Revue culturelle N°89

The Journal

19 - 10 - 23
Issue for subscribers only.
This week's picture

"Palest*n*ans: a story of displacement and pain. For decades, the world has been a silent witness to their displacement, the bombing of their refuge and the loss of loved ones. Today, with no access to food, water or medicine, they are faced with the agonising decision to leave the land they hold dear, with the uncertainty of their return, or quite simply, to die. Their story is part of the wider story of refugees around the world. The location of this work has not been added to avoid the shadowbanning I have faced in recent days." - statement by Egyptian visual artist and graphic designer Hassan Ragab, about the tragedy that Gaza goes through today, in front of everyone's eyes. The word 'Palestinians' has had several letters removed to avoid the censorship currently rampant on social networks.

Hassan Ragab was trained as an architect and now lives in Southern California. Between design, furniture renovation, installations and graphic design, he participates in the development of digital art and in particular the use of Artificial Intelligence in this field.

hassan rgb

Marrakech: Festival of Melhoun art and patriotic song

This eighth edition is held from 17 to 21 October under the theme "The art of Malhoun, a collection of the civilisational aspects of Moroccans - Craftsmanship as an example". The festival is organised by the Cheikh Jilali Mtired association. It is part of the celebrations marking the 48th anniversary of the Green March.

This year's programme includes five evenings dedicated to Melhoun, with a host of artists taking part, including Mohamed El Ouali, Hajj Mhamed Malhouni, Mustapha Khalifi, Majda El Yahyaoui, Fatima Rahal, Saida Diaf, Chaimaa Erraddaf, Abdelali Briki, Abdelhadi Ben Ghanem, Ismail Bouabid, Abderrafii Benouna, Idriss Zaarouri and Aicha Doukkali. The festival also includes a symposium on Melhoun and the signing of books on Sufism.

The festival's activities are scheduled to take place in a number of venues in the Ochre City, including the Dar Attakafa theatre (Daoudiate cultural centre), the Arriha 2 Centre, the Meydene theatre, the conference room of the Cité des langues et des cultures at the Faculté de la langue arabe and Dar Al Hayat.

Morocco, Tunisia

Zagora: International Arab-African Documentary Film Festival

The event runs from 20 to 24 November, with Italy as guest of honour. Organised by the Zagora Documentary Film Association, the festival will feature films from Morocco, Cuba, Italy, Algeria, Egypt, Belgium, China, the United States and Spain. The competition jury, chaired by Moroccan artist Majida Benkirane, includes Nour Gharabi (Tunisia) and Desideria Rayner (Italy).

Alongside the official competition, the festival offers workshops in directing, scriptwriting and improvisation in schools, seminars on current cinematographic issues and film screenings.


"Forever Marrakech": the kingdom's new tourism campaign

The Moroccan National Tourist Office (ONMT) unveiled a preview of its new "Forever Marrakech" global campaign at the plenary session of the World Bank and IMF General Assemblies. In addition to promoting the beauty and richness of the ochre city, the ONMT said the campaign aimed to embody Marrakech's resilience in the aftermath of the earthquake, and to reassure potential tourists of Morocco's ability to welcome them to the region. Singer Meryem Aboulouafa took part in the campaign with a song dedicated to her, which concluded with "Tant que le soleil se lèvera, Marrakech brillera" ("As long as the sun rises, Marrakech will shine").


Nadia Amal Bernoussi re-elected to the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council

This post will be held by the Kingdom of Morocco from 2023 to 2026.


Agadir: Anmoggar N'Jazz Festival

The event runs from 18 to 22 October, organised by the Anmoggar N'Jazz association. A number of concerts and musical activities are scheduled over the four days, featuring both foreign musicians and young Gadiris talent. The line-up includes: Meryem Septet, Yazz Ahmed Quartet, Pierre Durand Quartet, Leila Olivesi Quintet, Chicas de la Habana, etc. Check out the full programme on the festival's Instagram account: here.


Trophée Tilila: the winners of this fifth edition

The awards ceremony took place at the Studio des Arts in Casablanca to honour the communication agencies that have worked to raise awareness of gender issues and parity among the Moroccan population through advertising spots.

The "Coup de Coeur" prize was awarded to the advertiser Inwi with the agency Shems, the "Prix d'Honneur" went to CIH Bank and the agency Rapp, while the Jury Prize was won by the brand Mia with Jawjab. At this 5th edition of the event, Tilila paid tribute to the Atlas Lionesses, who had a remarkable run at the 2023 Women's World Cup. The trophy was presented to them by world 3000m steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bekkali.

Supported by the 2m television channel, the Tilila Trophies are an initiative designed to contribute to an increasingly inclusive Moroccan society.


Casablanca: new dates for the L'Boulevard festival

Initially scheduled for 15 to 24 September and cancelled following the earthquake, the L'Boulevard festival will now be held in the White City from 16 to 19 November.


Green March: commemoration

On Friday 3 November at the Palais des Congrès in Marrakech, a commemoration will be held in the name of the Green March, with the participation of Moroccan artists: Houda Saad, Fatima Tabaamrant, Saïd Naciri, Pinhas, El Batoul El Marwani, as well as DJ Key, Anas Machati and Siham Alhyane, ...


Fez: group exhibition at the Mohamed El Kacimi gallery

Organised by the United Painters Association, this event brings together the work of some forty Moroccan painters. Featuring murals and canvases, the exhibition is an opportunity to discover both established artists and new talent. The event is being held as part of the National Plastic Arts Forum. The participating artists are : Mustapha Bathaa, Ahmed Baid, Saliha Errakeb, Ali Debbab, Fouad Chouiba, Mohamed Mikou, Omar El Mrahi, Abd El Hay El Alami, Hicham El Mellouli, Fadoua El Haloui, Dounia El Hajjami, Fatima Zahra Lamrini, Khadija Essabri, Fartiha Bemezki, Zineb El Yermani, Samira Zentar, Siham Berrada, Hala El Ghorfi, Hind Lamrani, Hanane El Attar, Amal Boutaleb, Insaf Ezzouine, Ilham Ettlemcani, Amina Ighouaz, Mbarka Hidouch, Abd Elouahed Ghanimi, Mohamed El Koundi, Mohamed Hasti, Fouad Bendriss, Larbi El Madani, Nouhe Fkirouch, Mouhcine Ouidade, Noaufel Erraoui, Lahcen Boukhlifi, Omar Echnnaii, Mohamed Karam Tahiri, Saad Eddine El Hafidi El Idrissi.


An encyclopaedia of Moroccan poetry

A poetic encyclopaedia devoted to the history of Moroccan poetry from 1953 to 2023 has been published in two volumes on the initiative of Moroccan poet Fatima Bouhraka. The works of 350 poets are studied in this work, from different generations and representative of the diversity of the Moroccan people. Fatima Bouhraka edited this encyclopaedia herself, on a self-publishing basis, the cost of printing having put off many publishing houses.


Madrid: Morocco is the guest of honour at the 37th edition of the Gourmets fair

The gastronomic fair takes place from 22 to 25 April 2024 in the Spanish capital. "The Moroccan pavilion, which will be set up by Morocco Foodex (autonomous export control and coordination establishment), will occupy a 300 m² space and will present, in various forms, the Kingdom's ancestral culinary tradition to the more than 100,000 professional visitors who come each year from the four corners of the world." - extract from the press release.

The fair is considered to be Europe's biggest event devoted to fine foods for professionals.


Amazigh Culture Prize 2022 awarded in Rabat

This award ceremony was held to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the Ajdir Royal Speech and the creation of the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture (IRCAM).

The National Prize for Amazigh Literary Creativity was awarded to Fadma Feras for her novel "Nafatat", while the National Prize for Amazigh Literary Creativity (poetry) was awarded to Mohammed Ziadi for his collection of poems entitled "Jamarat Wa Jalid", and the National Prize for Studies and Research (history) went to Benlahcen Ali for his work "Ait Ouriaghel, une approche historique et sociale à travers de nouveaux documents".

The National Prize for Studies and Research (Political Science) went to Rachid Sayeh for his work entitled "L'Amazighité sur la scène politique au Maroc: Analyse des perspectives des acteurs politiques sur l'Amazighe", while the National Prize for Digital Applications and Resources (Applications) went to Mohammed Abourat for his work entitled "Assanabil Al Mohamassa".

The National Prize for Media and Communication (visual press) went to Ghizlane Issami for his work entitled "Santé", while the National Prize for Media and Communication (audio press) went to Said Houssni for his programme "Limada dahaba al Kalam".

The National Amazigh Song Prize (traditional song) was won by Fateh Aarab for his song "Mon pays est mon sang" and Ihssain Chiban for his song "Qu'est-ce qui t'arrive, mon cœur? "The National Amazigh Song Prize (modern song) went to Nouh El Otmani for her song "Al-Zawal", while the National Theatre Prize was awarded to the play "Sfoumato" by the Amazigh Professional Dramatic Research Troupe - Tiznit.

The national prize for collective dance went to a show by the Gnaoua Khamlia troupe and the Ahidous troupe from the Oriental region (Debdou, Taourirt).


"Indivision" by Leïla Kilani wins the Grand Prize at the Fameck Arab Film Festival

"Indivision", produced in 2023, tells the story of a family who meet at Mansouria, the old undivided family estate on a hill in Tangier. The opportunity to sell a huge parcel of the estate to a property developer will make them millionaires, but the transaction turns out to be more complicated than expected.

The Audience Award also went to Moroccan director Sofia Alaoui for her film Animalia. The film tells the story of Itto, a young Moroccan woman of modest origins, who has adapted to the opulence of her husband's family, with whom she lives.

The Fameck - Val de Fensch Arab Film Festival is one of the major cultural events in the Grand Est region. The programme includes over 110 screenings from countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon.

Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia

1.54 in London

The African art fair, founded by Touria El Galoui, is being held at Somerset House in the English capital from 12 to 15 October, welcoming over 60 exhibitors and 170 artists.

Moroccan artist Amine El Gotaibi is presenting his work "Illuminate the Light" in collaboration with the MCC gallery in Marrakech, especially for the event. It consists of twelve geometric sculptures inspired by the pomegranate, and seeks to represent the diversity and abundance of the African continent.

Through the art fair's partnership with Artsy, visitors will also be able to explore, connect with and collect all the galleries and artists online from 12 to 29 October at

Plastic ArtsExhibitions

Paris: Ghizlane Sahli presents Et la Sève fut ... (28×4)

From 20 October to 20 November, Ghizlane Sahli's solo exhibition will be on show at the Christophe Person gallery. In this series, Ghizlane Sahli evokes the female body, its intimacy and its struggles, notably through the stories of women she met during her residencies in Ouagadougou, Dakar and Porto Novo.

Her work is presented on embroidered paper, playing with shades of red, a colour that conveys both the power of feelings and the physiological symptoms of the female body.

Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia

Palestinian cinema takes centre stage at the Cartage Film Festival

The JCC has unveiled a selection of twelve Arab and African films to be screened in the official competition for feature-length documentaries. Tunisia is represented by two new productions, "La capitaine" by Houssem Sansa and "Mouvma" by Ines Ben Othman; Morocco by "Bayt Al Hejba" by Jamila Annab; Lebanon by "Beyrouth à Anxieux" by Jaber Zakaria and "Le retour d'Aïda" by Carol Mansour; Egypt by "Hollywoodgate" by Ibrahim Nash'at; and finally Palestine by "Jenin" by Mohammad Bakri.

Here is the list of Arab films selected for the short documentary competition:

  • "Tassaloul" by Imène Salah (Algeria)
  • "Envie" by Hnine El Houssine (Morocco)
  • "Submersion" by Amir El-Shenawy (Egypt)
  • "Message d'Anonyme" by Loai Galal (Egypt)
  • "Tissue" by Anis Tounsi (Tunisia)

This year's event is held in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and will feature films and documentaries about Palestine.

Palestine, Tunisia

Dar Al Kitab to publish and distribute books by Palestinian writer Adania Shibli

Tunisian publisher Habib Zoghbi, owner of the Dar Al-Kitab book publishing house, has announced that Dar Al-Kitab will take charge of all the works of Palestinian writer Adania Shibli, to ensure their publication and distribution in all countries of the world and at Arab and international fairs, as a sign of solidarity with the right of visibility for Palestinian voices.

This decision comes after the Frankfurt Book Fair cancelled the "LiBeraturpreis" award ceremony for Adania Shibli's novel "Minor Detail", scheduled for 20 October 2023. This prompted indignation from several bodies and institutions and prompted Arab publishing houses to boycott the 75th edition of the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, led by the Union of Arab Publishers and the Union of Tunisian Writers.

The prize was awarded for the German translation of her novel Minor Detail, which tells the story of a Palestinian Bedouin woman raped by Israeli soldiers in 1949.

Photo: Palestinian author Adania Shibli. Photo Hartwig Klappert


"Behind The Mountains" wins the Press Prize at the Fameck Arab Film Festival

Mohamed Attia's third feature film won the prize at the 34th edition of the French film festival, held from 5 to 15 October.

The main actors in this drama include Majd Mastoura, Samer Bisharat, Walid Bouchhioua, Selma Zeghidi, Helmi Dridi and Wissem Belgharek.

Synopsis: After being sentenced to 4 years in prison for ransacking his workplace, Rafik has only one thing on his mind: to find his wife and son and take them away to show them what he has discovered: his gift of flight. Faced with his wife's disbelief and his in-laws' resistance, Rafik bursts into the school and kidnaps his son. On the run, they meet a shepherd and take refuge in a house in the countryside. There, everything goes haywire.

Considered one of the major cultural events in the Grand Est region, the Fameck festival offers more than 40 films, including feature-length fiction films, documentaries and shorts, many of which are new or previews, with the aim of promoting emerging cinema. The programme includes over 110 screenings over ten days from countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon.

The winners of the 2023 edition:

  • "Grand Prix for "Indivision" by Leila Kilani (Morocco, France, 2023)
  • Press Prize: "Par-delà les Montagnes" by Mohamed Ben Attia (Tunisia, France, Belgium, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, 2023)
  • Youth Jury Prize: "Nezouh" by Soudade Kaadan (Syria, Great Britain, France, 2023)
    Documentary Prize: "N'en parlons plus" by Cécile Khindria and Vittorio Moroni (France, Algeria, Italy, 2022)
  • Audience Award: "Animalia" by Sofia Alaoui (Marco, France, 2023)

Geneva: Syrine Jemal exhibited at the UN

"Imagine a world where equality prevails for all, a world where its strength lies in the beauty of its union and humanism" is how the digital work "The Bridge of Equality" by young Tunisian artist Syrine Jemal is presented. The work is on show at the United Nations Office in Geneva as part of the international exhibition "The Art of Equality: A Journey towards Justice", which runs until 20 October 2023.

The selection of this work follows the call launched last May by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) for artists from around the world to take part in this international exhibition, which aims to create a unique and immersive experience to raise awareness and inspire action on equality and social justice through the prism of visual art and the 60 years of research by the Institute for Social Change.

This exhibition aims to present works that stimulate the mind and encourage the public to engage in deep reflection on these important issues in order to inspire positive change for more egalitarian, just and sustainable societies.


Beirut: the "We Design" event postponed

From 27 to 30 October, Beirut was supposed to be alive and colourful again, thanks to the initiative of event creator Mariana Wehbé and designer Samer el-Amine. Unfortunately, the tragic events that have shaken the region in recent days have forced the organisers of We Design Beirut to postpone the event until March 2024.


Guelma: Kateb Yacine International Forum

The tenth edition of the International Forum on the life and work of Kateb Yacine will be held from 27 to 30 October at the Boulouh-Moubarek Islamic Cultural Centre in Guelma. Under the theme "The Encounter", the forum will be attended by Algerian academics and specialists from universities in Italy, France, Tunisia and Senegal.

The forum, organised in partnership with the Coordination internationale des recherches et études brachylogiques (CIREB-Paris), coincides with the 34th anniversary of Kateb Yacine's death on 28 October 1989.


Algiers: "L'élégance de mon pays" exhibition

This collective photography exhibition features around a hundred works based on the cultural and architectural heritage of the city of Algiers. Held at the Baya gallery in the Palais de la Culture Moufdi-Zakaria until 23 October, the exhibition pays posthumous tribute to the photographers Firas Zagher, Lamine Bensaou, Chahir Amichi and Abdelaziz Mazouz.


Algiers: the "Confluence" exhibition

This is a group show featuring works by visual artists Abderrahmane Kahlane, Samia Cheloufi and Ahmed Salah Bara. On view until 30 October at the Galerie Frantz-Fanon in the Office Riadh El Feth (OREF), "Confluence", or "The Chromatic Concerto" as it is known to the organisers, is a "comprehensive creation in which tones and time are harmonised", highlighting the creative imagination and celebrating the richness of Algeria's cultural heritage in both its ancestral and contemporary dimensions.


"We Design" postponed

From 27 to 30 October, Beirut was supposed to be alive and colourful again, thanks to the initiative of event creator Mariana Wehbé and designer Samer el-Amine. Unfortunately, the tragic events that have shaken the region in recent days have forced the organisers of We Design Beirut to postpone the event until March 2024.


LIFE Gala: raising funds for Lebanese designers

LIFE's charity gala, to be held in London on 10 November, will feature a 62-piece collection, "Liaisons créatives", bringing together works by Lebanese designers and craftspeople. The collection will be auctioned off by Almaz Collective Design and The Ready Hand. The online auction has already begunhereand closes on 10 November. The auction includes a chair by Zalpha and Shaha Raphaël. Mother and daughter have combined their talents, both in furniture design and knitting, to create a unique piece of furniture. The piece on sale for the LIFE gala is a very special chair, which The Ready Hand describes as a "piece dedicated to the craftsman, and therefore to the designer's mother. Shaha Raphaël grew up watching her mother crochet and knit unusual materials to create amazing bags. For this project, mother and daughter, craftswoman and architect collaborated to develop a herringbone-shaped hand-knitted fabric that will be used for the base of the chair attached to a steel frame, chosen to contrast the fibrous seat with a solid, natural texture coloured by rust."


Beirut Art Film Festival

From 7 to 17 November, the Béryte Theatre at Saint Joseph University will be hosting the 9th BAFF. On the programme this year: 16 films, including a world premiere in Beirut, two conferences and an exhibition.

Under the banner of freedom, this year's BAFF will take place in two phases. First, in Beirut, at the Béryte Theatre on Damascus Street, which will host film screenings, conferences and an exhibition from 7 to 17 November. Then, from January 2024, in the various regions of the country where, after a four-year hiatus, BAFF has decided to go "not only to meet all the schools in Lebanon, but also the local people", says the festival's founder, Alice Mogabgab.

Program of the festival: hereTo watch: Ribal Chedid's documentary "Talk to me", which analyses the tumultuous relationship between a father and son, and presents a family drama behind closed doors; or the film of Feyrouz Serhal, entitled "Elias Rahbani".


Tarik Kiswanson, winner of the 2023 Marcel Duchamp Prize

The Marcel Duchamp Prize has been awarded to Tarik Kiswanson, announced the organisers, Adiaf (Association pour la diffusion internationale de l'art français) and the Centre Pompidou. The prestigious €35,000 prize is awarded each year to a contemporary artist. It provides a springboard and can be awarded in all plastic and visual fields (installation, video, painting, photography, sculpture, etc.), encouraging new artistic forms.

Born in 1986 in Halmstad, Sweden, Tarik Kiswanson works and lives between Paris and Amman, Jordan. He comes from a Palestinian family who had to leave their country for North Africa and then Jordan, before arriving in Sweden in the early 1980s. His work encompasses sculpture, writing, drawing, performance, film and sound, exploring issues of memory and heritage, temporality and belonging, and transformation and metamorphosis more broadly.

In his new installation for the Marcel Duchamp Prize, he returns to his works entitled Nest, monumental cocoon-like sculptures that allude to states of transformation in nature (chrysalises, eggs or seeds), where he "explores forms and states derived from the experience of war, trauma and displacement", according to the organisers.

Photo: copyright Duchamp/Centre Pompidou.


Gaza under the bombs

Farewell to the people of Gaza, and farewell to the cultural heritage of the Palestinian enclave, which was brimming with exceptional archaeological sites, including vestiges of the Ottoman, Roman and Byzantine empires.

Today, the remains of a Byzantine church built in the second half of the 5th century in Jabaliya, just one kilometre from the border, are being crushed by Israeli army bombardments. The site is renowned for its 400 m2 of mosaic pavements with exceptionally fine animal and floral motifs and its 17 medallions, oval or rectangular, surrounding inscriptions written in ancient Greek. Names of bishops, priests, benefactors and prayers are written and dated. "These are the finest mosaic floors discovered in Gaza, both in terms of the quality of the graphic representation and the complexity of the geometry," French archaeologist René Elter told Reuters.

Photo: Byzantine-era mosaic discovered at Bureij, in the Gaza Strip. Photo AFP.


Beirut: "Les Espaces intermédiaires" by Edgard Mazigi

Held at the Art on 56th gallery in Gemmayzé until 21 October, Edgard Mazigi's exhibition features several paintings in which it is possible to detect influences from De Kooning and Titian. Somewhere between realism and abstraction, the artist offers us a glimpse of his 'in-between spaces', where tones and nuances meet, as well as past and present, with this canvas making a direct reference to Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 film 'The Man Who Knew Too Much'.


Beirut: "Rien n'est éternel", an exhibition by Agopian

The Cheriff Tabet gallery is the venue for Agopian's solo exhibition, on show until 21 October. The exhibition is based on the axiom "Nothing is eternal, nothing is finished, nothing is perfect", giving rise to canvases with geometric, trompe-l'oeil shapes, always using cheerful colours and the artist's usual elements, namely strings, angles, rings, stripes and discs.

Photo: "Earth" or the personification, still fragmented, of the earth by Agopian (2020; 106 x 82 cm).


Beirut: "Si la matière pouvait parler", an exhibition by Hala Mouzannar

It is through art that Hala Mouzannar questions the paradoxes and contradictions of existence and sets off in search of the principle of duality. Beauty in ugliness, resistance in the face of pain, resilience in the face of trauma. Under the title "Si la matière pouvait parler", she presents a series of oil paintings on abstract canvases, on show at Galerie Agial until 18 November, with a four-part scenography.

Photo: "La Terre vue des étoiles IX", an oil on canvas by Hala Mouzannar, 2023, 120 x 100 cm.


"Resolute" by Lara Khoury

The young designer, who launched her brand LK in 2010, saw her studio in ruins the day after the explosion on 4 August 2020. The brand's response was to produce an emergency sewing kit to create a festive outfit in just a few steps: the Secrets of Survival.

Now it is back with a collection, Resolute, which is an ode to determination and freedom.

"This collection is very precious because it contains pieces of my past, reused and reworked for more beautiful days. This one is for you and your courageous heart... wherever you are" - Lara Khoury for L'Orient-le-Jour.

Photo: Lara Khoury poses with her own creations. Photo Anthony Saroufim.


The catering service of Maison Joumana

Joumana Jacob is known for its creative and colourful buffets, from mouhallabié shells to rainbow einab.

"When we came back to Paris in 2021, I threw myself into events and catering. It was a considerable challenge, because the space was already well taken up. With Maison Joumana, I represent brands at cocktail parties and inaugurations, adapting to their style, colours, themes, desires and textures, while retaining the Lebanese influence". - Joumana Jacob for l'Orient-le-Jour.

Surrounded by a team of four permanent employees, and "extras, regularly, only women", Joumana Jacob concocts her preparations in her laboratory in the 9th arrondissement.

"Recently, Longchamp presented its new autumn/winter collection, and I designed the dishes to illustrate this and highlight the green and white chequered pattern. The white was topped with labne toast, and the green with courgette cream with tahini. Last year, Chanel wanted to showcase its exceptional craftsmanship, so I emphasised the handmade aspect, with lots of colours, particularly purple, which was in vogue. I think this aesthetic sense comes from my father, who was an art collector" - Joumana Jacob for L'Orient-le-Jour.

Photo: An all-green checkerboard for the Longchamp brand. OLJ.

Saudi Arabia

« Echoing the Land »

The new exhibition at the Misk Art Institute, entitled "Echoing the Land", brings together a collection of fifty-five works reflecting Saudi history through the eyes of twenty pioneering artists. The exhibition runs until 7 March at the Institute, and can also be viewed online.

The works on display have been inspired by the experiences of each artist, and reflect their views of their environment while highlighting the luminous diversity of the Kingdom's splendour. Among the exhibiting artists are Abdelsattar al-Moussa, Taha al-Sabban and Youssef Jaha.

Photo: "Landscape", 1959, Taha al-Sabban.


Dariush Mehrjui stabbed to death

Iranian film director Dariush Mehrjui was stabbed to death on Saturday evening with his wife at their home near Tehran, after a long career that had helped bring international recognition to Iranian cinema.

Dariush Mehrjui, who was 83, was regarded as one of the greatest exponents of Iranian cinema, having worked as a director, producer and scriptwriter for six decades, during which time he faced censorship both before and after the Islamic revolution of 1979.


Archaeological discoveries at Karahantepe

Karahantepe, excavated since 2019, belongs to the network of Neolithic sites identified around the hill of Göbekli Tepe, considered to be the 'capital' of this complex visible from all the other settlements studied by the Tas Tepe (Stone Hills) project.

On this site overlooking Mesopotamia, studied since 1997, archaeologists found a polychrome boar measuring 1.20 m long and 70 cm high. With red eyes and teeth and a black-and-white body, this 11,000-year-old wild pig is "the first coloured sculpture from this period to have been discovered to date", according to the statement by the team of archaeologists led by Professor Karul.

Photo: Ozan KOSE / AFP

Arab World, Palestine

Israel-Hamas war: from U2 to Gigi Hadid, artists cry out for peace

Hundreds of leading artists, including Robert del Naja, Tai Shani, Lucy Skaer, Florence Peake, Paul Sepuya, Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Rosalind Nashashibi, are among the more than 2,000 leading actors, musicians, writers, film-makers and other creative artists calling for a ceasefirehere). in Gaza in an open letter. They claim that Palestinians are currently facing "collective punishment on an unimaginable scale" after Israel unleashed a "complete siege" on the area, launching air attacks and cutting off water, electricity, food and medical supplies to 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Directors Michael Winterbottom, Mike Leigh and Asif Kapadia; authors Marina Warner, Jacqueline Rose, Gillian Slovo and Courttia Newland; and poets Hugh McFadden and Anthony Anaxagorou are among the thousands of others who have signed the Artists for Palestine letter.

For now, says the letter, "our obligation is to do everything we can to end the unprecedented cruelty being inflicted on Gaza".

Photo: Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike in the town of Khan Yunis in Gaza, 18 October 2023. Copyrights Abed Rahim Khatib/dpa/Alay Live News.

Arab World, Egypt, Palestine

The Cairo International Film Festival cancels its 45th edition

The Cairo International Film Festival has cancelled its 45th edition, due to start soon, due to the conflict between Israel and Hamas. Festival organisers announced the decision on Wednesday in a statement posted on Instagram: "The Minister of Culture, Dr Nevine el-Kelany, has decided to postpone the 45th edition of the Cairo International Film Festival, which was due to take place from 15 to 24 November. The new date of the festival will be determined at a later date."

Digital Art

Assassin’s Creed, nouvelle version spéciale Moyen-Orient

If cinema is an effective way of combating stereotypes, so too are video games. "Assassin's Creed" is one of the most popular games of our time, and its creators decided to give the lead role in the latest version to Lebanese-Canadian actor Lee Majdoub, hoping to change Western mindsets about their perception of the Arab world.

In 'Assassin's Creed: Mirage', the latest instalment in Ubisoft's hit series, released worldwide last week, players find themselves immersed in Arab and Muslim culture with a level of respect that the medium has never seen before. Set in ninth-century Baghdad, the game follows Basim Ibn Ishaq, one of the most complex characters in the franchise's history.

"Now that the game has been released and I've finally had the chance to start playing it, I've also been struck by a feeling I wasn't expecting. I felt a strange sadness. I realised that I hadn't been back to Lebanon for a long time and that there are so many parts of the Middle East that I've never explored. It's wonderful to take a journey in this game, but now I want to forge a deeper connection" Lee Majdoub, for Arab News.


Nourie Flayhan joins forces with Gucci Beauty

The Lebanese illustrator is back with another international partnership, this time with Italian luxury brand Gucci Beauty. The artist has created the graphics for the brand's new Gucci Flora fragrance, celebrating the autumn season through the astrological figure of Virgo.

Last spring, Nourie Flayhan teamed up with Adidas for a limited, unisex collection dedicated to Ramadan 2023. She had previously teamed up with Los Angeles-based fashion brand House of Aama to create a tote bag paying tribute to the women of North Africa and South-West Asia.


An exhibition of Palestinian embroidery at Cambridge University

Entitled "Material Power: Palestinian Embroidery", the exhibition at Cambridge University Museum, curated by Rachel Dedman, features three main garments. The first is a Gazan abaya, which recounts the daily lives of women in the region at the beginning of the 20th century.

The second dress was given to a woman who had to flee her home during the Nakba. Arriving in Ramallah as a refugee with almost no clothes, she made the dress bigger for her by sewing a new section with a piece of fabric coming from an UNRWA flour bag.

The third dress was made during the first Intifada.

"It was a time when you couldn't fly the Palestinian flag, so women had to find more subtle ways to express themselves in political protest. New symbols emerged such as the Cyprus tree, the map of Palestine or the Dome of the Rock" - Rachel Dedman.

The exhibition features more than 40 dresses and embroidered objects from collections in Jordan and the West Bank, as well as related works of art and films. The exhibition will subsequently be shown at the Whitworth Gallery, University of Manchester, from 24 November to 7 April 2024.

Photo: Part of the exhibition focuses on the role played by charities such as NGOs in paying women to embroider items. Copyrights Arab News.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi street style takes centre stage at Riyadh Fashion Week

Among the 30 brands showcased at Riyadh Fashion Week, from 20 to 23 October, are a number of streetwear brands, including 1886 and Not Boring. Fahad Al-Jomiah, co-founder of 1886, told Arab News: "There is a growing interest in streetwear fashion among the young population in Saudi Arabia. The rise of social media and the influence of international fashion trends have contributed to this."

Discussing current streetwear trends, Al-Jomiah said there is a notable interest in oversized silhouettes; bright, bold colours; retro-inspired designs; and sustainable fashion. 

Photo: 86 City collection from 1886.


Sharjah: "Lasting impressions" by Samia Halaby

The Palestinian artist is on show at the Sharjah Art Museum until 7 January. The event brings together almost 180 works, showing geometric bodies, kaleidoscopic landscapes and a play of light and shadow in the form of oil paintings, papier-mâché and digitally designed canvases. The exhibition is organised by Inass Yassin.

"Abstraction has always been part of human culture. Language is an abstraction. We have extracted it from nature and adapted it to our hands and lips. Abstraction, as a word, is equivalent to extraction. In the Arabic dictionary, it says 'the one freed from the meat that covers it'. You extract the essence of something." - Samia Halaby for The National.

Photo: "Rainbow Spirals", (1973). Copyrights Razmig Bedirian / The National.


Christie's to auction 48 "spectacular" pieces from the prestigious Dalloul collection of Arab art

The sale features works by artists such as Mahmoud Said, Mohamed Melehi and Etel Adnan, with a selection of pieces exhibited in Dubai from 23 to 26 October.

"The collection we are selling is probably the strongest and most impressive to come to market in a long, long time," says Ridha Moumni , Vice President of Christie's Middle East and North Africa region. "Almost all the artists we have are superstars."

The Dalloul Collection is considered one of the most important collections of modern and contemporary Arab art. The collection was created by collectors Ramzi Dalloul and Saeda El Husseini Dalloul. The couple began acquiring works in the 1970s; the collection is now overseen by their son, Basel Dalloul, and his Beirut-based visual arts institution, the Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Art Foundation (Daf).

A selection of Marhala's work was exhibited at Frieze London, which ended on Sunday. A selection of pieces will be on show at Christie's Dubai branch from 23 to 26 October, before a visit to London from 1 to 8 November.

Photo: "Palm Tree" by Ibrahim El-Salahi.


Eight books on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Written by Edward Said, The Question of Palestine focuses on the tensions between Palestinians and Israelis, while showing how the conflict is perceived and reflected in the West. The book was originally written in 1979, but was updated in 1992 to reflect on how events such as the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the Intifada and the Gulf War have impacted on the Palestinian struggle.

"The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006)" Written by Israeli historian Ilan Pappe, the book details the 1948 Nakba, when hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed and more than 700,000 Arabs forcibly displaced when the State of Israel was created.

"Six Days: How the 1967 War Shaped the Middle East (2003): A book by Jeremy Bowen , former BBC Middle East correspondent . As its title suggests, the book highlights the events leading up to and surrounding the war between Israel and several Arab countries in 1967. It breaks down the conflict hour by hour, examining the military decisions and tactics of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria.

"The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood (2006)". Palestinian-American historian Rashid Khalidi explores the history of the Palestinian struggle for independence, from the aftermath of the Ottoman Empire, when British colonial forces took control of Palestine. Khalidi begins with the period of the British Mandate and the arrival of Jewish immigrants, through to the Nakba and the modern era.

"I Saw Ramallah (1997) An autobiographical work by Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti, "I Saw Ramallah" was first translated into English in 2000 by Egyptian novelist Ahdaf Soueif. It follows Barghouti's attempt to return to Palestine from Egypt after the 1967 war. He was refused entry. It took another 30 years before he was finally able to return to the town where he grew up. It's a vivid insight into the difficulties Palestinians face when trying to travel within or return to the country.

"In Search of Fatima (2002): Written by Ghada Karmi, this autobiography offers a first-hand account of the events of 1948. Born in Jerusalem in 1939, she moved to the UK after the Nakba, spending formative years in a Jewish suburb of London. The book is a poignant and moving read, exploring the effects of displacement as major events alter the political landscape in the Middle East.

'My Promised Land: the Triumph and Tragedy of Israel' (2013): Another book by an Israeli author draws on archive documents, interviews, as well as correspondence and private diaries. At its heart is the story of author Ari Shavit's family, starting with his great-grandfather, a British Jew who arrived in Palestine in 1897. The book develops the perspective of the Jewish people who arrived in Palestine at the turn of the century, and attempts to offer a multi-dimensional approach to the creation of Israel.

"The Hundred Years' War on Palestine: a history of colonialism and settler resistance, 1917-2017" (2020): Another book by Rashid Khalidi highlights a letter written in 1899 by the author's great-granduncle, Yusuf Diya al-Khalidi, mayor of Jerusalem. In the letter, al-Khalidi addresses Theodor Herzl, the founding father of the Zionist movement, when the mayor was surprised by Zionist calls to create a Jewish state in Palestine. The book as a whole brings to light a wealth of archival documents, personal letters and trans-generational reports to show the continuing challenges facing Palestinians under occupation.


Aleph on tour in Europe

After a tour of Canada and a stopover in Byblos this summer, Aleph is back on the road with an exceptional tour of Europe, from 9 to 18 October, in Madrid, Amsterdam, Geneva and Paris. Pianist, composer, arranger, conductor and artistic director of 8e Art Entertainment (the leading provider of musical entertainment in the MENA region, the Middle East and North Africa), these are the many hats worn by Aleph, whose real name is Fady Abi Saab.

The tour, organised by MIR'A, an arts centre based in the French capital whose aim is to promote artists and unveil the true musical identity of the MENA region, fulfils the centre's mission of using the arts to promote the heritage and authentic culture of certain regions. The "From Lebanon to the World" concert is a celebration of the Land of the Cedars, with transnational music: flamenco, jazz and tango, mixed with Tunisian and Egyptian sounds, Aleph knows no borders.


New show from Mehdi Bousaidan

The Algerian comedian returns to the stage with his show "Mouton", currently on tour in France and soon in Quebec in 2024. "The show is a self-deprecating metaphor in which the comedian explores, with a touch of sarcasm, the various aspects of social conformity and the absence of free will" - official press release.

Mehdi Bousaidan, born in Algiers in 1991, is a Quebec comedian, improviser and scriptwriter of Algerian origin. After graduating from the École nationale de l'humour de Montréal and becoming a finalist in the "En route vers mon premier gala Juste pour rire" competition, he rose to fame as the lead character in the television series "Med", broadcast on VRAK TV from January 2015 to 2018.

Palestine, Tunisia

An evening of solidarity with Palestine at the Cité de la Culture

In coordination with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, the Théâtre de l'Opéra de Tunis is organising an evening of solidarity with the Palestinian people on Friday 20 October 2023 at 9pm at the Salle de l'Opéra in the Cité de la Culture Chedly Klibi in Tunis.

In a press release issued on Monday 16 October 2023, the Ministry states that the proceeds from this evening of solidarity will go towards health and humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people, in coordination with the Tunisian Red Crescent, which has launched a campaign to collect donations.

United Arab Emirates

Sharjah International Book Fair 2023

This 42nd annual event will host 1,700 events, with South Korea as guest of honour. This edition will welcome 2,033 publishers and exhibitors from 108 countries around the world. They will collectively present an impressive range of 1.5 million titles, all on display at the Expo Center Sharjah from 1 to 12 November.


"Unprovoked Narratives"

The Palestine Film Institute has launched a free online programme to promote Gazan voices and the beauty of Palestine. The programme is intended as an act of resistance against the misinformation that is rampant against the Palestinian people, particularly in the West. Link:

Photo: documentary "Samouni Road" by Stefano Savona, 2018.

Arab World, Palestine

Solidarité avec le peuple palestinien : les actions à travers le monde arabe se multiplient



Recent Journals

28 - 12 - 23

"عيب" by Sarah Bahbah Sarah Bahbah is a Palestinian Jordanian artist and director born and raised in Australia. Raised by Immigrant parents, her culturally conservative upbringing led to a great rebellion of Art. Over the past decade Bahbah has become renowned for her signature style, giving birth to visually striking, culture-shifting stories that combine her most intimate psyche appearing as subtitles placed over cinematic stills. Bahbah’s art explores the power of vulnerability by way of giving voice to the vast spectrum of chaos and desire in imperfect relationships. She believes in embracing emotional vulnerability to break taboos and celebrate the liberation of guilt and shame. In 2020 Bahbah released her most impactful series yet titled “3ieb!” in Arabic / “Shame On Me!” in English; a series where she provocatively posed in front of the camera for the first time, expressing her desire for sexual liberation from her cultural restrictions. The subtitles appeared in both English and Arabic calligraphy which caused an uproar within the MENA community, while simultaenously giving voice to many women who held the same desire. Bahbah’s work has been featured in countless publications including New York Times, Forbes, Business Insider, The Cut, Vogue US, Hollywood Reporter, Vice and many more. In 2023 Bahbah released her first ever luxury fine art book, "Dear Love".

21 - 12 - 23

"I'm 33 and I've never been on a plane" It took five years for Abdel Rahman Zagout, a Gazan photographer, to complete a project on the Egyptian border with Gaza, which won the 2018 Red Cross photography competition. This photograph is part of the project, portraying a young Palestinian at the border, his hands open in front of a closed window. Abdel Rahman Zagout graduated in media at Al-Aqsa University and graduated in 2008. He worked for ten years as a freelance photojournalist and photography consultant. His project recounts the hopes and dreams of Palestinians, shattered by poverty and fences. Most of the photos were taken at the Rafah crossing, which links Gaza to Egypt. It is considered to be the main exit from Gaza, and is only opened sporadically.

14 - 12 - 23

@dyaladesigns "As cliché as it may sound, I've always been creative. Somehow I always knew that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I've never been that passionate about anything other than art and design, so why would I spend my life doing something I didn't really love? It's my passion and I intend to use my creativity to make a difference in this world." "As a Palestinian artist, I definitely feel a responsibility to use my platform to highlight the ongoing conflicts and express my emotions about them in a beautiful way. Art is my passion, and my country is my passion, so combining these two aspects of my life is something that excites and motivates me. My work is a reflection of who I am, and I think it's important to represent people who feel that their voices aren't always heard. I want people to look at my work and see the beauty and relevance of who they are and where they come from. I feel it's our global duty to show our support and unite in times of need. I feel that my work highlights the importance of acceptance and inclusion. Given the world we live in today, where people are bombarded by an unrealistic digital society, my art plays a role in breaking down those boundaries and redefining those expectations." Dyala Moshtaha

07 - 12 - 23

"I will continue to draw until Palestine is free. I will continue to draw the Palestinian flag everywhere in the streets of Egypt." - Mohamed Moataz Mohamed Moataz a décoré l'un des plus anciens quartiers du Caire, Al-Khalifa, qui est par ailleurs inscrit sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO depuis 1979. Il s'agit de quatre peintures murales qui dénoncent l'horreur du génocide de Gaza. Mohamed Moataz a décoré l'un des plus anciens quartiers du Caire, Al-Khalifa, qui est par ailleurs inscrit sur la liste du patrimoine mondial de l'UNESCO depuis 1979. Il s'agit de quatre peintures murales qui dénoncent l'horreur du génocide de Gaza. Mohamed Moataz's career as a street artist began on the streets of the Egyptian capital with works celebrating Arab heritage, featuring iconic figures such as football star Mohamed Salah and the Star of the Orient, Umm Kulthum. However, current events soon caught up with him, and in recent months he has focused exclusively on the genocide perpetrated by the State of Israel in Gaza.

30 - 11 - 23

Gaza, Humanitarian truce, 28 November 2023. Mohammed Salem is a Palestinian photojournalist based in the Gaza Strip. He holds a degree in media studies from Al-Azhar University in Gaza. Mohammed has worked with Reuters since 2003, mainly covering the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. He received the Dubai Press Club Media Award, won the International Press Photo Competition in China in 2004 and was awarded second prize in Spot News at the World Press Photo Competition in 2010. His latest photos of the Gaza Strip in October 2023 have been selected by Reuters as one of the "best press photographs of 2023". "A picture should not be taken just with the eye; it should have a meaning in the heart" - Mohammed Salem.

23 - 11 - 23

"A boy eating watermelon", Adam Rouhana “There are a number of things that come to mind when I look at this image and, honestly, it’s about the boy… It’s sort of like he’s making love to the watermelon, right? That is what it looks like. So, it’s this idea, I guess, of a passion for the land and his own relationship with the land. You can see he’s in this kind of olive grove and the earth is around him." N.B. The watermelon is a symbol of Palestine. Adam Rouhana is a young Palestinian photographer who graduated from Oxford. He grew up in Boston. Each year, he returns to his homeland with his camera, and focuses on Palestinian youth, which represents half the population. A soldier, a fence, a football pitch, but also laughter, somersaults on the beach and back to school moments. The young photographer, who plans his first exhibition with curators Zainab Hasoon and Sara bin Safwan at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, captures these everyday infrastructures, characters and emotions of Palestine. He claims the "permission to narrate" developed by Edward Saïd - in other words, the commitment to sharing an individual rather than a collective story, not dictated by an oppressive regime or locked into a given prism such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Adam Rouhana therefore offers new perspectives and new narratives of Palestine. ‘Instead of reproducing the representations of occupied Palestine that are so ubiquitous and so obvious, I was able to capture the quieter moments and try to work to create new representations of Palestine’ – Adam Rouhana

09 - 11 - 23

"Climbing walls", Khaled Hourani Born in Hebron, he is an artist, writer, commentator, curator, and a critical voice in Palestine. Operating within a socially and politically constrained system, Hourani conveys his awareness of the nuances and vagaries that permeate different aspects of social encounters in Palestine. In his pivotal 2011 project ‘Picasso in Palestine’, Hourani borrowed Picasso’s ‘Buste de Femme’ from the Van Abbemuseum in The Netherlands, to display it in Ramallah. The symbol was powerful knowing the piece was painted during WW2. What was already an unusual lending process turned into a political quagmire considering that Palestine was not - and still isn’t - internationally recognised as a state, therefore making it impossible to insure the piece. The painting had to be militarily guarded: no insurance company took the risk. Picasso’s painting was exhibited in a specific room, always with two guards. This photograph was taken at the time, and has since been exhibited multiple times, also under surveillance. A mise en abyme revealing the complexity and constant struggle of a life under occupation.

30 - 11 - 23

"Kiss of Freedom", Rami Kanso Rami Kanso is a Lebanese-Slovak graphic designer, motion designer and visual artist based in Doha. He currently works for Alaraby TV. Rami combines his work in broadcasting with his passion for creative animation. He was head of visuals for the West End music production "Umm Kulthum: The Golden Era", which premiered at the London Palladium in March 2020. He also co-produced and co-directed a series of award-winning poetry videos with his wife, Dana Dajani. In October 2019, Rami's drawing for the Lebanese revolution became a viral icon of the resistance movement. His art blends calligraphy, collage, texture work, typography and symbolism to express contemporary Arab identity.

26 - 10 - 23

"Women sleeping" by Malak Mattar "Being a feminist is not about hating men; it's about believing that men and women don't have to compete with each other, but that they complement each other. This harmony can exist between two genders when there is equality and recognition of each other's roles and abilities, without degrading anyone's status." Malak Matar was born in 1999 in the Gaza Strip. She started painting in 2014 to escape the aggression and violence she and her family experienced daily while living in the Gaza Strip. Her first solo exhibition, which she organised a year later at the age of fifteen, enabled her to forge links with international journalists and gain recognition for her work on social networks. After winning the distinction of best high school student in the Gaza Strip (and second best in the whole of Palestine), Malak Matar left Gaza in 2017 to study political science in Turkey. She is publishing a bilingual Arabic-English children's book, "Grandma's Bird", about the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, with writings and drawings that describe her own experience.

19 - 10 - 23

"Palest*n*ans: a story of displacement and pain. For decades, the world has been a silent witness to their displacement, the bombing of their refuge and the loss of loved ones. Today, with no access to food, water or medicine, they are faced with the agonising decision to leave the land they hold dear, with the uncertainty of their return, or quite simply, to die. Their story is part of the wider story of refugees around the world. The location of this work has not been added to avoid the shadowbanning I have faced in recent days." - statement by Egyptian visual artist and graphic designer Hassan Ragab, about the tragedy that Gaza goes through today, in front of everyone's eyes. The word 'Palestinians' has had several letters removed to avoid the censorship currently rampant on social networks. Hassan Ragab was trained as an architect and now lives in Southern California. Between design, furniture renovation, installations and graphic design, he participates in the development of digital art and in particular the use of Artificial Intelligence in this field.