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The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984

The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984 Author: Riad Sattouf
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Published: October 2015
Paperback: 160 pages
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1627793445

Review by Nahrain Al-Mousawi


Couscous: The food of life

Couscous film drama

Set in the French port of Sète, Couscous takes us through the dramas in the family life of central character Slimane Beiji, a 61-year old immigrant from Tunisia. The film, showcased as part of the Shubbak Festival and directed by Tunisian- born director Abdellatif Kechiche, is an intense and sumptuous epic of human emotion.


Monthly Media Digest - April 2013

One of this month's biggest pieces of news was the resignation of Western backed Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. There were widespread hunger strikes in Israeli prisons in protest against the death of an inmate suffering from cancer who had also faced medical neglect by the Israeli authorities, while hunger striker, Samer Issawi, ended his hunger strike following a deal struck with the same authorities.

Writing about the resignation of Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, NYT columnist Thomas L Friedman described it as "very bad news". Unelected Fayyad, you see, "was the 'Arab Spring' before there was an Arab Spring". This was a prime example of the conundrum facing Western liberals who want to export democracy but only if the right people win elections.


Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora

Editors: Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi
Paperback:  400 pages
Publisher:  Theatre Communications Group Inc., US (2015)
ISBN-13:  978-1559364799

Review by Nahrain Al-Mousawi

Control over Palestinian dramatic expression plays a significant part in shaping the new anthology of plays published in Inside/Outside, edited by Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi. From the opening by the editors to the introduction by Nathalie Handal, we are reminded that Palestinian expression, whether over identity, state rights or cultural production has often been rendered taboo before it even sees the light of day. Thus, a type of censorship of the arts is always in motion wherein "Palestinian dramatists do not so much write against the grain, though many do, but write against the odds. And the odds are stacked against them: their work is culturally delegitimised, derailed and delimited by the Israeli-Palestinian ‘conflict’. "


MEMO conference unites anti-imperialist movements

We are in support of the Palestinian cause because “it is an anti-colonial one,” affirms Garcia. “My people have been subject for more than 55 years to a genocidal blockade by the government of the United States.”EXCLUSIVE IMAGES & VIDEO

There’s a round of applause as Cuban diplomat Jorge Luis Garcia tells the audience that last year Fidel Castro signed a manifesto for international support for Palestine which demanded Israel withdraw from East Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank. Another wave of clapping follows the announcement by Ecuadorian Culture and Heritage Minister Dr. Guillaume Long that last year President Rafael Correa condemned “what we called an Israeli genocide in Gaza,” recalled their ambassador and opened an embassy in Ramallah.


Forbidden Marriages in the Holy Land: The cost of love

Still from Forbidden Marriages in the Holy LandLove is blind, or so the saying goes. In Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, though, it is all too often not allowed to be. Director Michel Khleifi's documentary Forbidden Marriages in the Holy Land looks at couples who have gone against the wishes of society and family members, challenging religion and state, to be together. They are "mixed" couples; couples from different religions, or in this context, from different sides of the conflict.


Monthly Media Digest - March 2013

This month, the two and a half years of rocky diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel following the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010 appear to be coming to a close with Natanyahu finally offering an apology. Several NGO reports have revealed the systematic Israeli detention and abuse of Palestinian children. Obama's first visit to the Holy Land proves wholly underwhelming. And the long-time supporter of the Palestinians Cause, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, sadly loses his battle with cancer.

The month got off to a fiery start with the fall-out from Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remark equating Zionism with "a crime against humanity". He was duly rebuked by America's new Secretary of State, John Kerry who also had the task of "salvaging some chance of an improvement in ties between Turkey and Israel - the first a moderate Muslim-majority nation and important NATO ally and the other the principal United States ally in the Middle East". No mean task.


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