Beyond the Bombs: New Web Site with Fresh Perspective on Middle East and North Africa

Beyond the Bombs is a new, innovative, and much needed web site that gives the Middle East and North Africa a human face and paints a refreshing picture of the region--colored by its people, cultures, religions, languages, politics, and economics.

The site has been created by Stanford graduate Ashley Lohmann who is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist and an Associate Editor (Middle East) at Fair Observer (see more here).

Check out the site at:  https://beyondthebombs.wordpress.com/



Islamic Codicology Course at Stanford, August 26-30, 2013

Please find below the announcement from the Stanford University Libraries and the Islamic Manuscript Association (TIMA) about the upcoming Islamic Codicology Course at Stanford.
For further inquiries, please contact John Eilts directly at john.eilts@stanford.edu.


The Islamic Manuscript Association (TIMA) and Stanford University Libraries have announced a full week Islamic codicology course to be held at Stanford next August. This will be the first time the course has been offered in North America. I have attached the first announcement. The costs are set at 550 pounds for the full 5 day course for non-TIMA members and 500 pounds for TIMA members (membership costs 30 pounds per year). There is an option for attending the four day lecture series only and pricing has yet to be set. The fifth day is a hands on class. Space is limited and is guranteed on a first come basis. For further information please contact john.eilts@stanford.edu. Please feel free to send this to Stanford faculty and graduate students who might be interested. CONTACT INFO: John A. Eilts Curator, Islamic& Middle Eastern Collection Stanford University Libraries 251 Green Library Stanford, CA 94305-6004 USA Email: john.eilts@stanford.edu Tel: +1.650,736.1815

Jameel Prize Exhibition at Stanford: Art Inspired by Islamic Tradition (Dec 12-March 10, 2013)

First U.S. Viewing of International Exhibition
The Jameel Prize: Art Inspired by Islamic Tradition
December 12, 2012–March 10, 2013
Stanford University

Soody Sharifi, Fashion Week, 2010. Courtesy of the LTMH Gallery, New York

Stanford, Calif. — On view for the first time in the United States, “The Jameel Prize: Art Inspired by Islamic Tradition” opens December 12 at Stanford University’s Cantor Arts Center. This special exhibition presents the work of 10 artists selected as finalists for the prestigious Jameel Prize, an international award bestowed by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and sponsored by Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives. 

The Jameel Prize, awarded for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition, encourages the exploration of long-established practices of Islamic art, craft and design within a contemporary framework. The resulting exhibition demonstrates that artists can and do use these traditions in ways that are vividly relevant to the contemporary world. The prize also fosters a wider debate about Islamic culture and its role today.

The Jameel Prize is truly international. Awarded every two years, it is open to all entrants and not restricted to Muslims or those from the Islamic world. Entry for the Jameel Prize is by nomination. For the 2011 Jameel Prize, the names of almost 200 artists and designers were put forward from countries as diverse as the United States, Spain, Nigeria, Egypt and Pakistan. From this list, 10 finalists were selected, with one chosen as a winner for a prize of 25,000 British pounds, or approximately 35,800 U.S. dollars.

This exhibition presents art by all 10 finalists, more than 20 works that draw on the artists’ and designers’ own local and regional traditions, celebrating particular materials and iconography with strong references to traditional Islamic art. The artworks on view range from felt costumes to sculptural installations made from handmade terracotta bricks, from mirror mosaic to digital collages inspired by classical Persian miniature paintings. In many of the pieces, there is an underlying reference to the artists’ own “hybrid” cultural identity, in addition to the contrast between old and new, minimalism and ornament, home and exile.

The finalists are culturally diverse, representing many countries. The youngest artist, Noor Ali Chagani, was born in Pakistan, and he lives in Lahore. Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, who has works in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, was born in Iran but spent many years in the United States; she currently lives in Tehran. Bita Ghezelayagh, born in Italy, now lives in London and Tehran. Babak Golkar, born in the United States, now lives in Canada. Hayv Kahraman, born in Iraq, now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rachid Koraïchi, born in Algeria, now lives in Tunisia and France. Hazem EI Mestikawy, born in Egypt, lives in Egypt and Austria. Hadieh Shafie, born in Iran, lives in the United States. Soody Sharifi, born in Iran, lives in the United States. (See artists’ bios below.)

Rachid Koraïchi won the Jameel Prize 2011 for his series of embroidered cloth banners entitled “Les Maitres invisibles” (“The Invisible Masters”), made in 2008. Koraïchi uses Arabic calligraphy and symbols and ciphers from a range of other languages and cultures to explore the lives and legacies of the 14 great mystics of Islam. These “masters” include great Muslim thinkers and poets such as Rumi and EI Arabi, whose teachings have spread even to the West.

The exhibition continues to March 10, on view in three spaces at the Cantor Arts Center. Koraïchi’s banners hang prominently from the Geballe Family Balcony, over the Cantor’s main lobby. The other works are presented upstairs in the Ruth Levison Halperin Gallery and the Lynn Krywick Gibbons Gallery.

The exhibition is organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum London (V&A) in partnership with the Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives. We also gratefully acknowledge the support of Cantor Arts Center Members and the Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University, which has made possible the exhibition’s presentation at Stanford.

Related events include a Spotlight Talk by a graduate student on Friday, January 11 at 2 pm and a Artist's Talk by Rachid Koraïchi on Thursday, January 24 at 5:30 pm. On Thursday, February 7, beginning at 5:30 pm, a panel of experts will engage in scholarly debate about contemporary Islamic art. “Axis of Light,” a 60-minute documentary film about eight artists from the Middle East, including Rachid Koraïchi, will be shown; event details to be announced. The programs are open to the public with free admission.

The Cantor Arts Center is open Wednesday–Sunday, 11 am–5 pm, Thursday until 8 pm. Admission is free. The Center is located on the Stanford campus, off Palm Drive at Museum Way. Parking is free after 4 pm. weekdays and all day on weekends. Information: 650-723-4177, museum.stanford.edu

For more info see http://museum.stanford.edu/news_room/jameel.html
Also see http://events.stanford.edu/events/294/29453/


Rachid Koraichi, The Invisible Masters, 2008. Courtesy of October Gallery. Photo by Jonathan Greet




Arabology Season Finale Podcast Counts Down Top 20 'Alternative' Arabic Musical Artists of 2012

The 3rd Season Finale of 'Arabology'--hosted by Dr. Ramzi Salti, Lecturer at Stanford University, counts down the Top 20 'Alternative' Arabic Artists of 2012 including Mashrou' Leila, Rim Banna, Omeima El Khalil, Zeid Hamdan, Tania Saleh, Mike Massy, Natacha Atlas, Hana Malhas, Jadal, Yasmine Hamdan, Tania Kassis, Jowan Safadi, more. This episode is hosted by DJ Ramzi and guest host Mohammed El Jurf (pic below).






PLAYLIST (Artist/ Track/ Album/Label)
20. Safadi, Jowan/ A3ish Hayati (Live My Life) & Kul El Banat (All the Girls)/ Namroud/ Eka3
19. Massy, Mike/ Ya Zaman/ Ya Zaman/ Falak Productions
18. Jadal/ Bye Bye Azizi/ Single/ Forward Music
17. Natacha Atlas/ Taalet/ Paleo 2012/ Disques Office
16. Banna, Rim & Henrik Koitzsch/ Wait for Me (Intazirini)/ This Was Not My Story/ Un Mundo Mejor
15. Trio Joubran/ Nawwar/ Paleo 2012/ Disques Office
14. Maraka, Aziz/ Possessed/ Master Copy/ Cd Baby
13. Mathlouthi, Emel/ Ma Lkit (Remix)/ Kelmti Horra/ World Village
12. Kassis, Tania/ Chou Ma Sar (Remix Mhanna & Cupélian)/ Oriental Colors/ Magnum Recs Intl
11. Saleh, Tania/ Hsebak/ Radio Beirut/ Galileo Music Communication Gmbh / Ioda
10. Hamdan, Zeid/ La Repetition/ Beirut Hotel (Soundtrack)/ Lfp Les Films Pelléas
9. Ayoub, Elizabeth/ Habibi/ Oceanos Y Lunas/ Four Quarters Entertainment
8. Hamdan, Yasmine/ Beirut/ Yasmine Hamdan/ Kwaidan Records
7. Offendum, Omar/ The Arab Speaks Of Rivers/ Syrianamericana/ Cosher Ink, Llc
6. Dam/ Mali Huriye (I Don't Have Freedom)/ Ihda'/ Redcircle Music
5. Aburedwan, Ramzi/ Tahrir (Liberation)/ Reflections Of Palestine/ Riverboat Records
4. Maryam/ Watan El Akk/ Mosh Baghani/ Cd Baby
3. Malhas, Hana (ft Yazan Al Rousan)/ Trooh/ Shapeshift/ Hana Malhas
2. Mashrou' Leila/ Fasateen/ Mashrou' Leila/ B-Root Productions
1. El Khalil, Omeima/ Ouhibbouka Akthar/ Ya/ Forward Music





Online Magazine 'Jadaliyya' Flourishing in Its Second Year

http://www.jadaliyya.com/

Jadaliyya is an independent ezine produced by the Arab Studies Institute (www.ArabStudiesInstitute.org), a network of writers associated with the Arab Studies Journal (www.ArabStudiesJournal.org).

Jadaliyya provides a unique source of insight and critical analysis that combines scholarship, advocacy, and local knowledge with an eye on audiences in the United States, the Arab world, and beyond. The site currently publishes posts both in Arabic and in English.

Jadaliyya operations are mostly volunteer-run and self-produced by the editorial team and a steadily expanding pool of contributors, researchers, and guests. The Co-Editors are writers, scholars, and advocates with a primary interest in the Middle East.

One motivation behind this effort is the need to discuss the “Arab World” or the “Middle East” as a place and space that is inhabited by communities, and not solely as an object of foreign policy or “social-scientific” inquiry. Hence, there is an emphasis on attracting writers from the region itself.

If you are interested in contributing to Jadaliyya, send them your post, with your bio and a release form to post@jadaliyya.com [click "Submissions" on the main page for more information]

For more info see http://www.jadaliyya.com/ or Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jadaliyya




Meet Soprano Mariam Tamari



Born to a Palestinian artist father and a Japanese schoolteacher mother, opera singer Mariam Tamari grew up in Tokyo, Japan.

A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Tamari majored in music and philosophy. She made her lead opera debut in as Adina in L’Eliser d’ Amore at the Nissay Theater in Tokyo. Tamari has also performed as Kate in Madame Butterfly, Jeanne, in Jeanne d’ Arc au Bucher, Ivy Smith in On the Town, and as Maria in West Side Story. She currently performs as a soloist and recitalist in Japan, the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East.

Respected around the world, she has performed for the Emperor and Empress of Japan and the King and Queen of Jordan. She has been described as having "special flair for French melodies" and hailed for her "lucid musicality" and "virtuosity."

Here is a video clip of Mariam Tamari performing in Ramallah in December of 2010:

Here is a video clip of Mariam Tamari, Gen Tomuro --Puccini, "Tu che di gel sei cinta" Turandot


For more info, see Mariam Tamari's blog at http://mariamtamari.blogspot.com



Musician/Singer Jowan Safadi Detained by Jordanian Police

Jowan Safadi

Jowan Safadi, whose new album Namroud has been hailed as both controversial and creative, was detained yesterday at the Police department of "Abdali" in Amman. He is accused of "insulting religion" during his concert last Wednesday in Amman. Jowan was set to present his Accoustic Show Live @ The Rainbow, Amman (Jordan) on Saturday Dec 1, 2012 at 8pm (see poster below then read on).


According the Eka3 Facebook Page, Jowan Safadi was imprisoned in the "Jowayda" in Jordan.  Several msuicians have rushed to Jowan Safadi's arrest including Tunisian singer Emel Mathlouthi and Palestinian singer Rim Banna (see screen captures below and keep reading on).  (update on Dec 4: He was released the next day).




Jowan Safadi is originally from Nazareth but now lives in Haifa and produces alternative/experimental Arabic music with various influences. For 8 years, he was part of the band “Lenses” as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. 'Lenses' was an alternative hafla-rock band that split up in late 2007 after having recorded and released three studio albums.

Jowan Safadi in an experimental singer whose songs, in Arabic, have broached issues ranging from political corruption to hypocricy in religion. You can listen to some of his songs on Reverbnation at this link or check out his Facebook page at this link.

Jowan Safadi has many video clips featured on his YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/lenzez
Here are some video clips by Jowan Safadi that are considered 'controversial':

This video clip is titled يا حرام الكفار and talks about atheists/non-believers:
http://youtu.be/w1UVUgxTM9o

The clip below is titled جوان صفدي - موال المايكروتشيب Jowan Safadi - The Microchip Song.  The clip is available at this link and has English subtitles:
http://youtu.be/RXqLuaUocxc

Here is a video clip of Jowan Safadi in concert with Hala Amdan:
http://youtu.be/QWC10Y7HggY

Here is a video clip of Jowan Safadi in concert with Haya Za3atra:
http://youtu.be/YuECY8QhMYI

Here is Jowan Safadi's new album Namroud followed by samples from the CD:



For more on Jowan Safadi:

*  Article in Arabic about Jowan Safadi's arrest:  See THIS LINK

*  Jowan Safadi's Facebook page: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/%D8%AC%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86-%D8%B5%D9%81%D8%AF%D9%8A-jowan-safadi/37249545971

*  Jowan Safadi on Reverbnation:
http://www.reverbnation.com/jowansafadi%D8%AC%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B5%D9%81%D8%AF%D9%8A

* Jowan Safadi's YouTube Channel:  http://www.youtube.com/user/lenzez

* Facebook Page to Free Jowan Safadi: https://www.facebook.com/FreeJowan

New Book by Touria Boumehdi Tomasi Focuses on Junta 57 of CSIC Manuscript

A new book (in Spanish) by Stanford University's Dr. Touria Boumehdi Tomasi has just been released in which the scholar has published her many years of research and analysis of  the rare Junta 57 of CSIC Madrid Manuscript.

Dr. Boumehdi Tomasi is already working on a new book while translating the present work into French and, eventually, into English.

See book info below plus a biography of the author.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Touria Boumehdi Tomasi received her Masters in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Mohammed V in Rabat (1981) where she worked closely with renowned Professor Houssain Bouzineb. Late she obtained a 'Diplome des Etudes Approfondies' [In-Depth Studies Diploma requiring 5 post-BA years] in Oriental Languages, Literatures and Civilization from the University of Paris III New Sorbonne (1987). She also holds a 'Diplome d'Etudes Supérieures' in International Marketing and Commerce from the 'Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Toulouse' (1990) as well as a Doctorate, which she received in March 2010, from the University of Toulouse.

She worked as a Co-Director for the Spanish Department at the University of Rabat (1981-1983) and as a Professor of Arabic at the University of Toulouse le Mirail (1989-2006) as well as the Ecole Supérieur de Commerce de Toulouse (1998-June 2012). She has been teaching at Stanford University since July 2007.




Nov 29 Podcast of 'Arabology' Available

The 9th episode of the 3rd Season of Arabology (aired Nov 29) was hosted by DJ Ramzi who played a variety of Arabic songs (see playlist below) while commenting about them in English.

To Download: 

To Listen: 


Playlist for Arabology Thursday, 29 Nov 2012 3pm - 5pm DJ: Ramzi S.
Artist/ Track/ Album/ Label
1. Samsa/ Qalbi Ma Kayelli Khir/ Alem Jdid (New World)/ Skander Guetari
2. Maraka, Aziz/ Amman/ Master Copy/ Cd Baby
3. Aburedwan, Ramzi / Bahar (Sea)/ Reflections Of Palestine/ Riverboat Records
4. Laroussi, Djamel/ Kifach Hilti/ Arabic Beat/ Putumayo World Music
5. Ajram, Nancy/ Ady El Beida/ Super Nancy/ Emi
6. Mashrou Leila/ Wajih (Themightyrouge Remix)/ unreleased/ Mashrou Leila
7. Wael Kfoury/ Ma'oole Tishti Fee Abb/ Dj Nader - Hizzy Hips In The Mix/ Level Up
8. El Hamdaoui, Jalal/ Sidi H'bibi/ Arabic Beat/ Putumayo World Music
9. Faudel/ Bambino/ Bled Memory/ Mercury (France)
10. Abu Ghazaleh, Tamer/ 7ob/ Mir'ah/ Eka3
11. Maryam/ Watan El Akk/ Mosh Baghani/ Cd Baby
12. Watcha Clan/ Osfour/ Arabic Beat/ Putumayo World Music
13. Hamdan, Yasmine/ La Mouch/ Yasmine Hamdan/ Kwaidan Records
14. Soultan, Ahmed/ Itim/ Arabic Beat/ Putumayo World Music
15. Massy, Mike/ Jazr W Mad/ Ya Zaman/ Falak Productions
16. Hakiim/ Albi Ya Ho/ Dj Nader/ Level Up Records & Tapes
17. Nourhan/ Habibi Ya Ain/ Dj Nader - Hizzy Hips In The Mix/ Level Up
18. Hallani, Assi/ Bel 3arabi/ Bel 3arabi/ Roatana
19. Fadel Shaker Ya Ghayeb/ Dj Nader - Hizzy Hips In The Mix/ Level Up
20. Samsa/ Alem Jdid (New World) / Alem Jdid (New World)/ Skander Guetari
21. Aburedwan, Ramzi/ Rahil (Exile)/ Reflections Of Palestine/ Riverboat Records