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Showing posts from May, 2023

Tunisian Film "Four Daughters" (Banat Olfa) Is a Hit at Cannes 2023

Banat Olfa : A Captivating Journey of Empowerment and Resilience A film review by Dr. Ramzi Salti, Stanford University Cinema has long served as a powerful medium to shed light on societal issues and ignite conversations about marginalized communities. Four Daughters  (Arabic title is Banat Olfa ) is an extraordinary film that emerges as a poignant exploration of the lives of Tunisian women, revealing their struggles, aspirations, and unwavering resilience. Directed by Kaouther Ben Hania, this thought-provoking work of art invites viewers to delve into the complexities of female experiences in contemporary Tunisia. Through its engaging narrative and masterful storytelling, the film offers a compelling depiction of women's empowerment and their quest for freedom. Set against the backdrop of present-day Tunisia, Banat Olfa follows the journey of Olfa, a young woman from a modest background who finds herself entangled in the webs of human trafficking. The film introduces viewers to O

New Book about Jawdat Haydar by Ibtissam Kahale

Inspirations from Jawdat R Haydar : A Poetic Journey into Timeless Themes A book review by Dr. Ramzi Salti, Stanford University Introduction:  Ibtissam T. Kahale, a renowned professor of English Literature and a talented writer herself, has just released her latest book titled Inspirations from Jawdat Haydar . This exceptional collection pays homage to the esteemed poet Jawdat Haydar and explores the profound impact of his works on literature, society, and human consciousness. With this book, Kahale aims to introduce readers to the visionary world of Jawdat Haydar's poetry, unraveling universal themes and inviting contemplation on life, love, humanity, and the mysteries that surround us. The Eminent Poet:  Kahale begins her introduction by recounting her personal encounter with Jawdat Haydar at a tribute event held at UNESCO. She vividly describes the sight of the ninety-year-old poet, radiating elegance and piety as he recited his verses with an overwhelming voice. Haydar's po

Mayssa Karaa Releases Arabic Version of "My Favorite Things"

Lebanese American singer Maysaa Karaa has just released an uplifting Arabic version of the song "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music , complete with lush orchestration and a gorgeous video clip which includes the lyrics in both English and Arabic. You can watch the video clip below or at this link .  The track, titled "El Adar Byekhtar/ القدر بيختار" [literal translation is "Destiny Chooses"], offers a distinctly Arabic feel without losing the sense of optimism and glee that characterizes the original English version.  Such  musical perfection is largely due to famed Jordanian musician/violinist Yarub Smarait who mixed, arranged and produced the track in a way that highlights Mayssa's vocal acrobatics and style.  The Arabic lyrics by  Ahmad Abdul Nabi, Mayssa Karaa, and Najwa Karaa are quite original and, thankfully, do not attempt to simply translate the original lyrics but rather readapt them to new audiences.  Adding to the splendor of it al

All 400+ Arabology episodes now available on all music platforms

See In addition to being housed on Soundcloud , all Arabology episodes are now available on music platforms worldwide including Spotify , Apple Podcasts , Anghami . Amazon Music and more.  Click  here to listen, follow and share or simply stream via Soundcloud below without leaving this page. Stream all episodes right here via the 2 playlists below: Playlist of all 200+ episodes Playlist of all 200+ interviews arabology · All Arabology Podcasts arabology · 100+ Arabology Interviews by Dr. Ramzi Salti Arabology is also available on Anghami at this link  (or click on image below): For Arabology on Amazon Music: Click here . See here for list of most available music platforms

Jordanian Film Broaches Transgender Issues in the Arab World

Our Males and Females   وذكرنا وانثانا is a powerful short film from Jordan which boldly broaches issues that relate to the suffering of transgender individuals in the Arab world as they struggle to live--and die-- within/without the confines of certain religious rituals and traditions which have no place for them.   The plot is so powerful and timely that it may disturb and haunt many viewers long after the film is done: The story revolves around a couple that is faced by the painful task of washing and shrouding their deceased transgender daughter-- a theme that will undoubtedly prove to be too controversial to screen in many Arab countries where issues of gender and religion are just beginning to fuel a much needed discourse that centers on marginalized sexualities in the Arab world.   It is also worthy to note that the Director (Ahmad Alyaseer) and his sister Rana have been quite candid about the fact that this film was inspired by Bousi, a real-life "transgender woman from th

UK Musical Events by Hamza Namira, Tootard, Massar Egbari

TootArd (above left), Hamza Namira, Massar Egbari will perform in UK If you are (or plan to be) in the UK over the next months, then you will not want to miss these events: More info + tickets for events below at this link  (courtesy of MARSM UK). MASSAR EGBARI IN LONDON (May 20, 2023): Massar Egbari, the iconic rock band formed in 2005, has taken the Arabic music scene by storm with their music and thought-provoking lyrics, attracting new audiences wherever they perform. Their unique edge lies in their ability to blend progressive tunes with lyrics that address universal complex topics. This distinctive quality is rooted in their intriguing and diverse music, characters, and backgrounds. TOOTARD IN LONDON (May 23, 2023): TootArd (Arabic for Strawberries) is a “quarter-tone pop” band from the majestic mountainside village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights. This inventive duo of brothers – Hasan and Rami Nakhleh – return with an infectious re-imagining of their sound. Jammed full of