Revue culturelle N°96

The Journal

14 - 12 - 23
Issue for subscribers only.
This week's picture


"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


Casablanca: Festival "Lovers of the 80s"

Organised for the summer of 2024 by Public Events, the festival will feature three evenings of 100% 80s music, celebrating New Wave, Pop, Techno, Jazz and Rock. The programme will also revisit some of the classics, to also put the spotlight on the new Moroccan scene.


Marrakech African Book Festival

Founded by Mahi Binebine (writer and visual artist), Fatimata Sagna (journalist), Hanane Essaydi (academic) and Younès Ajarraï (cultural entrepreneur), and organised by the WE ART AFRICA//NS association, the second edition of the festival brings together writers from the continent, its diasporas and its descendants. The second edition of the festival will be held in the ochre city from 8 to 11 February, and will feature a programme based on themes that are "in line with the editorial and scientific current affairs of writers, thinkers and intellectuals from Africa, its diasporas and its descendants" - press release.

The festival's honorary president is Jean-Marie Gistave Le Clézio, and among the artists who have already confirmed their attendance is Abdoulaye Konaté (Mali).

As in the first edition, literary cafés, palavers, readings, storytelling, signings and nocturnes will take place over the four days of the festival at the Les Etoiles Cultural Centre in Jamaa el-Fna and in partner venues for a promising second edition: Palace Es Saadi, UM6P, GEC Marrakech - École de Management, Cadi Ayad University, secondary schools, etc. An exhibition will round off the programme, which will focus on young audiences and the promotion of reading and writing. Master classes, writing workshops and literary breakfasts will be organised in partnership with secondary schools and universities.

A Giant Dictation will be organised in a symbolic square in the city. It will bring together hundreds of young people who have taken part in writing workshops, and will be open to all by registration. It will be given in Arabic, French and English.


Essaouira: increased budget for the rehabilitation of the medina

An estimated budget of 60 million DH (MDH) has been allocated to the restoration of historic monuments as part of the complementary programme for the rehabilitation and enhancement of the ancient medina of Essaouira (2019-2023).

Restoration work has been carried out on the port Sqala's ancillary facilities, fountains, places of worship (the Haha and Errahala mosques, the Regraga Zaouia, the Kettania Zaouia and the Salât El Kamel synagogue). Several restorations have also taken place at the Portuguese church, as well as the rehabilitation and upgrading of historic squares (Chrib Atay, Chefchaouni, El Fennanine and Errahba).

Of the 27 restoration projects, 9 have been completed.


Seminar on preserving the memory of Moroccans from Algeria

The event was held on 11 December to mark the 48th anniversary of the "arbitrary expulsion of thousands of Moroccan citizens residing legally on Algerian soil" - press release. The meeting was organised by the Collectif international de soutien aux familles d'origine marocaine expulsées d'Algérie en 1975. This event refers to the expulsion of Moroccans from Algeria, considered as a forced displacement of the Moroccan diaspora living in Algeria to Morocco, which took place in December 1975, following the annexation of Western Sahara by Morocco.

In a statement to MAP, the President of CiMRA75, Mohamed Cherfaoui, stressed that this seminar represents "an opportunity to preserve memory, in order to collect documents and evidence, which will subsequently be submitted to the International Court of Justice".

The conference was marked by the signing of a partnership agreement between Archives du Maroc and CiMRA75, aimed at preserving the collective memory and bringing justice to Moroccan victims of arbitrary collective expulsions.


Crafts: Launch in Marrakech of a training course leading to a qualification in "musical instrument making".

This training course has been available since 15 December at the Institut spécialisé des arts traditionnels in Marrakech. The nine-month course is supervised by Mustapha Zouateni, a craftsman specialising in the manufacture of musical instruments. It has been created in partnership with UNESCO, and follows the announcement made by the King at the 17th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, organised in Morocco in 2022, in which the Sovereign emphasised the importance of preserving this intangible cultural heritage as "a powerful marker of our identity, an essential component of our collective memory, a vehicle for the ideals and values that unite us, and a potential legacy for future generations".

The launch of this new training course is also part of the implementation of a partnership agreement signed on the fringes of the event between the Ministry of Tourism, Handicrafts, Social Economy and Solidarity and UNESCO, relating to the establishment of a sustainable system for the transfer of skills and the transmission of know-how linked to handicrafts, in particular those classified by the national inventory carried out by the Ministry with the support of this UN organisation as being threatened with extinction.

Photo : copyrights AFP.


Zagora International Trans-Saharan Film Festival

Between 15 and 20 December, the 17th edition of the festival in the town of Zagora will feature twenty-four films in competition from fourteen countries. This year, the International Trans-Saharan Film Festival will be paying tribute to Angolan cinema by inviting several Angolan filmmakers to take part, and with a section dedicated to Angolan 7th art. The full programme can be found on the festival's Facebook page:

Moroccan cinema will be represented in the feature film category by two films:

  • "Malikat" by Yasmine Benkirane
  • "Rythmes de Tamazgha" by Tarek Idrissi.

Photo: "Reines" by Yasmine Benkirane.

Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia

"Atlantic Dialogues Emerging Leaders" in Marrakech

The Ochre City welcomed emerging leaders from 26 countries as part of the Atlantic Dialogues conference, launched by the Policy Center for the New South to encourage dialogue between professionals from the North and South.

This year, 43 young leaders are joining the community of 380 past participants to take part in the leadership training seminars and workshops scheduled for 11 to 13 December in Marrakech. The group is made up of 29 women and 14 men, including 15 Africans, 10 Europeans, 9 North Americans, 8 South Americans and Caribbean nationals, and one Asian. In terms of sectoral breakdown, the participants are 30% from civil society or non-governmental organisations (NGOs), 15% from the private sector, 15% from governments, 12.5% from international organisations, 7.5% from the public sector and 5% from academia.

The list of selected leaders is as follows:


Partnership between the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco and UM6P for the promotion of the national cultural heritage

A partnership agreement on the promotion of the national cultural heritage was signed in Benguérir (Rehamna province) between the Academy of the Kingdom of Morocco and Mohammed VI Polytechnic University. The agreement is an innovative partnership designed to promote culture and heritage on a national scale, with a particular focus on the Kingdom's southern regions.

The parties undertake to set up structuring projects and to organise scientific and cultural meetings, events and seminars to promote the Kingdom's culture and heritage. The institutions also undertake to work together to shape a future in which technology and heritage combine harmoniously, while consolidating cultural exchanges with the various countries of the African continent.


2024: the dates of the next Jazzablanca, Casa Anfa Latina and Tanjazz music festivals

The 17th edition of the Jazzablanca festival will be held from 6 to 8 June at Anfa Park and the Place des Nations Unies in Casablanca. Lovers of Latin cultures can look forward to the second edition of the Casa Anfa Latina Festival, scheduled for 21 and 22 June at Anfa Park. Finally, the 22nd edition of the Tanjazz festival, postponed following the earthquake in Al Haouz last September, will be held from 20 to 22 September at the Palais des Institutions Italiennes in the city of Detroit.


El Kelaâ des Sraghna: National Festival of Heritage Arts

This second edition opened on 8 December with the theme "Heritage Arts, Identity and Memory". The event opened with an exhibition of visual arts by local artists, and a concert paying tribute to two stars of popular music: Fatima Sahib and El Miloudi El Hamri.

"This Festival, which will also take place in the Place Jnane Roma and Dar Attakafa in El Kelaâ des Sraghna, will see the participation of 14 musical troupes representing various cultural heritages, reflecting the richness of the artistic heritage at national level" - press release.


Rabat: "Nature Vive" exhibition opens

The exhibition by painter Malika Demnati El Mansouri is being held at the Bab El Kebir gallery in Les Oudayas until 2 January. The majority of the works on show were painted during the period of confinement following the Covid-19 pandemic, but also in its aftermath.

Visitors can discover the joy of reunion and the exuberance of bodies on Moroccan beaches, as Demnati El Mansouri wanted to capture the happiness of the population at the end of this period.

Between the green of the forests and the blue of the seas, the paintings are a tribute to Morocco's natural heritage.


Salma El Moumni wins France Culture Student Novel Prize

"Adieu Tanger", published by Grasset, is the first novel by the young author who, at just 24, questions gender relations and toxic masculinity.

Summary: "Alia is a schoolgirl living in Tangiers. Every day, she realises that her body is a nuisance on the streets where she lives - she is stripped, whistled at and followed. While her parents think they are protecting her by advising her to be more discreet, the teenager refuses this injunction to invisibility and wants to understand the reasons for male desire. So Alia starts taking photos of herself. In the illusory secrecy of her bedroom, she poses, lies down, arches her back and observes the body that men are watching for.
Although Alia secretly loves an older boy, it is in the arms of Quentin, a French expatriate in her class, that she finally falls. But far from the fantasy of her blonde locks and a few guitar chords, she discovers that freedom carries little weight compared to a woman's reputation. Because she refused Quentin, her photos ended up on the internet. Article 483 of the Moroccan Penal Code, which punishes any form of public indecency with imprisonment, leaves her no choice but to flee. Alia made Lyon her city of exile, working as a waitress in a restaurant on the River Saône. Now reduced to nothing more than an Arab in the eyes of the French, she is finally caught up by Quentin's face, which threatens to drive her into madness. Will she have to leave everything behind again to survive? Will she have to leave her country, her town, her body, go so far away that she now doubts she'll ever see Tangier again?

Salma El Moumni, originally from Tangiers, studied literature in France and now lives in Paris. She came very close to winning the "Prix Médicis 2023", winning four votes from the jury in the final vote on 9 November, against six for Canadian Kevin Lambert ("Que notre joie demeure").

Supported by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Centre National du Livre (CNL), the Prix Roman des étudiants France Culture is awarded each year to a work written in French that is part of the new literary season.


Taroudant : Taskiouine Festival

The theme of this third edition, taking place from 13 to 15 December, is "cultural and aesthetic heritage". It is organised in partnership with the Taroudant Provincial Council and in collaboration with the provincial prefecture.

Conferences on popular arts, traditional music concerts and debates are on the programme for this festival.


Laâyoune: Bedouin-Hassani poetry festival

From 15 to 17 December, the city will be alive with Bedouin poetry at the fifth edition of this festival, whose theme is "Hassani poetry: values, influence and belonging".

This artistic event is part of the implementation of the constitutional provisions on the preservation of Hassan culture, which is an inseparable part of the unified Moroccan cultural identity. The festival also aims to highlight Hassani poetic works, strengthen communication between Hassani poets and document the oral Hassani heritage in the field of poetry.

Professors, researchers and poets will take part in debates on Hassani poetic creation and will host poetry evenings and symposiums to shed light on Hassani poetry, with the participation of local musical troupes.

Photo: copyrights Quid.


Montreal: launch of "Connect' Maroc"

This is the new platform of the Dar Al Maghrib cultural centre, dedicated to dialogue, innovation and collaboration for the development of Morocco and relations between Canada and the Kingdom.


Settat National Amateur Film Festival: "The Guardian" wins the Grand Prize

Aziz Bakour's film won the festival's Grand Prize, its first after several selections at international events such as the Global Network Festival in Great Britain, the Patologico Festival in Italy and, more recently, the BAM Festival in the United States.

The film tells the story of a night watchman who transcribes, in his diary, the stories of the inhabitants of his neighbourhood in Marrakech.

The closing ceremony also saw the jury award the Best Actress prize to artist Kenza Farkak for her role in the film "Entre les murs", directed by Abdelilah Massouari, while the Best Actor prize went to artist Mouad Loudini for his role in the film "La touche" by Nabil Jaouhar.

Morocco, Tunisia

The JTC Tanit d'Or awarded to "Mute" by Sulayman Al Bassam

The Kuwaiti director has won first prize at the Journées Théâtrales de Carthage. The play looks back at the explosion in the port of Beirut on 4 August 2020. It plunges the audience into the reality of the horror from the very first minutes, questioning the spectator on "the role and necessity of militant theatre in the face of a catastrophe which, through its violence and the scale of its damage, destroys the very essence of language as a tool at the service of lived reality". (press release).

An unclassifiable work, a mixture of genres: vocal prowess, singing and dancing accompanied by live music by Abed Kobeissy and Ali Hout. "Mute" is disturbing because of the "bombardment" of text performed by Hala Omran. Sometimes a singer, sometimes an actress, sometimes in love, sometimes an activist, sometimes indifferent, Hala Omran takes the audience on an existentialist quest that asks the following questions: what is the role of the activist artist in a consumer society? What impact can the artist have in a society where money, appearance and image have taken over people's consciousness?

"I Medea", Sulayman Al-Bassam's latest play, won awards in Carthage and Cairo. But the play was less fortunate in Kuwait: cancelled in the spring of 2020, in the early days of the coronavirus, it was not subsequently allowed to be performed.

Returning to the JTC prize list, the Silver Tanit was awarded to "Chams" by Moroccan director Amine Boudrika. Performed by Hasna Tamtaoui, Hajar Chargui and Ismail Alaoui, the play looks at the societal issues facing Moroccan women in their daily lives.

The Bronze Tanit was awarded to the Tunisian play 'La ferme' (El Firma) by Ghazi Zaghbani. "We are in a cruel and desperate theatre, where the farm promised by the title turns out to be a stifling interior, with no greenery or horizon. The world is saturated with cries for help that no one hears, accompanied by the agonising electric guitar of a dreamy idiot who lives in the house on the farm in question. He is a musician who witnesses the ordeal of a human rights activist, kidnapped by her brother, the politician." - press release.


Tetouan: National Theatre Festival

This 23rd edition closes on 15 December, presenting eleven works in official competition for the National Theatre Prize, which includes the categories of writing, directing, set design, costumes, and acting (women and men), in addition to the Prix de l'espoir and the Grand Prix.

This year's programme also includes a number of exhibitions, including one of theatre books and another of photographs relating to the Moroccan theatre scene, as well as workshops and symposia.


Solo exhibition by Sara Ouhaddou at the Comptoire des Mines in Marrakech

This is the last exhibition of 2023 at the gallery.

Sara Ouhaddou was born in 1986 and lives and works between France and Morocco. She addresses the various challenges facing artisan communities and explores how art can be used as an instrument for economic, social and cultural change. The Arabic language is an important theme in her work. She dissects Arabic letters into abstract symbols, transforming them into a language in their own right.

Her work has been exhibited at the Mucem (Marseille), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), Z33 (Hasselt), the Centre Pompidou, the Palais de Tokyo, the Institut des Cultures d'Islam, the Bauhaus in Dessau and the Cité internationale des arts in Paris, among others.

"The complexity of the construction of symbols by our societies is at the heart of my research. The star is one of the symbols most used by mankind since prehistoric times. My study of this symbol began in Morocco, then spread to all the countries of the Arab world, and finally led me to the United States. The Star is as much a part of the construction of contemporary myths as it is of ancient histories. From its symbolism to its scientific reality, it acts in the same way in the United States as it does in the Arab world."


Red Sea Film Festival laureates

The third edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival came to an end on 9 December with an impressive list of winners.
The winners are:

  • Asharq documentary: the Tunisian director of the documentary "Four Daughters", which has been collecting awards, including the Oeil d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • Film AlUla Audience Award (Saudi Film): "Norah" by Tawfik Alzaidi
  • Best Short Film: "Somewhere in between" by Dahlia Nemlich (Lebanon)
  • Best Feature Film: "In Flames" by Zarrar Kahn (Pakistan)
  • Best Actor: Saleh Bakri (Syria) in "The Teacher" by Farah Nabulsi (Palestine)
  • Best Actress: Mouna Hawa (Palestine) in "Inshallah a Boy" by Amjad Al Rasheed (Jordan).
Palestine, Tunisia

Symbol of resistance, a statue takes its place in front of the Palestinian embassy in Tunis

On 13 December, a giant sculpture representing a Palestinian woman resisting the occupation was erected.

Standing 4.50m high, the sculpture is made of resin, reinforced by an iron structure. It was created by Kairouan artist Hassine Mokdadi, in collaboration with sculptor Chokri Toujani, with the support of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs through the Théâtre de l'Opéra in Tunis, as a sign of solidarity with "the Palestinian people, who have been subjected to unprecedented genocide since 7 October 2023" - press release.


The Tacir-Tunis Créathon

This is a brand new concept launched in the Tunisian capital. The multimedia and audiovisual association is organising a creativity marathon - or Créathon - from 16 to 18 December at the TACIR-Lab Grand Tunis in Dar Bach Hamba.

ACIR (Talents-Arts-Creativity-Inclusion-Research) is a programme for social inclusion and professional integration through equitable access to creativity and innovation, initiated by AMAVI and supported by the Swiss Embassy in Tunisia and the Solidarity Fund for Innovative Projects (FSPI).

A call for applications has been launched targeting young people living in Greater Tunis (the governorates of Tunis, Ariana, Ben Arous and La Manouba). Successful applicants will have the opportunity to develop their project ideas following the three-day Créathon.

These projects will be supported (for one to three months) to develop prototypes.

The Créathon also offers the chance to win two prizes (of 1,500 and 1,000 dinars) for the two most innovative projects.

Algeria, Lebanon, Tunisia, Türkiye

Winners of the Gabès International Environmental Film Festival

The fifth edition of the festival came to a close on 12 December. The top prize, the "Golden Oasis", was won by the Tunisian film "The Red" by Mabrouka Khdhir, ex-aequo with the film "Bi hali ballacht sefr nifeyet" by the Lebanese director Elie Namri.

The second "Oasis d'argent" prize went to the film "Gocce di rugiada" by Italian director Barbara Sarnari, tied with the Algerian film "Bakdi" by Salah Boufellah.

A jury mention was given to "Dağlı" by Eren Arpacık (Turkiye).

Street artExhibitions

Akacha, a first solo exhibition

The Tunisian artist presents his first solo exhibition until 31 December. Entitled "Akacha fi Darna", the exhibition is being held at the Fondation Tunisie pour le Dévelopement (Kram). Somewhere between street art and abstract art, the works on show tell the story of a world between tradition and modernity, between tragedy and comedy.

Photo : @akachart, "Mother Nature".

Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia

JTC 2023: Salah al-Kassab Special Prize

Tunisian actress Mona Noureddine, Egyptian playwright Sameh Mahrane and Jordanian-Palestinian actor and director Hakim Harb are the winners of the 5th edition of the Salah al-Kassab Prize for Arab theatrical creation, awarded each year during the Journées Théâtrales de Carthage (JTC).

They succeed Taoufik Jebali (Tunisia), Jabbar Joudi (Iraq) and Mohamed Mediouni (Tunisia), who won prizes at the 4th edition of the JTC.

Created in 2018, the Salah al-Kassab Prize is named after Iraqi director Salah al-Kassab and pays tribute to theatre pioneers in the Arab world. Its founder Riadh Sakran has stated that "an application has been submitted to UNESCO with a view to the Salah al-Kassab Prize for Arab Theatre Creation being included on the World Heritage List".


« Tarhal »

"Tarhal" or "Migrating Souls" is Meher Salibi's new show, a poetic work about the exile of thousands of Syrians forced to leave their country as a result of the civil war.

The play made a particularly strong impression on audiences when it was presented as part of the Journées Théâtrales de Tunis. The choreography, by Alaa Kremid, is performed by Lana Fahmi, Mazen Nahlawi, Rama Khalifeh and Luis Alberto Bahamon. The music is by Karam Sleibi, with Radwan Zarki on lighting and Layal Abou Zein Edin on set design.

"I'm one of those Syrians who fled the country because I couldn't bear the misfortune that took place in Syria. I wanted to keep in mind this image of a beautiful and historic Syria" - Meher Salibi.

Arab World, Algeria

Oran celebrates Arabic

The international event "Arabic Language Week" was launched on Tuesday in Oran, to mark the celebration of World Arabic Language Day on 18 December each year.

A group of professors from several universities in the country and abroad are taking part in this event, organised under the slogan "Arabic is the language that explains", which will culminate in the organisation of an international conference entitled "The Arabic language, challenges and prospects in a changing world".

The event includes the presentation of a series of lectures covering a number of topics, including "the Arabic language in the context of information culture", "the linguistic economy", "a vision and strategy to support the presence of the Arabic language in international organisations", "the applications of artificial intelligence and its role in improving learning skills", "the role of audiovisual teaching aids in teaching the Arabic language", and "the Arabic language in the West".

This event is organised by the Oranese Academy of Scientific Studies and Cultural Interaction in cooperation with the High Council for the Arabic Language and the laboratory for automated processing of the Arabic language at the Abou Bekr Belkaid University in Tlemcen, the Imam Houari Foundation in Oran, the laboratory for the scientific and cultural legacy of the Tamanrasset region, the World Academic Group in Iraq, the Faculty of Letters and Humanities at the University of Lebanon and the Libyan International Organisation for Arabic Language Sciences.


Commemorations of the demonstrations of 11 December 1960

An exhibition of photographs revisiting the events opened in Algiers at the Palais de la culture Moufdi Zakaria. The exhibition is organised by the Centre national de documentation, de presse, d'images et d'information. Black and white photos show Algerian demonstrators taking to the streets of Algiers, bearing the national emblem and placards to express their attachment to a "free and independent Algeria".

The February 1960 nuclear tests, the suffering of the Algerian people, etc. The exhibition takes up the major themes of this historic turning point.


Student film days in Skikda

The short film "Koullouna Nantami" (We all belong) by student Mohamed-Larbi Bourourou, from the University of Skikda, won the prize for best film at this second edition.

The prize was awarded by a unanimous decision of the jury, made up of university lecturers specialising in the audiovisual sector and officials from the Department of Culture and the Arts in the wilaya of Skikda.

The director, Mohamed-Larbi Bourourou, explains that his film deals with the suffering of a boy with Treacher-Collins syndrome, which involves malformations of varying degrees of severity of the face, ears and eyes.

The second edition of the Journées nationales du cinéma étudiant, organised over three days, saw the participation of 10 short films made by students from the universities of Constantine, Annaba, Saïda, Oum El Bouaghi, Tizi Ouzou, Mostaganem and Skikda.


Adoption of a new bill on the film industry

At this meeting, President Tebboune tasked the Minister of Culture and the Arts, Soraya Mouloudji, with "creating a national body whose remit will be assigned to people in the sector in order to supervise the film industry and revive this vital field, particularly with the production in recent years of excellent dramatic works and the emergence of young talent in acting and directing" - official government press release.

The President of the Republic has also ordered to "encourage all talents and cinematographic skills in Algeria, while capturing those among the children of the national community abroad by opening the way for them to present their works and contributions, to make 2024 the year of the launch of cinematographic production".

In this context, the State is committed to "financing up to 70% of cinematographic works through bank loans, while helping people in the sector to set up film studios and cinematographic towns, enabling Algeria to recapture its glory and cinematographic lustre".


Kour Noureddine receives the first diploma in the history of calligraphy in the Arab world

This distinction was awarded for his contribution to the promotion and enrichment of this form of artistic expression in the audiovisual field in Algeria and the Arab-Muslim world. The diploma was awarded by the doyen of Egyptian calligraphers, Messâd Khodhir El Borsaïdi, who is also Chairman of the High Committee for Arabic Calligraphy in his country.

This distinction was awarded during the Algerian artist's participation, as guest of honour, in the 8th edition of the International Congress of Calligraphy held in the Egyptian capital.

Algeria, Palestine

Oran: El Qods forum

The El Qods (Jerusalem) Forum was held at the Zeddour Brahim Belkacem House of Culture in Oran, in solidarity with the Palestinian people. The event was organised by the "Wahie El Mouthakafine" cultural association in Oran, in collaboration with the House of Culture and Arts, the Oran APC and associations supporting the people of Gaza.

The two-day event was attended by students from the Oran School of Fine Arts, who produced paintings depicting the solidarity of the Algerian people with Palestine.


The gandoura, an endangered garment?

Following a meeting on the traditional clothing heritage of Annaba in Algiers, several specialists and researchers on the subject of Algerian heritage stressed the need to preserve this cultural heritage.

"Nowadays, it is very rare to see men wearing these garments, such as tunics (gandoura) or hairstyles and ornaments (chèche and amama)". - Mohamed Nadir Chelali, researcher.

The meeting was held at the National Public Museum of Traditional and Popular Arts.


Tlemcen: National calligraphy exhibition

From 11 to 14 December, the Algerian city hosted the 6th edition of the show, which brought together twelve calligraphers from eight wilayas: Laghouat, Djelfa, Ouargla, Chlef, Relizane, M'sila, Guelma and Sétif. This edition paid tribute to the late calligrapher Tayeb Laïdi, and had as its theme "Palestine shakes letters".

The programme also includes workshops open to students from Tlemcen's Abou Bekr Belkaid University.

Digital ArtExhibitions

« The Beirut Blast & Other Stories »

In collaboration with Art Design Lebanon, artist and journalist Chérine Yazbeck is presenting her visual investigation entitled, in French, "L'explosion de Beyrouth et autres histoires", which runs until 6 January. Its aim is to "reflect on the complexity of the human experience in the aftermath of disaster, and the enduring power of artistic expression to inspire empathy, introspection and healing".

The exhibition is organised into nine chapters, each documenting and analysing the double explosion of 4 August 2020 through documentary narratives, forensic photography, architectural modelling, collages, audio installations, satellite imagery, AI-generated video, factual accounts, interviews and archival footage. The artist is also sharing a thirty-minute documentary, 'Port Blast Stories', which tells the family stories of five people who lost their lives in the explosion.


"Icons and churches of Tripoli-Lebanon

This book, published by Dergham, is the work of Ray Jabre Mouawad. It looks back at the rich religious heritage of Tripoli, Enfé and Koura, through 180 photographs of painted works. It looks back at the history of the Greek Orthodox (Melkite) icon during its golden age in the Ottoman Empire.

The book is organised around the lives of the main painters united around the Melkite iconographic tradition, while telling the story of the ancient churches of Tripoli and Koura.

Photo: "Saint Dimitri", Hanna al-Qudsi, 1727, Saint-Nicolas church, Tripoli. Photo OLJ.


Modern-day heroes: Motaz, Bisan and Plestia

Their Instagram accounts now have thousands of followers, and their names are known throughout the Arab world. These three journalists in their early twenties risk their lives every day to tell millions of internet users about their daily lives in Gaza, the gutted buildings and scattered bodies. Reporting in English to ensure international coverage, these three journalists have become close friends and family, and we worry that we won't hear from them. This OLJ article bears witness to this: "Millions of us are following you from afar with our eyes. Our hearts go out to you all the time, thinking of you all the time and protecting you in our thoughts. Calling you by your first names and knowing you without actually knowing you. "Where's Motaz?", "Have we heard from Bisan?", "Plestia hasn't posted anything for three hours now, I'm starting to worry". The three of them have already lived through five wars, and Plestia celebrated its 22nd birthday this week.

Photo : @byplestia


« Jack » by Simon Fattal

The Lebanese artist's new exhibition features a series of pastels painted in 1971 and rediscovered last summer with Christine Tohmé, the director and founder of the Ashkal Alwan association for the visual arts. They tell the story of pre-war Lebanon, his encounter with a hippy guitarist, and the freedom of his native country.

"These drawings contain and embody that era. They embody a lost period, unfulfilled desires of course, but above all the freedom that reigned then, and the conviction that anything was possible. In particular, we artists of that period, such as Fadi Barrage, Aref el-Rayess and Paul Guiragossian, aspired to create a new civilisation". - Simone Fattal for OLJ.

Photo: Simone Fattal, "Jack", as part of Homeworks/Ashkal Alwan. Photo Christopher Baaklini.


"Artsy Splash", a collection of rubber boots made in Lebanon

This collection is the result of a collaboration between Lebanese brands Amal Azhari and Ritika, and features 23 models of rubber boots with contemporary designs and graphics, hand-painted by students from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University, with references to the Beatles era, street art and gardening.

The launch of this exceptional capsule was celebrated at the Amal Azhari showroom, a magnificent heritage space built of sandstone in Saifi Village in downtown Beirut, in the presence of pop star Maya Diab and a host of personalities from the world of the arts, media and fashion.


Death of Refaat Alareer

The poet and professor of English literature at the Islamic University of Gaza was killed by an Israeli strike. He was one of the co-founders of the "We are not numbers" project, pairing authors from Gaza with mentors abroad.

Arab World

Adab, the iReMMO literary festival

Adab, the new literary festival organised by the Institut de recherche et d'études Méditerranée Moyen-Orient, took place from 8 to 10 December,
dedicated to new Arab writing. It took place at the Maison de la poésie in Paris, and featured interviews, writing workshops, readings and film screenings.

"The idea is to highlight artists who are little known in France, such as Souhaib Ayoub, who has lived in France for years but whose work is not very visible because his texts are written in Arabic. The aim is to get him translated - his texts are magnificent" - Anne Millet, event coordinator, OLJ.

Among those present were novelists Iman Mersal and Adania Shibli.


"Before closing the doors", the new poetry collection by Nabil Abou Dargham

Published by Arab Scientific Publishers, this poetic work is set to be the author's last French-language book, hence the title.

Nabil Abou Dargham is a former international civil servant. He headed the United Nations Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC) during the delicate circumstances that saw the release of Western hostages in the late 1980s under the mediation of the international organisation, before being transferred to the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (Escwa). He is a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and is the son of the founder of the Lebanese Commandos/former Chief of Staff, General Mahmoud Tay Abou Dargham. In October 2018, he was a candidate for a ministerial position, which he did not obtain.

Lebanon, Kuwait

Beirut: the Charles Corm Foundation organises a retrospective of paintings since 1979

This exhibition presents a 45-year retrospective spanning the period from 1979 to 2023. It also includes the Kafno series, painted between 1989 and 1992, and illustrating in a black atmosphere the horror of the 1980s, through scenes of Lebanon during the First World War, with its genocides and famines. Recent paintings reinterpret the themes developed in the artist's literature on heritage and its various artistic manifestations, hence the Triptychs, Icons, Cedars and Roots series, several of which use a relief technique. A number of old canvases were lost or destroyed by humidity during the war in Lebanon in the 1980s, or the war in Kuwait in 1990.


Laughter for Gaza

Comedians Omar Layza, Mohamad Baalbaki, Chaker Bou Abdallah and Nour Hajjar present a Charity Comedy Night on 15 December at the Barzakh Café in Hamra. Proceeds will go to the NGO Ahla Fawda for its humanitarian project to support children in Gaza and southern Lebanon.


Aref El Rayess, paintings from 1999

The artist's solo exhibition is on show at the Sfeir-Semler gallery in Beirut until 16 March. These works were originally presented at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut in 1999, and have since been stored in the artist's studio.

Aref El Rayess titled them Labyrinthes, and they were described at the time by Joseph Tarrab as "networks that duplicate those of nature, science and industry, and in which man is prey to an unprecedented identity crisis triggered by the power of nature".

The paintings on show are brightly coloured and abstract in form, with an emphasis on geometry and sculptural compositions. They were produced in the 1990s and are inspired by the psychedelic era of the 1960s.

Arab World

"New York, portrait of an Arab city" by Marc Terrisse

In his travelogue "New York, portrait d'une ville arabe" (New York, portrait of an Arab city), published by Bibliomonde, the historian, museologist, exhibition curator and writer retraces the steps of Arab-Americans in the Big Apple by bicycle.

Between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, they were estimated to number around 950,000. "Historians put forward the figure of 90% Christians, mainly Maronites, Melkites and Greek Orthodox. The remaining 10% were Druze and Sunni Muslims. Some historians estimate that this first wave included around 10% Palestinians. They were mainly farmers, craftsmen and small businessmen. There were several reasons why they decided to emigrate: the traditional silk industry in Mount Lebanon was in serious recession. The choice to emigrate was then based on their refusal to join the Ottoman army during the Balkan War (1912-1913) and the First World War (1914-1918). Little Syria" soon spread to lower Manhattan, a neighbourhood with the smell of hookah and Turkish coffee.


"Flouz", by KasbaH

After an artistic residency at the Cabaret Sauvage, DJ and producer KasbaH releases "Flouz", a new track featuring Yassine Sayar, which is part of the forthcoming album "Bledard.e.s de France" due out next spring.

Arab World, Lebanon

"Musicians have a role to play in preserving the Arabic language" - Marwan Khoury.

"But we also need to understand that we have a beautiful language that is unique in its aesthetics and diversity, and that we should exploit some of these values to convey a message that strikes a chord with listeners."

These were the words of the Lebanese singer and composer at Arabian Days, the festival organised by the Abu Dhabi Language Centre to celebrate the Arabic language, with a rich cultural programme including exhibitions, film screenings and lectures.

Born into a family of five in the northern Lebanese town of Zgharta, Khoury recalls a childhood filled with books and parents insisting on the importance of Arabic in a country where French and English are frequently spoken.

"It wasn't because they necessarily had a certain opinion of these languages, but they thought that Arabic culture, with its words and traditions, was the most important legacy they could leave behind."

The singer makes the most of the richness of this language in his love ballads, where metaphors are king: "Kel El Qasayed", "Khedni Ma'ak", "Itla' Fiyee", etc.

Khoury shares some of this passion in his famous TV series "Tarab", which is an audio travelogue through the musical history of the region.

Arab World, Kuwait

Netflix viewers spend a third of their time watching foreign-language productions

Foreign-language productions account for almost a third of all Netflix content streamed, according to the platform. The most successful Arabic series remains "The Exchange", the Kuwaiti series by Nadia Ahmad and Adam Sobel, as well as "Dubai Bling", the next season of which comes out this December.

Algeria, Kuwait

"Six Feet Over" by Karim Bensalah

"I really wanted to underline the fact that when you are a minority in a non-Muslim country, in this case France, you have to find your own space and manage your culture of origin in your own way. Every Muslim and every Arab recreates himself in this situation, and each has his own way of doing so. There are a variety of interpretations and ways of managing your culture of origin in France." - Karim Bensalah for The National

Synopsis: Sofiane is the son of an Algerian ex-diplomat who has lived his life abroad. Now a student in Lyon, he is the victim of an administrative decision and lives under the threat of deportation. In the hope of regularising his situation, he resolves to work temporarily for a Muslim funeral parlour. His identity is shrouded in confusion and he feels uncomfortable in his own skin, but working with the dead turns out to be a path of enlightenment for him.

The film was a hit with audiences at the Red Sea International Film Festival. It won the Yusr prize for best screenplay.

Arab World

Art Basel Miami Beach: a successful auction for the MENA region

Art Basel Miami Beach closed its doors on Sunday, marking the end of the biggest art market week in North America. Works by artists from the Middle East and North Africa proved very popular with collectors.

Syrian-American artist Diana Al-Hadid presented a new mixed-media sculpture entitled "Ala Rasi", which sold for $75,000. Iranian painter Maysha Mohamedi's abstract painting "Excuses received" sold for $80,000. The most expensive sale was at Marianne Boesky Gallery for a painting by Egyptian artist Ghada Amer, entitled "Because" (2023), which fetched $275,000.

The next sale will be held in Hong Kong, with two previews on 26 and 27 March, and again from 28 to 30 March.

Photo: "Regarder les heures", Etel Adnan (2021).

Plastic ArtsExhibitions
Arab World

Arts Club Dubai: the new exhibition

Entitled "Stairway: Contemporary Middle East" and open until 25 February, the exhibition is the eighth in this series since 2020. It features works by renowned artists including Emirati artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim Abdul Qader Al Rais, Tunisian artist Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Lebanese painter and sculptor Marwan Sahmarani and Palestinian abstract artist Samia Halaby. Most of the works are from the renowned Farjam collection, and have been selected for their contribution to cultural dialogue and the artistic landscape.

Photo : Untitled, (2011) by Abdul Qader Al Rais. Photo by : Arts Club Dubai.

Plastic ArtsExhibitions
United Arab Emirates, Kuwait

"Floating World" by Monira Al Qadiri

Floating World, an exhibition by Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri, is on show at ICD Brookfield Place in Dubai until 3 January. The exhibition features five giant inflatable sculptures representing enlarged versions of invisible substances that exist all around us, in particular oil derivatives.

"I thought it would be interesting to exaggerate their presence in our lives so that we can't ignore them" - The artist for The National.

Each floating sculpture is based on the drawing of a so-called space-filling model that represents the molecular structure of a petrochemical substance such as benzene, propane gas, paradichlorobenzene or naphthalene.

Oil is a recurring theme in Al Qadiri's work. From its invisible compounds to its extraction methods, from the way it has defined nations to its necessary presence in our daily lives, she is fascinated by its many facets.

"Oil is like a mutant, it transforms into so many different things. There's something magical about it.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait

Riyadh Theater Festival

On 13 December, the Theatre and Performing Arts Commission inaugurated the first edition of the Riyadh Theatre Festival under the patronage of the Saudi Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan. The event, which will run until 24 December, is being held at the Princess Nourah Bint Abdul Rahman University in Riyadh.

The festival will feature plays performed by theatre groups from eight cities, as well as activities including seminars, critical reading sessions and workshops.

The Riyadh Theatre Festival pays tribute to the late Saudi playwright Mohammed Al-Othaim for his pioneering theatrical contributions through the presentation of a play he wrote and an art exhibition dedicated to his career.

The plays to be performed are "Sea" by the Al-Ahsa Cultural and Artistic Association troupe, "The Forbidden" by the First Leap Club troupe, "Beginnings of Abandonment" by the Close Media Ensemble, "Slap" by the Kalos ensemble, "La mémoire du diable" by the Ruya Ensemble, "Lumière" by the Taif Theatre, "Vendeur de journaux" by the Fun Box Ensemble, "Mémoire jaune" by the Nawras Ensemble, "Rond-point fermé" by the Masma Theatre Club and "Le Last Shadow" by the National Theatre Ensemble.


Lyna Khoudri in "The Three Musketeers: Milady"

The film directed by French filmmaker Martin Bourboulon premiered in France this week, starring Franco-Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri, who plays Constance Bonacieux, D'Artagnan's sweetheart.

The thirty-year-old actress has become a fixture of French cinema, and also plays internationally. She first came to prominence in her role as Nedjma in Mounia Meddour's critically acclaimed drama "Papicha". For her work in the film, she won the Orizzonti award for Best Actress at the 74th Venice Film Festival and was nominated in the Most Promising Actress category at the César Awards. Khoudri also starred in the 2019 mini-series "Les Sauvages" and 2016's "Du sang sur les quais". She also starred in Wes Anderson's 2021 comedy "The French Dispatch" alongside Timothee Chalamet, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Owen Wilson.

Saudi Arabia

"Naga", a Saudi and universal tale

Directed by Meshal Aljaser, the film follows Sarah (Bader), who sneaks off on a date and hopes to get back before her curfew. What starts out as a leisurely stroll through the desert soon turns into an adventure involving a clandestine party, a broken-down car and a vindictive camel. With nothing to rely on but her wits, she must escape a series of bizarre situations to meet her father before the clock strikes 10.

The Netflix Original production premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was screened at the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah. The film is now available on Netflix.

Arab World, United Arab Emirates

Launch of a new book on climate change for children in Arabic

The book, available in English and Arabic, is entitled "Earth Champs" and contains 44 diverse works of art by young people aged 5 to 17 from around the world. 

"We wanted to convey a message about an important cause, such as climate change, through art. We wanted to see how children perceived climate change and we were surprised by the results" - Lateefa Alnuaimi, Emirati founder of LFE Art Culture, the institution that supported the creation of the book (Arab News).

Saudi Arabia

Abadia becomes the first Saudi brand on Net-a-porter

Luxury online retailer Net-a-porter has added Saudi brand Abadia to its platform, making it the first Saudi brand to join the site.

Abadia, which takes its name from the fusion of the Arabic words for timelessness (abadi) and desert (badiah), is a family brand co-founded by Chahd al-Chehail and his aunt Naïma al-Chehail.

The brand aims to strengthen and support Saudi women artisans by incorporating traditional crafts such as sadu, a weaving technique, and naqda, a technique of pulling thin metal threads through fabric. The brand uses stock luxury materials and fabric scraps. Genuine leather is only used when the designers can trace its origin and the way it has been tanned and processed.


Zara in trouble

Clothing brand Zara said on Tuesday that it regretted the "misunderstanding" surrounding an advertising campaign featuring statues wrapped in white cloth, reminiscent of the bodies of dead Palestinians wrapped in white sheets.

#BoycottZara is trending on X, with many users accusing the Spanish brand of "deliberately mocking Palestinians".

The company noted that the collection was designed in July and that the photos were taken in September, well before the start of the conflict between Israel and Hamas on 7 October.

Zara is the first major Western brand to take such a radical step after being criticised for what some saw as insensitive advertising.

Arab World

IMA Comedy Club

For its fifth anniversary, the IMA Comedy Club at the Arab World Institute in Paris is inviting Younes Depardieu, Akim Omiri, Blandine Lehout, Brahms, Marina Cars, Pierre Thevenoux and Tony Saint Laurent. The stand-up comedy show runs from 31 January to 4 February, under the artistic direction of Tarik Seddak and Christine Berrou.

Two special evenings are planned. The first on 2 February with a performance by Jalil Tijani in Moroccan Darija, and the second on 3 February with Tunisian actor Lotfi Abdelli. The closing evening on 4 February will feature Sophia Aram.

Arab World

Marseille: "Popular? Treasures from the Mucem collections" exhibition

"As the Mucem celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, it's a great opportunity to look back at what constitutes its heart and its history: its collection. This permanent exhibition aims to present the collection in all its diversity. It brings together the historical holdings of the Musée national des arts et traditions populaires, the European collections of the Musée de l'Homme and those acquired since the early 2000s in a bid to open up to the Mediterranean and the contemporary world." - press release.

Alongside the 1,200 objects and documents from the Mucem's historical collections or those more recently acquired by the museum, an immersive digital mediation system will evoke, through a selection of objects, the idea of "popular culture" that permeates its collections.

The inauguration of this permanent exhibition, which Pierre-Olivier Costa acknowledged had been completed to tight deadlines, comes against a tense social backdrop, a few days after some of the staff sent a letter to the President criticising his management. One year after the appointment of this former director of Brigitte Macron's private office, the letter accuses him of "failing to take the measure of the suffering at work" of the staff, and also deplores "the damage done to the scientific project and the image of the Mucem".

Saudi Arabia

Twinning agreement between AlUla and the Italian town of Matera

The Royal Commission for AlUla and the Italian town of Matera have signed a twinning agreement aimed at safeguarding and promoting their cultural heritage. The signing ceremony took place at Sassi di Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the south of the country.

Under the new agreement, the Royal Commission for AlUla and Matera will collaborate through cultural exchanges, joint initiatives and the sharing of knowledge in areas such as cultural preservation, education, the economy and social development.

This twinning programme is part of a wider agreement between AlUla and Italy. Other initiatives include a five-day cultural gathering at Rome's Villa Borghese in September and a partnership with the 'Cortona on the Move' photo exhibition at the AlUla Arts Festival. At the same time, young Saudis are receiving training in heritage conservation at the Centro Conservazione e Restauro La Venaria Reale, near Turin.


Reissue of "Palestine" by Joe Sacco

A comic strip about Gaza, published in 2003, has been republished after the conflict between Israel and Hamas broke out on 7 October. In it, Maltese-American journalist Joe Sacco, a pioneer of comics journalism, recounts his own fieldwork in the enclave in 1991. Edward Saïd said of the book: "With the exception of one or two novelists and poets, no one has ever told the story of this terrible situation better than Joe Sacco.

Algeria, Palestine

PNL takes action for Gaza

Absent from the music scene for four years, rappers Ademo and N.O.S released the track "Gaza / A peace day" on 8 December, in which they call for an end to the war in the Palestinian enclave. The funds raised will be donated to associations helping Palestine.

PNL is a multi-platinum rap group made up of the brothers Ademo and N.O.S, real names Tarik and Nabil Andrieu. They made their name with the video "The world or nothing".

Plastic ArtsExhibitions

Washington: "The Sea of Life"

Held at the Middle East Institute, "The Sea of Life" is an exhibition co-organised by Hayfa Aljishi (Bahrain) and Lyne Sneige (director of the MEI Arts and Culture Centre) featuring fourteen artists with links to Bahrain.

The title of the exhibition plays on the concept of the 'tree of life', a symbol of life that is widespread in certain cultures and religions. On the island of Bahrain, water is this vital force. The 30 works on show explore the role of water in the lives of the artists, playing on dualities such as past and future, tradition and modernity, folk tale and reality. The creations offer a visual representation of the island, its landscape and its potential as a source of reflection, connection and imagination of diverse futures.

The exhibition runs until 26 March.

Photo: Nasser AlYousif, "Roots", (1972).

Palestine, Syria

Damascus: "Memory and Rubble"

The solo exhibition by Palestinian artist Adnan Hamida features 21 large-scale paintings, mixing materials, supports, expressionism and realism. Hamida began this project, entitled Cosmology, after the aggression on Gaza in 2008, and continued it during the years of war in Syria. The entire project can be seen at the Alif Noon gallery.

The artist presents his reflections on the recurring themes of war, such as injustice, pain, sadness and solitude.

The artist graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University, specialising in advertising, in 1985, and has worked as a drawing and painting teacher at the Adham Ismail Fine Arts Centre and as a lecturer in the Visual Communications Department at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus. He is currently working as a lecturer at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the International Arab University.

Arab World, Egypt, Palestine

Launch of the El Gouna Film Festival

The film festival, created in 2017, kicks off on 14 December in Egypt for its sixth edition, and will end on 21 December. A section dedicated to Palestine is planned, with the screening of numerous Palestinian films and a round table on Palestine and the 7th art.

For the full programme, visit

Plastic ArtsFestivals

Syrian Fine Art Days

The sixth edition of this contemporary art festival was launched in Damascus on 12 December. It opened with an exhibition of fifteen paintings and three sculptures paying tribute to the late artists Adham Ismail and Mahmoud Hamad. The event continues until 21 December.


Death of Nahed Shawqi

Daughter of actors Farid Shawqi and Hoda Sultan, the Egyptian producer has died.

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.