Revue culturelle N°97

The Journal

21 - 12 - 23
Issue for subscribers only.
This week's picture

"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.

Arab World, Morocco

Marrackech: Russia-Arab World Cooperation Forum

20 December marks the opening of the 6th Russia-Arab World Cooperation Forum. It brings together the foreign affairs ministers of the participating countries, in accordance with the memorandum signed in 2009 between the Arab League and Russia.

According to an official press release, it has been agreed that this year's forum will be held in an "enlarged Troika" format, including the Secretary General of the Arab League, the three members of the Arab Ministerial Troika, and the forum chairman.

Arab World

Sheikh Hamad Prize for Translation and International Understanding

Jaime Sanchez Ratia won first place in the Arabic to Spanish translation category for his translation of the book "Akhabr Abu Tammam" by Muhammad bin Yahya Al-Souli. Noemi Fierro Bandera took second place for her translation of the book "Jamhuriat Kan" by Alaa Al Aswany.

Third place went to Pedro Buendia Pérez for his translation of the book "Al Tarbi W Al Tadwir" by Al Jahiz, and third place also went to Angelina Gutierrez Almanera for her translation of the book "Al Naswiya Fi Sher Al Mara Al Qariay" by Hessa Al Mansouri.

In the Spanish to Arabic translation category, Nadia Al Ashery and Mohamed Berrada took first place for their translation of the book "La littérature secrète des musulmans de l'Espagne tardive, la littérature secrète des morisques", by writer Luthi López Baralt. Mark Jamal also won first prize for his translation of Gabriel García Márquez's "The Autumn of the Patriarch".

First place was awarded in the Arabic to English translation category. Second place went to Hassan Al-Yazighi Al-Zaher for his translation of the book 'Talkhis Al Khitaba' by Ibn Rushd.

Second place also went to Sophia Vassallo and James Montgomery, for their translation of the book 'Al Hawamil wal-Shawamil' by Abu Hayyan Al Tawhidi and Abu Ali Miskawayh. Alessandro Colombo and Mireya Costa took third place for their translation of the book 'Al Hasram' by Zakaria Tamer.

After being turned down for first place, second place in the English to Arabic translation category went to translator Ahmed Mahmoud Ibrahim for his translation of the book "The Messenger of God said - Explaining the hadith in a thousand years" by Joel Bleicher.

This internationally renowned prize was created in 2015 to reward achievement and long-term efforts in the field of translation, and to highlight the role of those involved in consolidating friendship and cooperation between peoples. The prize-winning works help to forge links between nations and contribute to the spread of diversity, pluralism and a spirit of openness.

Digital ArtStartups

The Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity launches the Solidarity Digital Incubator in Salé

As part of its ongoing programmes to promote the economic inclusion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity is opening the doors of the Salé Digital Solidarity Incubator, a new-generation centre dedicated to digital activities.

The IDS offers an incubation programme to support the creation and development of digital business initiatives over a period of 12 to 18 months, as well as a comprehensive 6 to 12-month training programme covering technical (digital), entrepreneurial (business management) and soft skills.

The beneficiaries were aged between 18 and 40, from disadvantaged backgrounds and with technical mastery of the project idea. They were recruited via the centre's web portal and after a final selection by committee.


Achraf Ed-Doghmi in the Top 3 of African cyclists of the year

Achraf Ed-Doghmi has been named the 3rd best African cyclist of the year, according to a ranking published by the organisers of the Tour du Gabon.


Casablanca: "Covering Expo & WoodEx"

The Covering Expo & WoodEx 2023 international trade fairs for the coverings and wood industries opened at the Office des Changes in Casablanca.

The event, organised by Global Fairs and Events until 14 December, will feature a series of conferences to present the WoodEx & Covering exhibitions, as well as highlighting a range of issues relating to the timber industry in particular, and developing forest resources.

WoodEx 2023 will be showcasing exceptional Moroccan craftsmanship and sophisticated engineering in the wood industry, with the organisation of a competition for the best artisan carpenter. Twelve craftsmen will be competing to win the title of best Moroccan craftsman carpenter.

The winners:

  • Sculpture and Decoration category: Fatima Zahra Benkada and Hassan Mohieddine,
  • Traditional engraving category: Almeskine Abdelilah
  • Modern Woodwork category: Mustapha Kinani and Said Almaouani.

The YSL-Marrakech Museum brings its professional expertise to the YSL Paris Museum and the National Art Center in Tokyo

The Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech (MYSLM) will lend its professional experience and expertise to the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris and the teams at the National Art Center in Tokyo in December, as part of the dismantling and assembly of the Yves Saint Laurent "Across the Style in Tokyo" exhibition.

"As part of the dismantling of the exhibition Yves Saint Laurent, Across the Style in Tokyo, Sahar Lamsyah, Museum Management Coordinator at MYSLM, will bring her professional experience and expertise to her colleagues at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris and the teams at the National Art Center in Tokyo in December" - press release.


Eight elements of Morocco's intangible heritage inscribed on ISESCO's list

At its 11th meeting in Rabat on Monday 18 December, the Islamic World Heritage Committee of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) approved the inclusion of new elements of intangible heritage on behalf of the Kingdom of Morocco:

  • the making of jewellery with pearls,
  • weaving the Hayek and the Figuig burnous,
  • tanning,
  • the equestrian art of Mata,
  • the pottery of Safi,
  • Attalbi,
  • the Aouad songs and dance of Ait Baâmrane,
  • the traditional game of Ssig.

Fès : Rabab Ouadghiri exhibits at the Mohamed Kasimi gallery

Entitled "Une histoire d'amour et tableau de peinture", the exhibition features around fifty small and medium-sized paintings on canvas and paper. These works retrace the relationship between a mother and her child, from 0 to 11 years old, with a starting point that includes pregnancy.


Tétouan: National Theatre Festival: the play "La Victoria" wins the Grand Prix at the National Theatre Festival

This play, created by a group of young graduates from the Institut supérieur d'art dramatique et d'animation culturelle, also won the prizes for playwriting and directing, awarded to Ahmed Amine Sahel, and the prize for male acting, awarded to Mohamed Chahin. The play "Extasia" was also honoured with the prizes.

Young actress Chaimae Aallaoui was awarded the Prix de l'espoir, while Abdelhay Serghouchni won the Prix de la scénographie.


National Press Grand Prize

The television prize was won by Abdelhadi Razkou of the "Arryadiya" channel for his report "Al Halimoune" (The Dreamers) recounting the exceptional journey of the Atlas Lions during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The radio prize was won jointly by journalists Salma Saidi of Radio Chaine Inter for her report entitled "L'Andalousie musulmane" (Muslim Andalusia) and Daoud Alouane of Radio Nationale for his report on "Asinsek ou le langage des sifflements au Maroc" (Asinsek or the language of whistling in Morocco).

The news agency prize, awarded on Friday evening in Rabat as part of the 2nd edition of the Grand Prix National de la Presse, was won by journalist Abdelhakim Khirane of Agence Maghreb Arabe Presse, for his article entitled "Mounia Zmamou: l'innovation au gré des vents".

In the written press category, the prize went to journalist Lahcen Ait Bihi of the weekly Al Ayyam for his article entitled "Souffrances des rescapés du séisme dévastateur" ("Suffering of survivors of the devastating earthquake").

In the online press category, this year's prize went to journalist Soukaina Sadki of the Hespress website, for an article on Morocco's handling of the migration issue.

The Amazigh press prize was won jointly by journalist Nadia Soussi of the Amazigh channel, for a special issue on the "Human stories of earthquake survivors", and by journalist Mohamed El Ghazi of the same channel, for his piece entitled "Fête de la Jeunesse, Royal commitment to youth issues".

The photography prize was awarded jointly to the photo journalist Boujemaa Zidi of Agence Maghreb Arabe Presse for his photo report on the efforts made by the Royal Armed Forces to rescue the victims of the Al Haouz earthquake, and to the photo journalist of the Al Omq website, Rachida Aboumlik, for her photo report on the Al Haouz earthquake.


Exhibition of Moroccan calligraphy at Santiago's O'Higgins University

On this occasion, the Moroccan ambassador to Santiago, Mrs Kenza El Ghali, emphasised the role of cultural cooperation between Morocco and Chile in bringing the two peoples closer together.

The works exhibited in Santiago were created by Moroccan artist Mohamed Qarmad, inspired by Koranic verses.


Marrakech: the national weaving and carpet museum will soon reopen its doors

Located in the centre of the old medina of Marrakech, the Dar Si Said National Weaving and Carpet Museum will have to be restored following the damage caused by the earthquake. The National Museums Foundation is working on the project, which will cost over 10.15 million dirhams.

"The waterproofing of the monument has completely deteriorated, putting the entire museum at risk from rain and water infiltration. The damage to the architectural elements was less extensive, but there was some damage to the plasterwork, ceiling woodwork and zelliges" - press release.


Museums now free for students

A partnership agreement has just been signed between the National Museums Foundation and the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation. The aim is to offer free admission throughout the year to students and to the teaching and administrative staff of the MESRI, to all the museums run by the FNM in several towns in the Kingdom.

"Today, when we see that more than 70% of young people visit museums, we are even more encouraged to encourage them to come, because it is they to whom we are passing the baton. Seeing a beautiful exhibition in a museum opens their minds and makes them more open to the world and to other cultures". - Mehdi Qotbi, President of the FNM.


"A Moroccan Winter" in Marrakech

On 30 December 2023, at La Mamounia in Marrakech, Artcurial will be highlighting women through works by John Lavery, Rudolf Ernst, Mahmoud Mokhtar, Chéri Samba and Seydou Keïta, as well as women artists such as Esther Mahlangu and Marion Boehm, whose work questions the place of women in society.

This is the fifth in a series of exhibitions launched by the auction house.

Photo: Seydou Keïta (1923-2001), "Untitled", 1956-1957.


Marrakech: the Tindouf gallery presents the group exhibition "Retour à la Nature" (Back to Nature)

The exhibition runs from 23 December to 11 February. On show are works by Lalla Essaydi, Rita Alaoui, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Ilias Selfati, Bill West, Abdelmalek Berhiss, Damien Bonnaud and Rachid Bouhamidi.

Photo: "Palm trees" by Rachid Bouhamidi.


Essaouira: "Female Hadra and trance music" festival

From 21 to 23 December, Essaouira will be hosting the 8th edition of this festival, which explores the strong female presence in Sufism.

Organised by the Association des Hadras Suiries, the festival features exhibitions, round tables and conferences on Sufi doctrine.


« Kalam »

The Chamat troupe is currently touring the kingdom to present a new play entitled "Kalam", the fruit of collaboration between writer Mohamed Berrada and director Bousselham Daif.

"Kalam" has been chosen to represent Morocco at the 14th Arab Theatre Festival, to be held in Baghdad from 10 to 18 January. She has also been selected to represent Morocco at the Arab Theatre Festival in Algeria, organised by the Arab Theatre Organisation.


L'Oréal-Unesco Awards

The L'Oréal Foundation and Unesco are reaffirming their commitment to supporting women scientists, giving them a higher profile and backing their research. 63 candidates (doctoral and post-doctoral students) have been selected in North Africa from 92 eligible applications.

"Coming from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, and from a wide range of research fields, these promising scientists have been awarded a €10,000 grant, providing them with specific support at a pivotal moment in their scientific careers" - press release.

The winners:

  • The Maghreb 2023 Young Talent Prize for Women in Science was awarded to Meroua Safa Mechouche for her research: "Biosynthesis of silver and gold nanoparticles and design of lectin nano-conjugates for a targeted therapeutic approach".
  • Wafa Babay was awarded the prize for her research on "Enhancing the microbial environment of ovarian cancer: new biomarkers for early detection and therapeutic strategies".
  • Nisrine Nouj won for her "Ecological treatment of wastewater using fishery by-products by bio-coagulation - bio-sorption and treatment of sludge by vermicomposting".
  • Fatima-Zahra Azar was awarded the prize for her "Development of a new process for extracting essential oils from medicinal and aromatic plants".
  • Hanane Yaagoubi won for her "Optimisation of additive manufacturing processes".
Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia

The IRMC offers a new series of screenings and debates: "Cinephilia in the Maghreb".

This cycle, proposed by the Institut de recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain, is launched this December, with the first session taking place on 21 and 22 December. The screenings will focus on Moroccan, Tunisian and Algerian cinema.

On Friday 22 December, cinephiles will be treated to two screenings and debates: the Moroccan film "De quelques événements sans significations" (1974) by Mustapha Derkaoui and the Tunisian film "Khlifa Lagraa" (1969) by Hamouda Ben Halima, before closing with a round table discussion on "Comment faire l'histoire de la cinéphilie au Maghreb?"

While the first session was entitled "Cinephilia and Institutions", the next sessions will focus on "Actors and Actresses of Cinephilia", "Screens and Vectors of Cinephilia" and "Traces of Cinephilia".


Tunis: the Bardo National Museum presents "Tunez en Sepia"

The fruit of collaboration between Tunisia and Spain, this exhibition offers a glimpse of Tunisia through the eyes of 19th-century European photographers. It echoes the exhibition of the same name currently on show in Madrid until 14 January at the National Archaeological Museum.

"These photographic archives are also an invitation to discover in a different way the wealth of Tunisian port cities on the coast, such as Tabarka and Sousse, and desert towns such as Matmata, as well as prehistoric sites and excavations from the Carthaginian and Byzantine periods, as well as monuments and towns that highlight the splendour of the Roman Empire, the grandeur of royal mausoleums or the magnificence of defensive and religious buildings from the medieval and modern periods during the domination of Arab dynasties, the conquest of Charles V and the era of Ottoman hegemony. " - press release.

Photo: Fachada. Templo romano conocido como Capitolio. Thugga (Dougga). J. Garrigues, 1880.


Arabic Language Week in Tunis, Sousse and Sfax

The network of French institutes in Tunisia are getting together to mark Arabic Language Day (18 December), from 18 to 23 December.

"A week that coincides with the school holidays to fill up on activities: discover the Arabic and Islamic heritage of the medinas of Tunis and Sfax; learn Arabic calligraphy; play with family and friends with 'Harissa', the first 100% Tunisian general knowledge game; discover the bilingual French-Arabic collections of children's literature and the Arabic translations of a selection of authors; listen to hkeyet Am Taher; follow the adventures of Kenza, Lahlouha and Sami as they try to unravel the secret of La bague de Didon, a film by Mohamed Khalil Bahri; take part in dardachet sessions between learners of Arabic, French and any other language; attend the bilingual Arabic-French performance reading of Stabat Mater Furiosa, a play by Jean-Pierre Siméon. " - press release.


Death of Mohamed Masmouli

The Tunisian cultural and journalistic scene lost writer, poet, critic, media man and cultural figure Mohamed Masmouli on Saturday 16 December 2023, at the age of 83.


Collapse of the ramparts of the medina of Kairouan

A section of the ramparts of the old town of Kairouan collapsed on 16 December, killing three people and injuring three others. The site is on UNESCO's list of world cultural heritage sites. Its collapse raises questions about the conservation of historic sites in Tunisia.

The Ministry of Cultural Affairs has announced that an investigation is underway, but the Minister, Hayet Guettat Guermazi, is already talking of an "error", and is referring to climatic factors, namely "rainfall and humidity".


Samia Kassab-Cherfi is the winner of the 16th Ibn Khaldoun - Senghor Prize

The ceremony was held in Tunis on 15 December 2023 at the headquarters of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO). The jury, chaired by Bassam Baraké (Lebanon), praised the extensive documentary work carried out by the translator "to meet the challenges of this historical reconstruction that the author Béchir Khraïef sought to offer his readers, whether in terms of place names, numerous intertextual references, terminology relating to the fields of armaments and armoury, music or alchemy".

"Barg Ellil", the masterpiece of Tunisian Arabic novelist Béchir Khraïef, depicts the tribulations of a black slave in the heart of 16th-century Tunisia, against a backdrop of Spanish-Ottoman rivalry.

Samia Kassab-Charfi holds a doctorate in French language and literature, awarded in 2003 in Tunis (Tunisia). A leading specialist in French-language literature from the Caribbean, and in particular Saint-John Perse, Samia Kassab-Charfi currently teaches at the University of Tunis. She is the author of several publications, including: "Mémoires et imaginaires du Maghreb et de la Caraïbe", "Patrick Chamoiseau", ...


Tunis: Nawaat Festival

The Nawaat Festival is back for a 3rd edition from 15 to 17 December. The theme of this year's festival is resistance, in the broadest sense. Resistance to violence against women, marginalisation, precarity and resistance to the Israeli occupation will be the main themes.

The programme is intended to be diverse, with film screenings, photography exhibitions, dance performances, round tables and debates.

One of the not-to-be-missed exhibitions is the one on Tunisian Amazigh history, entitled "Les amazighs: mémoires perdues" (Amazighs: lost memories).

Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia

First IPAF selection

The Arab World Literature Prize has unveiled the longlist of 16 novels in the running for the 2024 prize, which will award $50,000 to the final winner next April.

The shortlist was chosen from 133 books published in Arabic between July 2022 and June 2023 by a jury chaired by Syrian writer Nabil Suleiman. He is joined by Palestinian author, researcher and academic Sonia Nimr, Czech academic František Ondráš, Egyptian critic and journalist Mohamed Shoair and Sudanese writer and journalist Hammour Ziada.

  • Mohammed Abdel Nabi, "Nearly Every Day", (Egypt)
  • Ahmed Al Morsi, "Gambling on the Honor of Lady Mitsy" (Egypt)
  • Badriya Albadri, « Foumbi » (Oman)
  • Raja Alem, « Bahbel: Makkah Multiverse, 1945-2009 » (Saudi Arabia)
  • Saleh Al Hamad, "Eye of the Kite", (Saudi Arabia)
  • Sara Alsarraf, "I Heard Everything" (Iraq)
  • Rima Bali, "Suleima's Ring", (Syria)
  • Rashid Al Daif, "The Other Face of the Shadow" (Lebanon)
  • Osama Al Eissa, "The Seventh Heaven of Jerusalem" (Palestine)
  • Basim Khandaqji, "A Mask, the Color of the Sky" (Palestine)
  • Dorra Al Fazi', "I Hide Passion" (Tunisia)
  • Sufyan Rajab, "Reader of the Tanners' Alley", (Tunisia)
  • Ahmed Menour, Storm Over the Islands (Algeria)
  • Amin Zaoui, "The Idols", (Algeria)
  • Eissa Nasiri, "The Mosaicist" (Morocco)
  • Salha Obeid, "Spice Circle" (United Arab Emirates).
Digital ArtExhibitions

Casablanca examines the relationship between artists and AI

Curated by Mehdi Sefrioui, the "AI Ae: Artificial Intelligence Arts exhibition" at the American Arts Center in the White City questions and explores the creative potential of the tools provided by Artificial Intelligence in applications such as Midjourney and Stable Diffusion.

For Walid Bendra, a devotee of argentic photography, AI is akin to "a new assistant or another brain" through which he confronts his work with images generated by Midjourney using key words or his own photos. The result is striking, and the artist himself is amazed at AI's ability "to translate emotions".

Mehdi Sefrioui looks for what might have been the image of the Berber woman before the colonial iconography that shaped the imagination. "I'm in the process of re-educating the Moroccan imagination", says the artist, highlighting the "skewed and manipulated relationship to representation" that he believes the global South may have experienced. (source: Diptykmag).

The following artists take part in the exhibition, which runs until 31 December: Christian Mamoun, Idries Karnachi, Mehdi Sefrioui, Mouad Aboulhana, Walid Bendra, Yassire Ramzi, Arno Coenen, Louise Te Poele, Rodger Werkhoven, Agoria, Charles AI, Inès Chtouki, Obvious, Takyon 236, and Thibaud Zamora.

Photo: Mehdi Sefrioui, "The future that was" series.


Marrakech: Bouchta El Hayani retrospective at L'Atelier 21

The artist Bouchta El Hayani takes over the L'Atelier 21 art gallery in Casablanca for the very first time, from 5 December 2023 to 5 January 2024, for a retrospective exhibition covering 50 years of creative work.

Bouchta El Hayani is a painter from Taounate, born in 1952. He also teaches plastic arts at the Centre pédagogique régional de Rabat, CPR, and graphic design at the Ecole nationale d'architecture. His mediums include canvas, worked or recovered paper, cardboard and plywood. His use of space is dominated by black light, from which flashes, spurts, drips, if not swarms of red, blue, yellow and white often point in the same direction, from top to bottom, from right to left, at an angle. He also likes to work with the human body.


Berlin International Film Festival: director Abdenour Zahzah on the programme

The feature-length fiction film "Chroniques fidèles survenus au siècle dernier à l'hôpital psychiatrique Blida-Joinville, au temps où le docteur Frantz Fanon était chef de la cinquième division entre 1953 et 1956" by Algerian director Abdenour Zahzah will be screened at the 74th Berlin International Film Festival, in the "Forum" section, scheduled from 15 to 25 February 2024.

In this feature-length film, the director looks back at the inequalities and injustices perpetrated between 1953 and 1956, during the French colonial period, by the nursing staff of the Blida-Joinville psychiatric hospital (renamed the Hôpital Frantz Fanon after independence) against Algerian inmates.


Nâama: rehabilitation work planned in the wilaya

The Minister of Culture and the Arts, Soraya Mouloudji, has stressed the need to begin restoration work on the citadel of Cheikh Bouâmama, the Ksar of Sfisifa and several archaeological sites.


Thirteen shows in competition at the National Festival of Professional Theatre

The 16th National Festival of Professional Theatre, to be held from 22 to 31 December in Algiers, will feature 13 plays in competition, as well as a number of other parallel shows. At the close of the Festival, a panel of judges, chaired by actress Fadila Hachemaoui, will award a number of prizes for the best performances, direction, music, set design and acting.

In addition to the performances, there will be lectures and meetings on criticism, directing and stage management, as well as a tribute to the actor Ali Sellali, known as Allalou (1902-1992), led by the academic and theatre critic Ahmed Cheniki.

Algeria, Palestine

Tlemcen: International Cultural Festival of Miniatures and Illumination

The 13th International Miniature and Illumination Cultural Festival, scheduled for 27-29 December at the Centre des études andalouses in Tlemcen, will devote a pavilion to Palestine, in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

"The pavilion will feature numerous works by Algerian artists, illustrating elements of Palestine's cultural heritage, as well as images depicting the suffering of the Palestinian people" - press release.

In addition to the art gallery featuring 150 works by more than 70 Algerian and foreign artists, which will be held on this occasion at the Centre des études andalouses, training workshops will be organised for Algerian artists and students from the Fine Arts schools of Constantine, Algiers, Tlemcen, Tizi Ouzou and Sidi Bel Abbès.


Beyrouth : « Thirty Years of Colours »

Last days - until December 30 - to discover the group exhibition "Thirty Years of Colours" at the Galerie Janine Rubeiz. This is a retrospective of works by artists who have contributed to the gallery's influence over the last thirty years, documenting in particular the socio-political changes experienced in the Ras Beirut neighbourhood where the gallery is located.

Participating artists: Yvette Achkar, Ara Azad, Dalia Baassiri, Rached Bohsali, Elie Bourgély, Joseph Chahfé, Petram Chalach, Dinah Diwan, Bassam Geitani, Ahmad Ghaddar (Renoz), Mansour el Habre, Joseph Harb, Leila Jabre Jureidini, Zeina Kamareddine Badran, Christine Kettaneh , Charles Khoury, Sami AlKour, Rima Maroun, Jamil Molaeb, Zad Moultaka, Greta Naufal, Mohamad El Rawas, Aida Salloum, François Sargologo, Hanibal Srouji, Adlita Stephan, Fayçal Sultan, Lara Tabet, Alfred Tarazi, Alain Vassoyan, Jean-Pierre Watchi and Ghada Zoghbi.

Plastic Arts

Hunna Arts and Culture: the artistic residence that loves women

HUNNA - Arabic for "she" - is an initiative open to visual artists, writers, poets, film-makers, painters, fashion designers, performers, environmentalists and practitioners of all nationalities, ages and profiles. Artists can also move into the residence with their children, provided the latter are over the age of three. The association, which came into being in 2022, is a collective of women and mother artists made up of Flavia Juska Béchara, Caroline Hatem, Rima Kaddissi, Sawsan Bou Khaled, Yal Solan and Chantal Mailhac. The venue is located thirty minutes from Beirut, near the coastal village of Okaibeh.


"The Moon is Dead"

Aya Nour's first short film will be screened at the Al Madina Theatre in Beirut on 28 December. It was shot a year ago in Paris with a team of students from the Fémis and the Cours Florent, friends of the director. The film tells the story of man's first step on the Moon and how this extraordinary event, which turned the whole of humanity upside down, caused the death of all the myths and fantasies that revolved around this celestial body. The film was inspired by a song by the Frères Jacques, "La Lune est morte".


Paris: "An Untitled Body" by Sara Chaar

To mark the 35th anniversary of his gallery, founded in Paris in October 1988, Claude Lemand, collector, gallery owner, art publisher and major donor to the Institut du Monde Arabe museum, was delighted to present a selection of paintings by Sara Chaar. Through a series of abstract compositions, she explores existential questions that challenge the contradictory ideas between biological characteristics and social constructions of identity.

Sara Chaar uses a cold wax painting technique, also known as "cold wax medium". This medium, made from melted beeswax, solvent and resin, enables her to create a wide variety of textures. It can be mixed with other artistic mediums, breaking the 'fat on lean' rule that usually governs oil painting.

Photo: Everything Everywhere II Cold wax and oil on canvas 150 x 200cm
Sara Chaar 2023. Galerie Claude Lemand.



In 2016, German producer Thorben Tüdelkopf and Syrian refugee musician Ameen Khayr joined forces to create the duo Shkoon. Between the warmth of electronic rhythms and the depth of Arabic song, their collaboration has never ceased. The duo will be playing a concert in Beirut on 26 December as part of the tour for their album Masrahiya.

"Masrahiya" takes an in-depth look at the blurred boundaries between reality and fiction, where the lines of truth and imagination intertwine like a spellbinding dance. Over the course of three captivating chapters, tragedy, politics and irony intertwine seamlessly, creating a tapestry of emotions that leaves the audience spellbound.

The album falls somewhere between the influences of electronic downbeat, deep house, dub and hip-hop. Piano, violin, synthesizers, percussion and vocals fuse with Eastern melodies and Western electronic rhythms. The audience will embark on a journey that blurs the boundaries between cultures.

They will be at Le Bataclan in Paris on 10 February.


Gaza: genocide and the destruction of heritage

"We can expect everything to be destroyed, both the sites and the products of the excavations," says Jean-Baptiste Humbert, who has headed the Franco-Palestinian Archaeological Mission in Gaza since 1995 (source: OLJ).

The Gaza Strip is home to some architectural gems, such as the Church of St Porphyry belonging to the Arab-Orthodox community, the religious building at Mukheitim, the large Byzantine site at Blakhiyah (already heavily impacted), and Saint Hilarion (Tell Umm el-Amr), one of the largest Christian monasteries in the Middle East and the oldest in the Holy Land.

Lebanon, Palestine

Oliver Rohe wins the France-Lebanon 2023 prize

The Association des écrivains de langue française has chosen Oliver Rohe's novel "Chant Balnéaire", published by Allia. The book recounts an episode in the Lebanese civil war from the point of view of a teenager, whose father is German and whose mother is Lebanese of Armenian origin, as he takes refuge in a seaside bungalow with his mother and sister, fleeing the fighting raging in Beirut.

Chaired since 2016 by Georgia Makhlouf, the jury also awarded a special mention to Céline Regnard's essay "En transit", published by Éditions Anamosa.

Saudi Arabia

New platform for visa applications in the Saudi kingdom

The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially launched KSA Visa, a new unified national platform for visa applications. The system, which connects more than 30 ministries, authorities and private sector organisations, has been designed to streamline the visa application process for Hajj, Umrah, tourism, business visits and employment. The platform uses AI and other emerging technologies to ensure accurate data verification and overall efficiency.

Saudi Arabia

Twenty coffee research projects

The Saudi Ministry of Culture has awarded grants for twenty coffee research projects from the Kingdom and abroad. The initiative, launched in collaboration with Saudi Coffee Co, a subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, aims to encourage research focusing on Saudi coffee as part of the Kingdom's cultural heritage.

The grants covered three main areas

  • focusing on coffee in the Arabian Peninsula, exploring its historical origins, manufacturing processes and proliferation within the Kingdom ;
  • Exploring the intangible cultural heritage around Saudi coffee, examining the associated knowledge, skills, social traditions, practices and cultural crafts;
  • strengthening local content by supporting Saudi coffee production, improving its competitiveness and contributing to the transformation of the Saudi economy towards a sustainable model.

The initiative is part of the Year of Saudi Coffee 2022, launched by the Ministry of Culture with the support of the Quality of Life programme, one of the Saudi Vision 2030 programmes.

Lebanon, Palestine

"The Shadows of Beirut"

Irish director Stephen Gerard Kelly's first documentary, "In The Shadow of Beirut", officially shortlisted for the Oscars, exposes the distressing and tragic reality of the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Lebanon.

"The strength of this film is that it is not a political film. It's a film about love, about the importance of family", the director told Arab News. "The film draws on very diverse communities where there are Lebanese, Syrians, Palestinians, Lebanese nomads, all trying to provide for their families and communities and help each other."

Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria

Fashion Trust Arabia: the winners

Seven winners have been chosen for this year's edition of 2023, which will not have had a face-to-face ceremony, a fact that can be explained by the genocide currently taking place in Gaza.

Womenswear designer Amir Al-Kasm (Syria) and Renaissance founder Cynthia Merhej (Lebanon) were the main winners in the evening wear category.

Lebanese designer Ahmed Amer won in the ready-to-wear category; British-Lebanese designer Katarina Tarazi in the jewellery category; and the designer duo behind the eyewear brand 'A Better Feeling', Omar Taha and Lily Max (Egypt), in the accessories category.

Moroccan menswear designer Adam Elyassé won the Franca Sozzani Debut Talent Award and Nigerian designer Adeju Thompson, founder of the Lagos Space Programme, received the Guest Country Award.

Saudi Arabia

Leem becomes the first Middle Eastern brand on is the British department store's online site, launched in 2018. The brand recently opened a new shop at Westfield in White City, London, featuring Leem's autumn/winter 2023 collection.


Shining Stars of Hope

"Shining Stars of Hope" is a charity initiative taking place on 21 December at the Casino du Liban in Beirut, inviting 120 renowned artists to perform on stage. Proceeds from the event will go to help the Lebanese cultural scene, which is currently in distress, via the Takreem Foundation, founded in 2009.

Among those performing on Thursday evening are opera singer Bechara Moufarrej, singer Fadia Tomb El-Hage, singer Yuri Mraqqadi, conductor Andre Hajj and actress and singer Marilyne Naaman.

The event will also be broadcast by LBCI on 24 December.


Noon by Noor unveils a modular wardrobe for its 2024 collection

Bahraini fashion label Noon by Noor is presenting a layered collection for 2024. Created by designers Shaikha Noor Al-Khalifa and Shaikha Haya Al-Khalifa, the collection features summery colours: blue, coral, red and yellow. With minimalist, asymmetrical and fitted cuts, the effect is that of a versatile wardrobe for all occasions.

Saudi Arabia

Hawi, share your hobby

Created by twelve government agencies, this new application is one of the initiatives of the Saudi Quality of Life programme, which encourages people to share their hobbies.

L’application « vise à faciliter et à permettre aux amateurs de tous âges de pratiquer leurs passe-temps et de s’exprimer. Cela contribuera à développer le secteur des loisirs dans le Royaume et fournira les moyens de construire une société dynamique, proactive et efficace pour réaliser la Vision 2030 du Royaume » – communiqué de presse.

Saudi Arabia

New cultural centre in Jeddah

The Saudi Ministry of Culture has announced the forthcoming inauguration of the Tariq Abdulhakim Centre, a new initiative to preserve and celebrate Saudi Arabia's intangible musical and cultural heritage.

The centre will host a museum dedicated to the life and work of Saudi musician, teacher and collector Tariq Abdulhakim. It will also include specialised research and archive units dedicated to the preservation of Saudi heritage. Abdulhakim was awarded the UNESCO International Music Prize in 1981, becoming the first Arab to receive it.


New Emir of Kuwait: Sheikh Mishal

Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah pledged on Wednesday to be a "loyal citizen" to his nation and people, and stressed that the executive and legislative authorities should cooperate to serve the best interests of Kuwait.

"Today, I have become Head of State and I pledge to the Kuwaiti people, through you, to be a loyal citizen to his nation and his people, concerned with the interests of the nation, concerned with national unity."

Photo: 17th Emir of Kuwait, copyrights AFP.

Saudi Arabia

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.

Arab World

Jack Lang reappointed as head of the Arab World Institute

This is the fourth term for the President of the Arab World Institute, which he has headed since 2013. His reappointment was approved by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors.

"Our ambition is to make the IMA the most important museum of modern and contemporary Arab art in the West, while remaining faithful to its primary mission of discovering Arab history, language and culture" - Jack Lang.

Morocco, Palestine

Eye on Palestine

For several weeks now, Moroccans have been discovering or rediscovering Palestine, its people and its history through films made by filmmakers from this Middle Eastern country.

With the support of various cultural institutions, the films are shown simultaneously every Friday in Tangiers, Fez, Marrakech, Rabat, Tiznit and Casablanca.

These spontaneously organised cinematographic and civic events have helped to generate rich exchanges and "reweave cultural links between Palestine and Morocco".

A sit-in was also organised, as well as the screening of the documentary Bank of Targets, by journalist Rushdi Saraaj, recounting the chaotic situation and bombardments suffered by the people of Gaza for several years. The director was himself killed in one of these attacks on 22 October in Gaza.

Egypt, Palestine

Elyanna sings for Palestine at the El-Gouna film festival

The Chilean-Palestinian singer performed "Ghosn Zeytoun" (Olive Branch) at the opening of the 6th El-Gouna Film Festival in Egypt.

"My tears have dried up, and my heart is broken, I am far away, but I pray for you. And I send peace on an olive branch. In the land of peace, peace is dead" - Elyanna in a voice shaking with emotion and choked with tears.

Saudi Arabia

Desert X AlUla returns in February 2024

Desert X AlUla, the international outdoor art exhibition, will be back for its third edition, from 9 February to 23 March 2024, with the theme "In the presence of absence", inviting artists to reflect on the unspeakable and the mysterious. Raneem Farsi and Neville Wakefield will be the artistic directors, and the exhibition will be curated by Maya El-Khalil and Marcello Dantas. The exhibition will be held in the Wadi Al-Fann desert, in Harrat Uwayrid, and at Al-Manshiyah station.

United Arab Emirates

Al Burda Prize

Islamic arts were celebrated at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the winners of the Al Burda Prize were announced. The prize is open to poets, calligraphers and artists whose works are inspired by the Prophet Mohammed, the Koran and the Hadith. This year, Al Burda was held under the theme of Al Mizan (which translates as Balance), marking the year of sustainability in the United Arab Emirates.

Ahmed Hafez won first prize in the 'Classical Poetry' category; and Awad Al Oud won first prize in the 'Nabati Vernacular Poetry' category. Zaid Ahmed Amin Al Azami won the prize for modern Arabic calligraphy, and Afsaneh Mahdavi won in the "Ornamentation" category.

United Arab Emirates

Mleiha and Al Dhaid Fort in Sharjah added to Islamic World Heritage List

Two important archaeological sites in Sharjah have been added to the Islamic World Heritage List.

Located in the central region of Sharjah, the site of Mleiha has been included because of its cultural influence during the pre-Islamic period.

The site of Al Dhaid Fort and Falaj have also been added. The latter is considered to be the oldest archaeological evidence of life in the UAE.

These two sites join Fort Al Hisn, which will be inscribed in 2021.

Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia

« From Ink to Action – Using Comic Art to Save the Planet »

This exhibition, at Warehouse 58, Avenue Alserkal, is a collaborative project between the Lakes International Comic Art Festival (LICAF), an annual comics festival in the north of England, and the British Council. It was organised as part of COP28, and mobilised twelve artists from the Arab world around the climate crisis.

The artists come from Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, and include illustrators, comic strip artists, visual and graphic artists, and muralists.

Egyptian artist Mohamed Salah's comic "Noah's Yacht" examines humanity's obsession with continuing to 'do more' despite the cost to humanity, while Franco-Tunisian visual storyteller Noha Habaieb illustrates the negative effects of pesticides from the perspective of a bee.

Lebanese cartoonist and illustrator Fouad Mezher's "Don't Expect Anything" follows a young woman searching for her remaining family members after another natural disaster, while Egyptian illustrator Shennawy's untitled comic strip reveals, through the perspective of a crab, the contradictions of big companies.

Mehdi Annasi's comic strip ’The Second Season' focuses on the water shortage in Morocco and its direct impact on watermelon production.


The Gaza Monologues

Directed by Matthieu Loos with original text by the Ashtar Theatre (Palestine), this play, in Arabic and French, has been performed around the world since 2010. Today it resonates even more powerfully.

Synopsis: "In 2008-2009, the Israeli military operation 'Cast Lead' ravaged Gaza for three weeks, killing more than 1,400 Palestinians, including civilians, many of them children. Two years on, the Ashtar Theatre has gathered the voices of 33 teenagers who survived the war. They tell of their experiences in Gaza under the bombs, their stolen childhoods, and the trauma and anger that have stayed with them ever since. It is also with the ambition of alerting the international community to what they are suffering in the midst of general indifference that these young people have spoken out. Their words carry the hope of rebuilding a nation and the ambition of future peace."



An open letter signed by playwrights, actors and directors calls on Israel to release members of the Freedom Theatre

Some of Britain's best-known playwrights, actors and directors have signed an open letter calling for the release of members of a Palestinian theatre group detained by Israel since 13 December, while denouncing the destruction of cultural sites in the West Bank and Gaza.

Caryl Churchill, Vicky Featherstone, Dominic Cooke and Maxine Peake were among the 1,000 signatories of the letter calling for the immediate release of Mustafa Sheta and Jamal Abu Joas of the Freedom Theatre, whose members were arrested after the Israeli army raided the Jenin refugee camp.

"Our friends and contemporaries at Freedom Theatre deserve the right to carry out their work without fear of violence or persecution."

This open letter is the second sent by British theatre-makers in recent days. On 15 December, 100 Scottish playwrights called for the release of staff from Freedom Theatre, which toured the Edinburgh suburbs in 2017. London's Royal Court, where Featherstone is artistic director, also issued a statement saying it was "horrified to read of the attack on the theatre, the destruction of offices and the assaults on staff".

Photo: Freedom Theatre performing at Battersea Arts Centre in 2015. Photograph: Tristram Kenton / The Guardian


SIEL: the 29th edition will be held in Rabat in May

The 29th edition of the Salon International de l'Édition et du Livre will be held from 9 to 19 May 2024 at the Espace OLM Souissi in Rabat.

Israel, Palestine

Controversial book on Palestine finds a new publisher

On November 8, ActuaLitté revealed that the book by Israeli historian Ilan Pappé, "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine", was now out of print due to a marketing halt. The title's publisher, Fayard, has announced that the contract with its original publisher, Oneworld, expired on 27 February 2022. On 3 November, Fayard announced that it would cease publication 21 months later. We already know the new publisher that will carry it: Editions La Fabrique, which has been committed to the Palestinian cause since its creation.

Founded by Eric Hazan exactly 25 years ago, following the sale of Hazan éditions to the Hachette group, La Fabrique has already published two titles by Ilan Pappé. What's more, it is the first publisher of the Israeli in France: Les démons de la Nakbah: les libertés fondamentales dans l'université israélienne (translated by Marc-Ariel Friedemann), and La guerre de 1948 en Palestine: aux origines du conflit israélo-arabe (translated by Éric Hazan), published in 2004 and 2000 respectively.


Esther Abrami revolutionises classical music

Followed by 418,000 followers on TikTok and more than 300,000 on YouTube and Instagram, the 26-year-old violinist is modernising classical music and continuing to democratise it among young people.

A true prodigy, she grew up in the south of France before leaving to study violin at the Royal College of Music in London. Her videos exploded during her confinement. She built up a solid network, signed with Sony in 2021, was invited in 2022 to play as a soloist at the Royal Albert Hall, one of the world's greatest classical venues, posed for photographers and became a model for major labels and luxury brands such as Yves Saint-Laurent and Lancôme.

She became the first classical musician to win the "Social Network Star" award at the Global Awards, the British equivalent of the Victoires de la musique in 2019, and was named "Rising Star" by BBC Music Magazine in 2021. She released her first album in 2022, and her second album in 2023: "Cinema".


Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi president

Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi wins the presidential election with 89.6% of the vote.


« Liman »

The new EP by the group Aghiad is officially available on listening platforms. The five tracks - Karagül, Anima, Hommos, Dal'una, Liman - open up a world of oriental melodies and rhythms mixed with western pop. Winners of the iNOUïS awards and the RIFFX Audience Award, the band continue to build on their success. Check it out !

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.