Revue culturelle N°92

The Journal

09 - 11 - 23
Issue for subscribers only.
This week's picture

"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.

khalid hourani

Marrakech International Film Festival: Golden Star awarded to Faouzi Bensaïdi

"This year, on the occasion of its 20th edition, the Festival's Golden Star will be awarded to two exceptional personalities, in recognition of their significant contributions to the art of filmmaking: the great Danish actor with an international career, Mads Mikkelsen, and the talented and poetic Moroccan director Faouzi Bensaïdi" - event press release.

Since its creation in 2001, the Marrakech International Film Festival has had a tradition of paying tribute to the greatest names in world and Moroccan cinema.


Skhirat: Moroccan Dressage, Endurance and Jumping Championships

The Royal Moroccan Federation of Equestrian Sports is organising the 8th Moroccan Championships for young horses, Barb and Arab Barb horses, and horses born and bred in Morocco, for dressage, endurance and show jumping, from 6 to 12 November at the Sidi Berni estate in Skhirat.

In addition to these championships, the week will see two other competitions aimed at showcasing the Moroccan horse: the championships for Barbes and Arabes Barbes horses, and the championship for horses born and bred in Morocco.


Tangier: National Film Festival, the Grand Prize goes to "Mon père n'est pas mort" by Adil El Fadili

The feature film "Mon père n'est pas mort" by director Adil El Fadili has won the Grand Prize at the 23rd National Film Festival.

Shot entirely in the studio in Casablanca, the film looks back at the years of darkness in Morocco, through the character of Malik, a child whose father has disappeared and who ends up in a circus.


Nadim Laghmouchi wins the African BMX Championship and qualifies for the Olympic Games in 2024

A total of 70 cyclists took part in the BMX-2023 African Championships on 4 and 5 November. They competed for the titles of continental champions (men's and women's) in the elite, U23 and junior categories.

Nadim Laghmouchi had already represented Morocco in BMX races at the World Cycling Championships, held from 5 to 13 August in Glasgow, Scotland.


Monastir International Tournament: Elliot Benchetrit wins the title

Elliot Benchetrit has won the Monastir international tennis tournament in Tunisia (U15 category), after beating Poland's Olaf Pieczkowski, ranked 647th in the world, in the final in two sets (6-2, 6-3).


India: two Moroccan teachers win Global Teacher Awards

Two Moroccan teachers were honoured on Saturday in the Indian capital, New Delhi, at the 2023 edition of the Global Teacher Awards, an annual event designed to honour and celebrate excellence in teaching worldwide.

El Mahdoun Fatima Zahra, a philosophy teacher in Larache, and Mohamed Fettah, an English teacher at the Lycée Moulay Ismaïl in Meknes, were chosen from among entries from 94 countries around the world at the event, which was initiated by AKS Education, an educational research company based in India.


Dakhla: maritime heritage at the heart of the debate until 6 November

The theme was addressed as part of the 5th edition of the international coastal forum, which brings together Moroccan and foreign researchers and experts.

Launched by the Assalam Association for the Protection of Maritime Heritage to mark the 48th anniversary of the Green March, the three-day event aims to share experiences and expertise and raise awareness of the importance of research, with a view to taking the necessary measures to protect underwater cultural heritage.

The programme of this cultural event includes conferences on "The role of submerged cultural heritage in achieving the SDGs", "Management of underwater cultural heritage" and "Underwater cultural heritage law and academic research".


Rabat: major archaeological discoveries at the Chellah site (video)

The Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication has unveiled archaeological discoveries at the historic site of Chellah.

In sector 1, the enclosure of the ancient city of Sala, the weeding and clearing work focused on a section of wall located 130m from the Merinid wall and bordering the Robinson road over a length of around fifty metres. Near this section of wall, well-preserved earthen structures have also been identified, although they have not yet been fully excavated.

In sector 2, major architectural remains belonging to a large public spa built no later than the beginning of the 2nd century AD were uncovered directly to the west of the line of the ancient enclosure. A life-size headless statue was also discovered, probably representing a divinity. This is the first statue to have been discovered in Morocco since the 1960s.

As for sector 3, the necropolis, a new burial zone has been identified thanks to the discovery of the remains of a "Columbarium" tomb, the only one of its kind documented to date in the area around Sala.

In sector 4, the port district, a variety of remains have been discovered, attesting to the existence of a district extending, according to preliminary estimates, over a length of around 230m from north to south.

Algeria, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia

Atlas Workshops: list of selected projects and films

The 6th edition of the workshops has revealed the list of projects to benefit from its support. Here are the selected projects and films from the Arab world:

  • AMNESIA - Dima HAMDAN (Palestine) - 1st film
  • FLÉAU (PLAGUE) - Youssef CHEBBI (Tunisia) - 2nd film
  • LA RAGE (RABIES) - Sandra TABET (Lebanon) - 1st film
  • LES FILS DE LA LOUVE (WOLFMOTHER) - Ismaël EL IRAKI (Morocco) - 2nd film

REGARDS SUR L'ATLAS (Moroccan development projects)

  • LA FIN DE L'ÉTÉ (ATLANTIC MIRAGE) - Hakim MAO (Morocco) - 1st film
  • OUT OF SCHOOL - Hind BENSARI (Morocco) | Doc - 2nd film
  • ROAD TRIP - Linda QIBAA (Morocco) | Doc - 1st film


  • AGORA - Ala Eddine SLIM (Tunisia) - 3rd film
  • LA MER AU LOIN - Saïd HAMICH BENLARBI (Morocco) - 2nd film
  • LE MAGMA - Mia BENDRIMIA (Algeria) | Doc - 1st film

MARIE & JOLIE - Erige SEHIRI (Tunisia) | Pre-production - 3rd film

MOTHERHOOD - Meryam JOOBEUR (Tunisia) - 1st film

PERFUMED WITH MINT - Muhammed HAMDY (Egypt) - 1st film

  • ATLAS FILM SHOWCASE (films in the final stages of editing in search of a festival premiere)

    HAPPY LOVERS - Hicham LASRI (Morocco)

  • RUNNING WITH BEASTS - Leila BASMA (Lebanon) - 1st film
  • THE CAMEL DRIVING SCHOOL - Halima OUARDIRI (Morocco) - 1st film
  • WE DON'T FORGET - Adnane BARAKA (Morocco) - 2nd film

Les Ateliers de l'Atlas is a programme aimed at revealing new talents in the Moroccan film industry, providing support for Moroccan, Arab and African filmmakers. It has enabled 111 projects and films to be made since 2017, 48 of which are Moroccan. For example, four films selected for the 2023 Cannes Festival have benefited from the support of the Ateliers de l'Atlas: "The mother of all lies" by Asmae El Moudir (Un Certain regard - best direction, best documentary), "The Pack" by Kamal Lazraq (Un certain regard - Mention of the Jury), "Inshallah a boy" by Amjad Al Rasheed (Semaine de la critique) and "Deserts" by Faouzi Bensaïdi (Quinzaine des cinéastes).

Cultural Projects

Rabat: creation of the "Moussalaha" Centre

One of the aims of the agreement is to rehabilitate and reintegrate prisoners sentenced in cases of extremism and terrorism.

It was signed by the secretary general of the Rabita Mohammadia des Oulémas, Ahmed Abbadi, the Délégué Général à l'Administration Pénitentiaire et à la Réinsertion, Mohamed Salah Tamek, the ministre délégué chargé du Budget, Fouzi Lekjaa, the president of the Conseil national des droits de l'Homme, Amina Bouayach, and the coordinator of the Fondation Mohammed VI pour la réinsertion des détenus, Abdelouahed Jamali Idrissi.

Under the terms of the agreement, the centre will be tasked with combating violent extremism and rehabilitating and reintegrating prisoners convicted of terrorism and extremism.

The centre will also be entrusted with new tasks, namely designing programmes to prevent extremism, setting up a monitoring system, taking measures to protect the direct family environment of beneficiaries of the "Moussalaha" programme from adopting extremist ideas, and carrying out studies, research, meetings, conferences and training sessions in this field.

The financial supervision of the centre will be entrusted to a committee chaired by the coordinator of the Mohammed VI Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Prisoners, while an administrative staff will manage it.


Marrakech International Film Festival: 75 films for the 20th edition

For its 20th edition, to be held from 24 November to 2 December 2023, the Marrakech International Film Festival will be presenting a selection of world cinema, with 75 films from 36 countries divided into several sections: the Official Competition, the Gala Screenings, the Special Screenings, the 11th Continent, the Panorama of Moroccan Cinema, the Young Audiences screenings, the screenings at Jemaa El Fna and the films shown as part of the tributes.

14 films have been selected for the official competition, and 8 of them have been directed by women - a first for the festival. While this list has not yet been revealed, those for the other sections have. These include the fantastic fable 'Animalia' by Sofia Alaoui, 'Mora est là' by Khalil Zairi and 'Moroccan Badass Girl' by Hicham Lasri (Morocco).

Photo: "Le Bleu du Caftan" by Maryam Touzani.

Cultural Projects

The BASMA association launches an online platform dedicated to young Moroccan artists

The association Beaux-Arts Solidarité Maroc (BASMA) has just unveiled its new digital portal,, an innovative space designed to promote the new generation of plastic and visual artists.

The portal, dedicated to Moroccans living in the Kingdom or elsewhere, is a "personal space of visibility, secure and free of charge for young artists, offering a presentation according to the international standards of the art world" - press release.

Entirely free of charge, this website, the first of its kind in Morocco, will permanently showcase the entire young plastic and visual arts scene on the web.

Each young artist will have a complete personal space to which they will have protected access to their data so that they can enrich and modify it. The platform will also be fully accessible in English to give it a more international feel.


Arab music in all its forms is coming to Marrakech's Meydene.

The venue will be hosting three concerts on 17, 24 and 25 November, dedicated to "Tarab and Amdah", melodies and musical genres that have become iconic in the Arab world.

The 'Halimiyat' concert on 17 November will pay tribute to Abdel Halim Hafez with performers Youssef Jrifi and Ayoub Tijani and the Zaman El Wasl orchestra. As for Layali Al Mohibbine, on 24 November it will be "a musical odyssey through Moroccan religious traditions". On 25 November, a Sufi evening will be hosted by Zawiya Qadirya Boutchichiya.


Agadir International Festival of Cinema and Migration

The 19th edition will be held from 13 to 18 November.

The feature film jury will be chaired by Belgian-Moroccan director and producer Nabil Ben Yadir. He will be joined by Françoise Dominique Bastide, a Franco-Moroccan journalist, Bahaa Trabelsi, a Moroccan writer and scriptwriter, Sanae Ghouati, a Moroccan teacher, and Nour-Eddine Lakhmari, a Moroccan director. According to the festival programme, the official selection of feature films includes 'Rebel' by Belgian-Moroccan directors Adil El Arbi and Bilal Fallah.

The short film jury will be chaired by actress and scriptwriter Kalila Bounaylat. The jury will also include director Ghizlane Assif and journalist, writer and film critic Hassan Naraiss.

Masterclasses are also planned, led by director and producer Yamina Benguigui, the president of the feature film jury Nabil Ben Yadir, and musician Driss El Maloumi.

Digital ArtFestivals

IF du Maroc organises "Novembre Numérique" (Digital November)

The twelve branches of the Institut français organise Novembre Numérique from 1 to 30 November 2023. They are offering shows at the crossroads of digital arts, cinema, music, digital workshops, video games, virtual reality films, augmented reality exhibitions, meetings and round tables... to showcase the best of French and Moroccan digital creation. The programme will include an immersive stage show featuring the French musician, composer, producer and performer De Laurentis, who is a great fan of musical hybrids. Her concept album Unica will take audiences on a journey to Agadir, Rabat, Kénitra, Meknès, Fès and Tétouan.

Cultural Projects

Morocco's cultural budget 2024

Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication, has presented the Ministry's draft budget for 2024.

381.5 million DH dedicated to cultural projects.
According to the Minister, a number of projects will be launched next year, including the celebration of Marrakech as the capital of Islamic culture, Morocco's participation in the Venice Biennale of the Arts, the development of the historic site of Sijilmassa, the Ouarzazate Cinema City and the organisation of the International Video Games Fair.

Several bills will also be tabled, such as the bill on the protection and enhancement of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, the bill on the creation and organisation of the National Higher Institute of Music and Choreographic Arts, the bill on the creation of the Moroccan Book Prize and the bill on the creation and organisation of the Mohammed VI Foundation to support Moroccan artists and creators.


Imad El Attar wins the Mohamed Bin Rashid Prize for the Arabic Language

Imad Ahmed El Attar has won the 7th edition of the "Mohamed bin Rashid Prize for the Arabic Language" (second category) in the "Culture, Thought and Knowledge Society" category, for his initiative "Readers' Club in Morocco", which aims to promote reading in Moroccan society.


Tunis: Nacer Khemir at the Alain Nadaud gallery

The painter, writer and film-maker will be presenting a solo exhibition on 17 and 18 November. The exhibition, entitled "Eshq", focuses on love, which can be described in sixty different ways in Arabic. The event is based on his book published in 2021 on the same theme: "L'Amour selon Nacer Khemir" (Love according to Nacer Khemir).


National meeting of young women writers: six prize-winners rewarded

Six young authors, including three poets and three short story writers, were the winners of the 13th "National Meeting of Young Women Writers", held on 4 and 5 November in Sahline near Monastir.

Poetry competition:

  • Khaoula ben Sik Salem won first prize.
  • Second and third prizes went to Rimal Abdellaoui and Najoua ben Ali.

Short story competition:

  • First prize in the short story competition went to Imen Essafi.
    Second prize went to Latifa Labben and third prize to Sihem Kchiwa and Rania Affes.

Organised by the Sahline House of Culture with the support of the municipality of Sahline and the Monastir Regional Delegation for Cultural Affairs, this literary event is back after an absence of four years.

Arab World

18 December, Arabic Language Day

The theme of World Arabic Language Day 2023, to be celebrated on 18 December, will be "Arabic - The Language of Poetry and the Arts", announced UNESCO.

Palestine, Tunisia

"Reading for Palestine"

The El Moez bookshop and Apollonia publishing house have launched an initiative called "Reading for Palestine" to support almost 150 Gazan students in Tunisia, who have been completely cut off from their families since 7 October.

The campaign, which began on 28 October and will run until 19 November, involves donating all the proceeds from Abdelaziz Belkhodja's book Les étoiles de la colère, published in 1999 and still relevant today.

Palestine, Tunisia

First edition of Seasons of Creation, 7 to 14 November

This week celebrates Tunisian theatre and its creators, in partnership with the Abdelwahab Ben Ayed Foundation.

This project takes up the torch from "La semaine du théâtre tunisien", launched in the 1960s and discontinued in the early 2000s. The aim of this first edition is to showcase new productions and new Tunisian talent. The initiative is led by artist and academician Moez Mrabet.

15 plays are scheduled:

  • "La ferme" (The Farm) by Ghazi Zaghbani,
  • "Title" by Haykel Rahali,
  • "14/11" by Moez Gdiri,
  • "Troupeau" by Hamadi Mezzi,
  • "Châala" by Amina Dachraoui,
  • "Rohhab" by Moayed Ghazouani,
  • "J'ai rêvé de toi hier" by Lobna Mlika and Brahim Jomaâ,
  • "Black-out" by Mounir Argui,
  • "Autre chose" by Mohamed Kouas,
  • "Dîner de chiens" by Youssef Mares,
  • "Korrinti" by Asma Thabet,
  • "Now you are being questioned" by Sami Jouini,
  • "Gilgamesh" by Ali Nasser,
  • "The Godzilla Phenomenon by Aous Brahim,
  • "La fuite du repenti" by Abdel Wahed Mabrouk.

A jury comprising Fatma Ben Saïden, Hamdi Hmaïdi, Wafa Tabouni, Nizar Saïdi and Hatem Telili Mahmoudi will award the prizes<;

This week is also an opportunity for debate on issues that impact and influence creation and condition creativity, and it is within the framework of a symposium on the theme of "Theatre at a time of resistance" directed by Hamadi Ouhaïbi that art and theatre, as an act of creation and resistance, come to the fore at the heart of a political current event that is shaking up the region with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestine, Tunisia

Status of the artist: new decree

The Minister for Culture and the Arts, Soraya Mouloudji, said on Wednesday in Algiers that the publication of the presidential decree on the status of artists was "one of the most important cultural achievements" in Algeria and a "historic event in the Algerian cultural landscape since independence".

"The measures and provisions set out in the artist's statute are designed to help improve the social protection of artists by putting in place the relevant legal framework" - Minister of Culture and the Arts, Soraya Mouloudji.

These articles set out the rights and obligations of the artist, as well as the various artistic activities, the nature of the artistic contract and the artistic professions.

Palestine, Tunisia

National poetry days: the Palestinian cause at the heart of the event

The Abdelmadjid Chafi House of Culture is organising the 5th National Poetry Days from 14 to 16 November, under the slogan 'El Watan El Qasida Matlaahoua le Premier Novembre'. The event focuses on national memory and the revolutionary path of the War of Independence, highlighting the close relationship between Palestinian and Algerian poetry and literature.

Six conferences are planned on the subject, as well as an international colloquium on "Scenes from revolutionary literature" led by Ibrahim Badi. Some twenty poets from fourteen wiliya will be singing patriotic poems in support of Palestine.


Death of Abdelmalek Mortadh

Academician and critic Abdelmalek Mortadh has died at the age of 88. Born in Tlemcen in 1935, the deceased was one of Algeria's leading Arab researchers in the fields of Arabic language teaching and literary criticism. Since the 1960s, he has contributed dozens of works to the Algerian and Arab libraries.


Ahmed Taibaoui wins the "Best Arab Novel" prize at the Sharjah International Book Fair

The prize was awarded following the publication of his book "Bab El-Oued". The Algerian writer has already received awards for his books, including the Naguib-Mahfouz Literary Prize awarded by the American University in Cairo (2021) for his novel "Ikhtifaa Assayid La Ahad" (Disappearance of Mr Person) and the Tayeb-Salih Prize for Creative Writing in Sudan (2014) for his book "Maout Naiim" (Sweet Death).


Beirut: "Non Political Hassles"

As part of "Beirut Livres", the illustrator is exhibiting his various drawings at Dar el Nemr, which tell of his anxieties and questions, as well as the world news of recent years. Lebanese political life is one of the key subjects of this exhibition, revealing its nonsense and cruel irony.


Sandra Ghosn, a very full agenda

Draughtswoman and illustrator Sandra Ghosn uses Indian ink to express herself, and her drawings explore social taboos, identity and romantic relationships. One of the new generation of Lebanese illustrators, she moved to France in 2007 after the war between Israel and Hezbollah. She works in particular with the Lebanese collective Samandal.

"For a long time I drew with Indian ink, which I appreciate for its indelible nature, but then I chose a more flexible medium, with graphite and black stone, which caused a paradigm shift: to draw, I often erased" - Sandra Ghosn for OLJ.

She will shortly be exhibiting at Art Montpellier with the gallery representing her, Art Absolument, between 16 and 19 November. Then, on 2 December, she will be taking part in a group show at SEPT in Paris.

In 2024, she will be presenting two new works: a group show in Nogent-le-Rotrou in April, and a solo show in Paris in autumn.

Diptych (42 x 60 cm, pencil on paper, 2022) by Sandra Ghosn.


"In Rabih's kitchen"

This is the new series launched on YouTube by Rabih Kayrouz. In it, he meets inspirational personalities in his kitchen, with whom he chats while drinking a coffee or nibbling an aperitif. An intimate setting for fascinating conversations, a new video podcast format. The first conversation is with costume designer Marylin Fitoussi, made famous by her work on the hit American series 'Emily in Paris'. The second is with Franco-Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh. Twenty-minute interviews at


The birthplace of Gebran Khalil Gebran celebrates the centenary of the 'Prophet

Becharre is home to a museum dedicated to the writer whose seminal work, The Prophet, published in the United States in 1923, has since been translated into 115 languages and is considered to be one of the major works of the 20th century.

During an evening of readings from The Prophet,organised recently as part of the Beirut Book Fair, writer Alexandre Najjar recalled that in the 1960s the book was adopted by "the hippy movement", notably for its famous line: "Your children are not your children (...) they come through you and not from you".

To mark the Prophet's centenary, the museum took part in an exhibition at the UN headquarters in New York in April. Today, the museum is exhibiting 23 paintings, with reference to the year 2023, representing people who played an important role in the writing of "The Prophet", such as the author's mother.

Photo: Partial view of the tomb of the Lebanese-American writer and poet at the Gebran Khalil Gebran Museum in Becharre. Photo Joseph Eid/AFP.

Arab World, Palestine

Western cultural institutions dissociate themselves from the Palestinian cause, and more broadly from Arab artists

The last few days have seen a succession of scandals on the Western art scene, starting with Christies' decision to withdraw from its catalogue two works by Ayman Baalbaki, due to go on sale in London on 9 November. "Al-Moulatham" and "Anonymous" are two paintings depicting a man whose face is concealed by a keffiyeh and another wearing a gas mask with a red band bearing the Arabic word "rebels". However, the decision to withdraw the painting was taken directly by Christie's New York office.

When asked about this controversy, which directly affects his work, Ayman Baalbaki described it as "censorship without a name. They want to censor a certain art, a certain Arab culture. This story reminds me of the label of degenerate art used by the Nazis to suppress the works of Jewish or Communist artists who had modern approaches, on the pretext that they constituted an insult to German national sentiment".

This indignation is all the more legitimate given that it was Moulatham's series, inspired by the events of 1975 in Lebanon (the very year of his birth) and begun in 2006, that helped establish the Lebanese artist's international reputation. It is his recurring depictions of the fida'i (freedom fighter to the point of sacrifice) wearing the keffiyeh scarf that have earned him recognition as one of the leading figures on the Arab art scene.

On 2 November, the American Museum of Pittsburgh announced that it was postponing its exhibition on Islamic art for fear of offending the Jewish community, thus helping to perpetuate the stereotype pitting Muslims against Jews and associating Islamic art with terrorism and anti-Semitism.

On 28 October, Artforum's editor-in-chief, David Velasco, was sacked following an open letter calling for emergency humanitarian aid for Gaza. He is leaving Artforum after 18 years, including six as editor. In an e-mail to the New York Times, he wrote: "I have no regrets. I am disappointed that a magazine that has always defended freedom of expression and the voice of artists has bowed to outside pressure.

The Royal Ontario Museum had also decided to withdraw works by Palestinian artists as part of the exhibition "Death: Life's Greatest Mystery", which was due to open on 3 November. Jenin Yaseen and Sameerah Ahmad organised an 18-hour sit-in at the museum in reaction to the management's decision. Yaseen told the "Hyperallergic" media that the museum wanted to reframe its reproduction of his painting depicting a traditional Islamic funeral ritual in order to remove the image of a dead Palestinian being pulled from a grave by soldiers. The museum apologised and reinstated the works.

The University of Potsdam has postponed a discussion with the Palestinian artist Emily Jacir, who was due to be held in Berlin at the Hamburger Bahnof. Jacir was awarded the Golden Lion for artists under 40 at the 52nd Venice Film Festival.

The Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna cancelled a lecture by economist Yanis Varoufakis, without giving any explanation. An open letter from the students challenged the decision: "We, architecture students of the IKA, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (...) call upon the IKA to issue an apology to Yanis Varoufakis, that underlines the legitimacy of speaking out against Israel's Apartheid/Occupation."

Litprom has also cancelled the award of the Litprom prize to Palestinian author Adania Shibli for her novel "A Minor Detail" at the Frankfurt International Book Fair.

Finally, the municipality of Choisy le Roi in France cancelled the play "And Here I am" put on by The Freedom Theater, from Jenin.

Photo: "Anonymous" from the eponymous series produced between 2011 and 2018. Copyrights Ayman Baalbaki.


The new Karoline Lang collection by Karine Tawil

The collection takes up the famous slogan "Keep calm and carry on" popularised by the British government in 1939, to give its citizens courage in the run-up to the Blitz. The winter collection was presented at the Corm Foundation, with Art Deco-inspired pieces featuring geometric cuts and cool colours. Velvet, leather and poplin are the materials used in this collection.

Photo Gilles Abenhaim.


"Les Musicales du Liban"

The festival founded by Zeina Saleh Kayali and Georges Daccache will be held at the Notre-Dame du Liban cathedral in Paris. The three concerts will take place on Sundays 12, 19 and 26 November at 4pm at the Cathedral Notre Dame du Liban in Paris.

Press release:

"The opening concert of the festival takes place on Sunday 13 November, on the theme of Rome-Beirut, and sheds an interesting light on an unprecedented dialogue between contemporary Italian and Lebanese composers, with Georges Daccache, a pioneering interpreter of Lebanon's musical heritage - and co-founder of the Musicales du Liban - on piano and Alexander Spreng on cello.

The second concert on Sunday 20 November features a young instrumental ensemble, Les Cordes résonnantes, founded by Joe Daou and Elie Sfeir, who have made a name for themselves with their interpretation of Baroque music and whose career is beginning to take off in an exciting way. They will be performing Harmonie libanaise, a programme specially 'concocted' for Les Musicales du Liban and devoted exclusively to Lebanese composers of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

On Sunday 27 November, the programme will feature the immense contralto Fadia Tomb El Hage, who has mastered the tools of Western music to perfection, yet has managed to put them at the service of her Eastern soul. Accompanied by the Ensemble Fragments, she will be presenting for the first time in Paris works from the album Masärät, a collection of pieces by Lebanese composers based on texts by Lebanese poets, specially composed for Fadia Tomb El Hage's unique voice.


Slimane Nebchi represents France at Eurovision 2024

After two major disappointments at Eurovision with new or emerging artists, France is banking on a new strategy with Slimane for the 2024 edition, a singer with an established career in France.

The 34-year-old French artist announced the news on his Instagram: "Pour mes parents, Pour ma fille, Pour la France, Pour toi..." (For my parents, For my daughter, For France, For you...).

Duet with Vitaa, top of the album sales chart in France in 2020, Victoire de la musique for "Ca va ça vient", ... Slimane got his start by winning the TV show The Voice in 2016.


The documentary "Yallah Gaza" by Roland Nurier

In the last month, 10,022 Palestinians have lost their lives, including more than 4,000 children, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health on Monday 6 November.

Roland Nurier shows the legendary resilience of the people of Gaza in his new film, Yallah Gaza, leur rage de vivre. What if the Palestinians in Gaza were "just a normal people living in a totally abnormal environment", wonders the French filmmaker, who in 2019 made his first film, Le char et l'olivier, une autre histoire de la Palestine?

In "Yallah Gaza", Roland Nurier gives a voice to Gazan citizens from civil society, who are involved in economic, educational, health, social, cultural and sporting life, thus testifying to the vitality of the population. Social workers Wissam Mohamed Hammad and Iktimal Eghareb explain the day-to-day difficulties faced by Gazan families, exacerbated by confinement and the trauma of frequent bombardments.

Testimonies from Palestinian political leaders are also included: Hassan Albalawi, member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), adviser to the Palestinian mission to the European Union (EU); Bassem Naim, member of Hamas, former Minister of Health, responsible for international relations; Maryam Abu Daqqa, responsible for Gaza for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Critical Israeli voices, such as Éléonore Bronstein, a Franco-Israeli researcher and co-founder of the De-Colonizer association; Ronnie Barkan, an anti-Zionist Israeli dissident; and Yonatan Shapira, a former pilot in the Israeli air force, provide a different perspective on Israeli society.

A troupe of young male and female dabke dancers performing a choreography on and in the devastated buildings of a Gaza neighbourhood following one of the many destructions perpetrated by the Israeli army provide breaths of fresh air throughout the film.

The director did not obtain permission to enter Gaza. The Gaza section of the film was therefore made in close collaboration with a French-speaking Gazan cinematographer, Iyad Alasttal, who is also a director, documentary filmmaker and creator of the "Gaza stories" series.

Arabie Saoudite, Égypte, Irak, Jordanie, Liban, Palestine, Syrie

Jeddah: the Red Sea Festival unveils its 2023 theme

The Red Sea International Film Festival, which returns to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia from 30 November to 9 December, has unveiled its theme for this year: "Your story, your festival".

The festival also unveiled its selection of 36 films from Saudi Arabia, as well as the Arab Spectacular and Red Sea: Competition programmes for this third edition.

The programme of Arab short films selected for the competition.

  • "Smokey Eyes" by Ali Ali (Egypt)
  • "Manity" by Hussen Ibrahim (Lebanon)
  • "The Key" by Rakan Mayasi (Palestine)
  • "Somewhewe in Between" by Dahlia Nemlich (Lebanon)
  • "Amplified" by Dina Naser (Jordan)
  • "The Woodland" by Firas Taybeh (Jordan)
  • "The Call of the Brook" by Jad Chahine (Egypt)
  • "Farewell" by Ibrahem Melhem (Syria)
  • "Saeed" by Rami al-Zayer (Saudi Arabia)
  • "Deaf" by Roy Arida (Lebanon)
  • "Me and Aydarous" by Sara Balghonaim (Saudi Arabia).

Le film d’ouverture ne sera autre que « Hwjn » de Yasir AL-Yasiri (Irak). Adapté du roman fantastique pour jeunes adultes à succès d’Ibrahim Abbas, le film raconte l’histoire d’un djinn curieux tombé amoureux d’une humaine tout en explorant la réalité derrière sa lignée royale, dans une combinaison éblouissante de folklore arabe et du royaume mystérieux des djinns», a indiqué le festival sur Instagram.Le film met en vedette Baraa Alem, Nour Alkhadra, Naif Aldaferi, Alanoud Saud, Mohsen Mansour et Shaimaa al-Tayeb.

Photo: "Inshallah A Boy" by Amjad al-Rasheed.

Saudi Arabia

A two-hundred-thousand-year-old axe found in AlUla

The discovery was announced by the Royal Commission for AlUla, as a team of archaeologists led by Dr Can and Gizem Aksoy explored the Qarah site in search of evidence of ancient human life in the region.

The 51-centimetre-long axe is made of soft basalt and has a sharp edge on each side. It is thought to date back to the Palaeolithic period, which ended around ten thousand years ago.


Rabat: discovery of the "first" two-hundred-thousand-year-old ancient port district in Marocco found at AlUla

Moroccan archaeologists have announced the discovery of the "first" ancient port district in Morocco, an extension of the Chellah (or Sala) site in Rabat, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

"This is an important discovery in that it is the first time that remains have been found attesting to the presence of an ancient port district in Morocco" - archaeologist Abdelaziz El Khayari.

This port area could date from the first or second century AD, during the Roman period.

Morocco has several ancient sites, the most famous of which are the ruins of Chellah in Rabat and those of Volubilis, near Meknes (centre).


Amir El-Masry nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards

Anglo-Egyptian actor Amir El-Masry has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the British Independent Film Awards for his role in the film "In Camera".

The film, which had its world premiere at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, tells the story of Aden - played by Nabhaan Rizwan - a young actor trapped in a nightmarish cycle of castings. After several rejections, Aden decides to turn the page.

El-Masry starred in the hit Netflix series 'The Crown' as the young version of Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed, father of the late Princess Diana's partner Dodi.

He also appeared in Netflix's sci-fi drama 'The One'. Released in March 2021, it is a TV series based on the novel of the same name by British author John Marrs.

In 2020, El-Masry received a BAFTA Breakthrough Brits Award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.


"Inshallah a Boy" wins Best Performance at the Asia Pacific Screen Award

Jordanian filmmaker Amjad Al-Rasheed's "Inshallah a Boy" has won yet another accolade: Best Performance at the Asia Pacific Screen Award.

Last week, the film won the award for Best Narrative Screenplay at the sixth edition of the Mystic Film Festival, in Stonington, in south-eastern Connecticut. In September, the critically acclaimed film won the Venice Biennale Award at the Venice Film Festival. It also won the Gan Foundation Prize and the Rail d'Or for Best Feature Film at the Cannes Film Festival's Critics' Week.

"Inshallah Walad" was the first Jordanian film to compete at the Cannes Film Festival. It was screened as part of Cannes Critics' Week. The ninety-minute film was shot in Amman in just five weeks, and had notably benefited from a production grant from the Jordan Film Fund and the RFC in 2019. The film stars Mouna Hawa, Haitham al-Omari, Salwa Nakkara, Yumna Marwan, Mohammed aI-Jizawi and Eslam al-Awadi.

The film tells the story of a young widow, Nawal, and her daughter who are about to lose their home. Synopsis: "After the sudden death of her husband, 30-year-old Nawal must fight for her share of the inheritance to save her daughter and her home, in a society where having a son would be a game changer."


Designer Abdalla Almulla creates a palm tree installation for Dubai Design Week

In line with the forthcoming COP28, which will take place in Dubai this year from 30 November to 30 December. 12 to find solutions to global climate change, this edition of Dubai Design Week focuses on the theme of sustainability and how designers and architects can create their work using environmentally friendly materials and processes.

For this year's edition, Emirati architect Abdalla Almulla has created 'The Palm', a large-scale outdoor installation made entirely from parts of the palm tree indigenous to the United Arab Emirates.

"Guided by the concept of scarcity and remaining true to the theme of sustainability, I chose to exploit an existing natural resource, reusing it creatively to extend its functionality beyond its original scope. My aim was to highlight the remarkable versatility of the locally abundant palm tree, demonstrating its ability to meet a variety of human needs."

Almulla's use of geometric references, which echo motifs found in Islamic art, can be seen integrated throughout the installation.

Palestine, Qatar

Fashion Trust Arabia cancels its 5th edition due to the "humanitarian crisis in Palestine".

In a statement published on the event's page, the organisers said: "Fashion Trust Arabia has always been dedicated to encouraging young designers from the MENA region. We firmly believe in the transformative power of art and creativity to transcend borders and unite communities. However, in light of the current and deeply distressing humanitarian crisis in Palestine, we have taken the decision to cancel our fifth annual awards ceremony, which was due to take place last month, as well as all our upcoming activities. We have taken this decision out of solidarity and respect".

The organisation said that over the coming weeks it would be highlighting - on social networks - the rich history of Palestinian culture and fashion in collaboration with its diverse network of designers.

Iraq, Palestine

Kadim Al Sahir joins the UN in a song calling for a ceasefire in Gaza

Announcing the news at the Sharjah International Book Fair, the singer said the English track was provisionally entitled "Hold Your Fire", for which he had written the lyrics in Arabic.

During the US invasion of Iraq, Al Sahir teamed up with Lenny Kravitz for the anti-war song "We Want Peace" in 2004 and collaborated with Sarah Brightman the following year on "The War is Over" (Entahat Al Harb).

Photo: copyrights Khushnum Bhandari / Le National.

Arab World

"The Oud: An Illustrated History by Rachel Beckles

This book looks at the history of this instrument, associated with the Middle East, although it is widespread in Indonesia and Africa. Development, religion, feminism... The author tells the story of this musical instrument like never before. In bookshops on 14 November.

United Arab Emirates

Dubai Design Week

The exhibition, which runs at Downtown Design until Saturday, is an annual platform dedicated to supporting designers living in the United Arab Emirates. This year's exhibition is curated by Fatma Al Mahmoud, Head of Cultural Planning at the House of Wisdom and Managing Partner of Hamzat Wasl Studio.

The selection of participants in the exhibition was based on several criteria," explains Al Mahmoud. It was important that the works could be produced within a specific timeframe and that they took into account sustainability issues. Al Mahmoud worked closely with the designers as they developed their ideas.

Photo: "Flow" by Diana Hawatmeh and Sheikha Al Serkal.


French Lebanese Film Festival

The festival, whose patron is Darina Al Joundi, kicks off at Le Lincoln cinema from 23 to 26 November. The programme includes "Tnaash" by Boudy Sfeir, "Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano" by Cyril Aris, "Toxic Hope" by Salim Saab, "Farah" by Hassiba Freiha and Kenton Oxley, etc. Masterclasses and lectures are also on the programme. The full programme is available at


Massinissa Selmani at Pompidou

Using press photographs, Massinissa Selmani constructs 'drawn forms' in the surrealist mode of collage, somewhere between the tragic and the comic. These are "unfathomable places", as he describes them, where the absurd is never far away. His work can be seen at the Centre Pompidou as part of the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2023. His work presented in Paris is inspired by photography and press cartoons, always with the idea of recognising familiar gestures and postures.

To understand Massinissa Selmani's work, you have to get up close and 'enter' the drawing: "I ask visitors to make an effort. I find the spectacular aspect frustrating, because once you're past the astonishment stage, there's a risk that there won't be much left. It's true that my works don't say much at first glance. Sometimes people think there's a hidden meaning in some of my drawings, but there isn't."

Massinissa Selmani will also be taking part in the Taipei Biennale, from 18 November to 24 March 2024, and in December he will be exhibiting in Algeria, at the Rhizome gallery, and in February 2024 at Jane Lombard, who represents him in New York.


Yasmina Khadra in comics

His novels Ce que le jour doit à la nuit (adapted by scriptwriter Stella Lory and illustrator Marion Duclos) and Les Sirènes de Bagdad (adapted by illustrator Winoc) have been published as comic strips by Philéas.


Actress Jawaher has died

Jawaher Al-Kuwaiti died on 1 November 2023.

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.