talks will be invaluable in creating greater understanding between the United States and Middle East, and in ensuring that the voices of these innovative youth leaders are heard.

As we begin to embark on our second year, we hope you will continue to join us in our journey to enable some the most promising youth change agents from across the Middle East, North Africa, and United States to learn from each other, advance their work, and share, through TED style talks, their ideas and experiences with the world. To that end, the 2013 Delegate Application is now open. We are looking for youth leaders from all across the Middle East, North Africa, and the United States who are addressing social, political, or economic issues in innovative ways. The Summit will be held from April 9 - 13, 2013, at Stanford University and the deadline to apply is October 26, 2012.

We look forward to continue working with you as we move forward into a our second year. Thank you for all your support.

The AMENDS Team

PROMOTIONAL VIDEO FOR/BY AMENDS:



Islamic Art and Culture Workshops in Oakland this November





Visit www.zawaya.org for more details.

Islamic civilization boasts an intellectual, artistic, and cultural heritage that spans continents and centuries. The gradations of shape, color, taste, texture, and sound that exist within and between Muslim peoples and cultures are as rich and diverse as their ideas and attitudes, as well as their languages, races, and ethnicities. Out of this fertile and potent mix of elements emerged artforms and practices that can enrich and beautify our lives.

Zawaya thus launches an original event: ”Doorway to Islamic Civilization”, a weekend collection of hands-on workshops on Islamic art and culture set against the current social backdrop of Islamophobia. These workshops are meant to give those interested the opportunity to get to know Islam and Muslims by providing a safe space within which to explore and experience the Islamic sense of beauty embodied in art, crafts, music, architecture, and more. In addition to the workshops, there will be a film showing of “Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World” followed by a panel discussion between the filmmaker, Michael Wolfe, and Islamic art and architecture experts. The Mevlevi Order of America will also be present to offer a Dhikr (a devotional act) by Mevlevi musicians and dervish turners.

Visit www.zawaya.org for more details. 




'The Meaning of Arabic Literature': New Course at Stanford by Prof Alexander Key



Course description and details (provided by Professor Alexander Key):

The Meaning of Arabic Literature (COMP LIT 141A)

In this course we will read a book: "The Table-talk of a Mesopotamian Judge" by Abu Ali al-Muhassin b. Ali at-Tanukhi (who died in Baghdad in 994).

This book was written to be amusing, diverting, and pleasant to read. Today, one thousand years later on the other side of the world, it is puzzling, surprising, and difficult to come to terms with. The gap between these two reader experiences is the subject matter of this course.

The aim of the course is to bridge that gap: to come to enjoy and be challenged by the Table-Talk in the way that at-Tanukhi wanted his mediaeval readers to take both intellectual and literary pleasure from reading his book.

Engaging in this process will give us:
1. A new understanding of how a literary composition can be written, and of how a collection of anecdotes can be used to introduce and question big ideas about religion, fate, power, and success.
2. A new understanding of the role that literature (both poetry and prose) played in the political and professional life of mediaeval Baghdad.
3. An appreciation of how the golden age of Baghdad was different – both different from our expectations and different from our current context.

This reading process will develop and enhance the following skills:
A. Reading that branches out from a text to investigate context, frame unfamiliar people, places, and ideas, and follow leads.
B. Reading that looks for and creates its own structures and themes, rather than having them laid out by the author.

The course will take place in Fall 2012 (right now!) on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:15 to 3:45pm in Building 260 Room 001.

All Readings, assignments, and class discussion will be in English.

Professor Alexander Key / akey@stanford.edu /

Monday, September 17, 2012

Tentacles and Rainbows: A Book by Mohammad Badeges


Publication Date: March 14, 2012

In ancient Arabia there lives a clan bent on staving off the Roman infringement, in Egypt a dying queen attains the means to eternal life, Sparta; a ravaged warrior finds solace in the bosom of a tortured goddess, and in the valleys of Lebanon; a priestess sells her soul to the demands of immortal lust. A story of aimless and immortal vengeance.

Paperback: 638 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (March 14, 2012)
Language: English

You can order the book through amazon at THIS LINK



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Special Pre-Fall Edition of 'Arabology' Available (Sept 12 Podcast)

The podcast from the special pre-Fall edition of my radio show 'Arabology' (aired Sept 12, 2012) is available for free downloading at http://radio4all.net/index.php/program/62895

Or you can listen instantly by clicking on this link: http://www.radio4all.net/files/author30@gmail.com/4294-1-Arabology_pre_Fall_2012.mp3

This special pre-Fall ediition of Arabology featured music by Mashrou' Leila, Natacha Atlas, El Morabba3, DAM, Pangia, Maryam, Cheb Khaled, Yasmine Hamdan, Sae Lis, Yemen Blues, Trio Joubran, Omeima El Khalil, and others.

Show also included Top Arabic Films of all-time, reviewed in English by Ahmad Q.

Thanks for listening!

Ramzi Salti, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Author & Radio DJ
Stanford University

DJ Ramzi (left) with Ahmad Q on Sept 12, 2012



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My CD Review of 'Paleo Festival Nyon 2012: Moyen Orient'

Couv CD VdM

Various Artists / Paleo Festival Nyon 2012--Moyen Orient
Label: Disques Office

Ramzi S.
Reviewed 2012-09-12

--All Tracks are FCC CLEAN except Track 2--

The Paleo Festival Village du Monde is part of an annual music festival
that takes place in Switzerland and features some of the greatest
musicians from around the world. This year (2012) the world music venue
focused on artists from the Middle East, all of whom performed at the
festival, including some from Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and other places in
the region.

1. Omar Souleyman "Hafer Gabrak Bidi" Loud, joyous, upbeat tune that
sounds like something that would play at an Arab wedding. (3:35)
2. Balkan Beat Box "Political F*ck" (EXPLICIT) Noisy, catchy, with lots
of explicatives (3:47)
**3. DAM "Mali Huriye' Palestinian band DAM singing a hip hop tune
about freedom. (3:41)
**4. Mashrou' Leila "Imm El Jacket" A gender bending song by the
Lebanese group Mashrou' Leila about a guy who is attracted to a girl
whom he thought was another guy (3:03)
5. Baba Zula "Temptation" African drums and beat along with repetitive
lyrics about temptation (4:32)
**6. Natacha Atlas "Taalet" Upbeat tune with Arabic lyrics by a singer
known for her fusion of Arabic and Western electronic music (3:13)
7. Trio Joubran "Nawwar" Instrumental piece by this Oud trio. Mid
tempo, slows down in middle (4:42)
8. Ibrahim Maalouf "Will Soon Be a Woman" A mellow instrumental by
Maalouf who is noted for playing Arabic music with quarter tones on the
trumpet (5:25)
**9. Avishai Cohen "Alon Basela" Beautiful, mellow tune by Israeli
singer/composer Avishai Cohen who is one of the most gifted bassists of
his generation. Lyrics in Hebrew. (4:07)
10. Egyptian Project "Anta Ana"Upbeat song with lots of Eastern
instruments blended with Arabic vocals (4:02)
11. Niyaz "Parishaan" Representing Iranian music in this venue, this new
track by Niyaz is sung in Farsi, Khorasani dialect (3:57)
12. Jack Is Dead & son Orchestre Iranian "The Wasp vs. The Hand" Catchy
tune with English lyrics; haunting back vocals (4:03)
**13. Yemen Blues "Eli" Israeli band featuring the fascinating voice of
Ravid Kahalani who, shaped by his origins as a Yemeni Jew, brilliantly
evokes the musical universe of his ancestors. . (5:46)
14. The Alaev Family "Sarsari" Hailing from Tajikistan and now based in
Israel, these dynamic musicians and drummers innovatively meld Central
Asian, Turkish, Persian, and Russian traditions as well as the Jewish
music of Bukhara (3:11)
15. Broukar "Mawal" Mesmerizing instrumental, slow and haunting, lots of
Oud playing, vocals in Arabic sound like a lamentation (6:31)

**My picks: 3, 4, 9, 13 Ramzi Salti

This review also available at this LINK


My CD Review of Omeima El Khalil: Ya



El Khalil, Omeima / Ya

Album: Ya Collection: World
Artist: El Khalil, Omeima Added: 09/2012
Label: Forward Music

Album Review

Ramzi S.
Reviewed 2012-09-11

--All Tracks are FCC CLEAN—

Known throughout the Eighties and Nineties for her powerful vocals and somewhat traditional songs, Omeima El Khalil’s 2011 album represents a break from the norm for this relatively famous female vocalist who attempts to now fuse western beats with Arabic lyrics while tackling themes that center on love’s joy and pain. Latin beats dominate several of the tracks on this CD, while other songs sound traditionally Egyptian.

**1. “Ouhibbouka Akhtar” (I Love You More) (5:32) An a cappella declaration of passion; haunting vocals (5:32).
2. “Ya Helou” (Handsome Guy) fuses salsa rhythms with Arabic lyrics. (4:17)
3. “Daret El Kahweh” (Serving Coffee) Slow ballad about drinking coffee from a broken cup. (6:56).
4. “Ya Sidi” (Master) is the single that was commercially released and seems the least interesting in terms of musical experimentation (4:04)
5. “Ila Akhirihi” (Etc.) sounds a bit bluesy and jazzy while mixed with a Latin beat that changes into regular Arabic rhythm (3:51)
**6. “Shab Y Sabiyeh”(A Boy and a Girl) Sweet, romantic ballad about a love that defies society and time.(5:07)
7. “Laff” (Turn) Fast rhythm, danceable, long musical introduction no lyrics, just chanting (4:05)
8. “Iyam” (Days) Starts slow then picks up. Song about jealousy and envy among people (4:42)
**9. “Mazaj”(Mood) (Beirut Biloma Remix) Western rhythm, slow ballad, featuring Omeima’s chanting voice without any lyrics (5:48).

**My picks: 1, 6, 9 Ramzi Salti


Track Listing

1. Ouhibbouka Akthar 6. Ila Rkhirihi
2. Ya Helou 7. Shab Y Sabiyeh
3. Leh? 8. Laff
4. Daret El Kahweh 9. Iyam
5. Ya Sidi 10. Houwe
11. Mazaj (Beirut Biloma Remix)

Review also available on Zookeeper via this link

My CD Review of Pangia: West of East (Vol 5)


Pangia / West Of East
Label: Pangia Vol 5

Ramzi S.
Reviewed 2012-09-11

--All Tracks are FCC CLEAN--

Pangia is a world music band made up of 3 musicians: Pat Olson (Oud,
Guitar, Vocals, Keyboard); Denise Mannion (Keyboard); Carmine T. Guida
(Doumbeck, Accordion, Riq). This album focuses mainly on songs
from/about Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and intersects them with different
world beats and rhythms. Some tracks are written and produced by Pat
Olson while others are remakes of traditional Arabic songs (with a
Pangia twist). Most tracks are instrumentals.

**1. "The Night Is Beautiful" (Lebanon) Lebanese folkloric tune; upbeat
(3:35)
2. "Pharonic Dream" (P. Olson) Drum sounds at beginning lead to slow,
contemplative melody with lots of Oud playing (3:28) .
3. "Insha'Allah Drum Solo" (C. Guida) Rythmic melody featuring the
Doumbeck drum (3:08)
4. "Finale: The Night is Beautiful" (Lebanon) Shorter version of track
#1 (1:07)
5. "Noora" (Egypt) This is an old song by Farid El Attrache that has
been revamped by Pangia; instrumental, mid-tempo beat (4:53)
6. "Taxsim Extreme"(P. Olson) Slow, grave melody with Oud sound
dominating the track (2:44)
7. "Sarah's Drum Solo" (C. Guida) Drums and Doumbeck; great for belly
dancing (1:42)
**8. "Samra" (Traditional Arabic) Very popular tune revamped by the
group and quite belly-danceable (3:27)
9. "Eastern Fire" (Lebanon) This track 'Farhat Shebab' was written by
Lebanon's Rahbani Bros who are known to have written most of Lebanese
diva Fairuz's songs. Nice joyous tune (3:36
10. "Yalla-Yalli, Chfta-Chifti (P. Olson) Slow, almost tribal tune with
exotic music that sounds like 'The Arabian Nights' (3:40)
11. "Turkish Delight-9/8 Drum Solo" Upbeat, Doumbeck driven tune (C.
Guida) (1:08)
12. "Siz'lah" (Turkey) Fast paced melody (2:52)
13. "Zeina" (Egypt) (3:27) Slow instrumental that pays tribute to
Egyptian composer Muhammad Abdel Wahab
14. "Attar of Roses" (California) Oud, slow (2:30)
15. "Mandala California Drum Solo" Typical Pangia belly dancing tune (C.
Guida) (1:43)
16. "Ah, Vervina!" (P.Olson) Nice rhythmic melody, fast (2:30)
**17. "Sultana" (P.Olson & C. Guida) Oud intro picks up as tune develops
(3:34)

**My picks: 1, 8, 17 Ramzi Salti

Review also available on Zookeeper by clicking here

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Learning a Language, and Relearning a Country by Hugh Martin (NYT)

Below is a portion of a beautifully written essay by HUGH MARTIN titled "Learning a Language, and Relearning a Country" which was published in The New York Times on August 27, 2012.  If you like it, then I strongly urge you to read the whole piece at http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/learning-a-language-and-relearning-a-country/

Quote from the New York Times: "For Hugh Martin, taking Arabic as a student almost six years after he had returned as a soldier meant coming to terms with his conditioned prejudices and fears."

Courtesy of Hugh Martin (the author).

Here is a small portion from Hugh Martin's piece in The New York Times (c).   See the complete piece at http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/learning-a-language-and-relearning-a-country/

Running late to class in my third week of Arabic, I jogged up the angled staircase, past the drinking fountains, then turned the corner. My classroom was four doors down the hallway. As I glanced up, I almost smacked heads with a girl — all I saw were her large brown eyes dilated in front of me. Both of us jumped. 

The encounter was eerily similar to the one I’d had that night in Sadiya: her body was covered completely in a black abaya and her head in a black hijab, and a purple veil hid her whole face, except her eyes and the upper bridge of her nose. In this hallway, it was common to see women in traditional Muslim dress because many of the Arabic classes took place on this floor. But for that second, not only was I startled from almost running into someone, but the sudden sight of her veiled face so close to my own caused a slight tinge of nervousness, even fear. In my conscience, I sensed that a vague “danger” signal was going off, and felt wrong for being so close to a woman dressed in traditional Arab garb.

“Excuse me,” I mumbled and stepped to the side. She looked to the ground and passed. Not surprisingly, within seconds, the fear vanished and I felt guilt for having it. My palms were sweating. It’d been more than six years since I’d returned. In some ways, I thought I’d grown, matured, simply gotten over this prejudice, this fear I had had that was so clear on that first raid in Sadiya when I came face to face — the first of many times — with an Iraqi woman in her own home. I knew this cautiousness and suspicion had been necessary in Iraq, but now, back in America, I had to trick myself out of it. This fear seemed to rise from the subconscious: an instinct, not a choice.

Seconds later, as I swung open the door and walked into class, the 20 or so heads of my peers glanced at me. Six or seven girls, including my teacher, looked up in the clothing they wore every day: heads covered with a hijab, only their faces visible. I avoided looking at them because I felt that this prejudice radiated off of me. The white, bearded male, the Iraq veteran — his suspicion and fear of traditional Muslim dress clear in his eyes. Obviously I imagined their thinking this, knowing this, but was it just all in my head?

Read the entire essay at http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/learning-a-language-and-relearning-a-country/

'Bi Beirut' Video Clip by Mike Massy

'Bi Beirut' is a music video by Mike Massy that shows the flaming flairs that Beirut holds within. It is being used to promote the Beirut Marathon.

The words Mike Massy utters "Bi Beirut fi kel chi, fi raked fi machi" [In Beirut there is everything, there is walking and there is running] hold more meaning than the obvious. By "machi" the lyric doesn't just refer to walking but the placidity of nothingness that connects us all. A video full of hidden and obvious messages, a video that makes the spirit dance. 



See http://youtu.be/RXM6VqL8kKc

Lyrics by: Mike Massy, BMA TEAM, Sana Iskandar.
Music and Arrangements: Mike Massy
Musicians:
Vocals: Mike Massy
Drums: Jad Feitrouni
Bass: Rany Battikh
Guitars: Bassem Deaibess
Qanûn: Ghassan Sahhab
Editing and Maquette: Elie Kallab
Recorded and Mixed by Karim Noujaim in collaboration with PHOENIKIA studios.
Mastering engineer: Simon Laham at CRAFTLAB Mastering.
Mike Massy's Media Consultancy: Sana Iskandar.
Video Clip Director: Gigi Roccati
Video Clip Concept: Beirut Marathon Association Team
Video Clip Production: Scratch Productions


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bushra El Turk's Latest News and Upcoming Concerts



Bushra El Turk is an award-winning young British-born Lebanese Composer with an amazing talent for classical music. Bushra El-Turk's ironic and allegorical musical vocabulary derives as much from theatre, dance and literature as it forebears her Lebanese roots, life as a Londoner, and love of folk music.

Bushra began to study the 'cello and piano from a young age at the Centre for Young Musicians and then went on to study composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Julian Philips, where she graduated with a Bachelor and then gained a Master in Composition with Distinction, supported by a PRS Foundation Scholarship.

She has written various works for the concert hall, both performed and broad-casted on radio and television both in the UK, across Europe and the Middle-East.

She has had a particularly fruitful artistic partnership with choreographer Aya Jane Saotome, with whom she has exchanged surreal and absurd themes in music and movement with the dance productions Tende(r)age and Peck! at The Place Theatre in London.

Most notable theatre productions include I Capture the Castle (dir. Christian Burgess) and Twelfth Night (dir. Christopher Luscombe).

Recent projects have included her piece, Kilamuwa I of Zenjirli, based on early Phoenician text, for Orkest de Ereprijs after being selected to participate in the 13th International Young Composers Meeting with Louis Andriessen in the Netherlands following on from a recent invitation to the Sentieri Selvaggi International Composers Masterclass in Milan with Julia Wolfe, Metaphysical Enemy, a piano duet commissioned by Sounds Underground and a piece for flute and piano commissioned by Wissam Boustany.

Her string quartet, Eating Clouds, was among the five selected pieces in the University of Aberdeen International Music Prize and was performed by members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in April.

She was pleased to be invited to participate in the 'Composing for Voice' scheme with Opera Genesis at the Royal Opera House in London.

AWARDS:
Won PRS for Music Foundation's 'Women Make Music Award' to work on Metta Theatre project.
Lebanese Composers CD out in France which features 'Ostina-bush-to' for solo piano
October 6th 2012 - Bushra to present her scores to the President of Lebanon for the inauguration of the Centre du Patrimoine Musical Libanais (CPML)
To start an AHRC-funded PhD in Composition from October


UPCOMING CONCERTS:
1st September, 2012 at 8pm, Atlas Ensemble (28 players) perform 'Dramaticule IV' for 26 non-western and western instruments as part of Atlas Festival , Amsterdam

1st November 2012 at 8pm, University of Princeton performs Eating Clouds as part of Fertile Crescent Women Festival, Princeton, USA

7th November, 2012 at 7:30pm, Dante Quartet, Robert Plane, clarinet and Benjamin Frith, piano, perform 'Dramaticule II' in a concert for Music from Lebanon at St John's Smith Square, London

20th November to 1st December, 2012, 'Arab Nights' in a Metta Theatre production at Soho Theatre and then touring the UK incl. Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre. London, Manchester, etc

30th November, 2012, new commission for the Bramall Festival, Birmingham, UK

12th January 2013, concert at the Lincoln Center, New York City, USA

11th April, 2013, 1:30pm the LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA to perform a new piece as part of LSO Panufnik scheme, conducted by Francois Xavier-Roth at LSO St Luke's, London

For more info see http://www.bushraelturk.com/

Here is a video (audio) of Bushra el Turk - Hall showreel - بشرى الترك

The Art of (Male) Belly Dancing

Male Belly dancer Saleem in Los Angeles
If you have ever wondered if there is such a phenomenon as male belly dancing coming from the Arab world, then Saleem and his ensemble--currently performing in Los Angeles--will function to defy all stereotypes and establish the art of male belly dancing as an artform that can stand on its own.

In fact, Saleem's WHEN MEN DANCE ... FUSION EXOTICA has just been selected as the 'Pick of the Week' by the LA Weekly. In that piece, reviewer Paul Birchall notes that Saleem's "dance tour de force" is part of Highways' annual "Behold" performance festival and presents an intriguingly mixed multicultural bag. Dancers Gabriel Romero and Justo Leonard passionately capture a fascinating mix of machismo and lust in their crackling pas de deux. Ben Jacobs, in flowing Arabic robes, assays a seductive drag siren -- an Indian Hajira, perhaps? -- while Clarence Leonard, portraying a fierce African tribal sex icon, woos him. In addition to providing the evocative, febrile choreography, Saleem himself performs several belly dance routines. And while he's undeniably a "dancer of a certain age," his maturity adds emotional dimension to his movements. His obvious passion for his art is compelling. (Paul Birchall)

For more info see Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; closed. (310) 315-1459

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Weekly Beginning Arabic Night Class @Stanford University Begins September 26

Dr. Ramzi Salti teaching at Stanford University

Registration is now open for anyone interested in learning Arabic from scratch through my Beginning Arabic I course, offered through Stanford's Continuing Studies Program. Anyone is welcome to enroll and no previous knowledge of Arabic needed. Course meets once a week (Wednesdays 7-9 pm) for 10 weeks at Stanford. First class will be on Wed September 26th.


Hope to work with you this Fall!

Ramzi Salti, Ph.D.
Stanford University

Sneak Peak at the Arab Film Festival 2012



Here is a sneak peak at only a couple of the fiulms that will screen at this year's Arab Film Festival which will take place on  October 11 - 21, 2012 in San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, Los Angeles.

The Virgin, The Copts and Me (Documentary)

Namir is a French filmmaker whose Coptic Christian parents moved to France in 1973. One day he watches a video of the Virgin Mary's apparition with his mother who, like millions of other Copts, sees the Virgin while he sees nothing. Skeptical, Namir travels to Egypt, interviewing Christian and Muslim witnesses claiming to see the 1968 apparition. Comedic moments abound from his French producer's exasperation as Namir veers from the prescribed documentary about inter-faith violence, to wrangling with his mother, a skeptic herself about his ability to not produce another failure, "just like your last." Best Arab Documentary 2011 Doha Tribeca Film Festival.
Here is the trailer for this documentary:



Rough Hands (Narrative Feature)
Mustapha is a forty-year-old barber in Casablanca. His clients are retired high-ranking government officials and power brokers. On the side, Mustapha has an underground business "facilitating" paperwork, using his privileged access to grease the wheels of bureaucracy. Zakia is a thirty-year-old schoolteacher whose fiancé has immigrated to Spain. Longing to join him, she asks Mustapha to forge her papers and an unexpected destiny awaits. Populated by characters who must bend the system to get by, Mohamed Asli's follow-up to his acclaimed debut In Casablanca, Angels Don't Fly is a bold indictment of the type of society produced by a corrupt police state.
Here is the trailer for this film:

The Suffering Grasses (Documentary)
Against the backdrop of the Arab Spring and the complicated politics of the region, this documentary seeks to explore the Syrian conflict through the humanity of the civilians who have been killed, abused, and displaced to refugee camps. While focusing on the plight of those caught in the crossfire of the hegemons, this film explores the motivations of its actors-the Ba'athist regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Free Syrian Army and other geopolitical players like the US, Israel, Russia, China, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey, the Gulf countries... When elephants go to war, it is the grass that suffers. West Coast Premiere.
Here is the trailer for this film:

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
The festival could not happen if it weren't for the dedication of amazing and hard-working volunteers at the theaters! To indicate your interest in volunteer opportunities and find out more information, please send an email with phone number and preferred location to:

BAY AREA (San Francisco Oct 11-14, San Jose Oct 12-13, Berkeley Oct 19-21)
AFF Volunteer Coordinator: mazen@arabfilmfestival.org

LOS ANGELES (Oct 19-21)
AFF LA Coordinator: mike@arabfilmfestival.org


Fore more info about the festival see http://arabfilmfestival.org/
To purchase tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/262176

el Seed: A Web Site Dedicated to Arabic Graffiti and Calligraphy

'Identity' copyright by  http://www.elseed-art.com/


Visually stunning, gorgeous in its inclusion of images and videos, the web site  http://www.elseed-art.com/ functions as a great medium to showcase Arabic graffiti and the way it is often created with Arabic calligraphic art.  It also includes some beautiful items (featuring Arabic calligraphy) that are available for sale.

Check out the site at http://www.elseed-art.com/

If you are interested in Arabic calligraphy and Graffiti, also see  CNN piece at http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/18/middleeast/gallery/calligraffiti-el-seed/index.html


ALL ARABOLOGY PODCASTS AT https://soundcloud.com/arabology/sets/podcasts

Exclusive Arabology Interviews: https://soundcloud.com/arabology/sets/arabology-interviews