Culture

A unique perspective on the rich arts and cultural scene in the Middle East.



Lauren Williams
Written by :
on : Thursday, 12 Jun, 2014

Lessons from a Captor

The flow of foreign jihadists into Syria has become a worrying problem. Over a year ago, the rate at which they were entering the country had surpassed that witnessed during the Afghanistan conflict of the 1980s, sending Western countries—who fear these Muslim citizens will return home radicalized and intent on launching terrorist attacks on home turf—into a spin. Western efforts to contain the phenomenon have exceeded even those aimed at toppling Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, wh...

Read more »

Clarissa Pharr
Written by :
on : Friday, 30 May, 2014

Teaching Moroccans to Dance

“I get the feeling of [being] a warrior,” Hind Benali said in a recent interview with The Majalla via Skype from Morocco. Benali, who is based in Casablanca where she grew up, counts herself as among the very few contemporary dancers trying to make a name for herself in Morocco. Her career choice has not been an easy one so far. She attended dance school as a child in Morocco before receiving formal dance training in France. Her dream of building a thriving contemporary dance cultur...

Read more »

Tagged with: , ,
Ati Metwaly
Written by :
on : Wednesday, 7 May, 2014

Putting Yemen in the Spotlight

"Anwar's life did not go to waste," says one of the characters in Karama Has No Walls. The Oscar-nominated documentary by Yemeni–Scottish filmmaker Sara Ishaq is probably...

Read more »

Shehrayar Shaderan
Written by :
on : Tuesday, 8 Apr, 2014

Reading Ferdowsi in Tehran

Despite numerous changes over the years, classical texts have remained the basis for Persian literature studies in Iranian schools, from the old madrasas to the present day. Th...

Read more »

Juliet Highet
Written by :
on : Saturday, 1 Feb, 2014

A Theater of Limitless Possibilities

In the video Nature Morte (Dead Nature), 2009, by artist Akram Zaatari, two men silently prepare for military action in the cold light of dawn. The older man, in reality a form...

Read more »

Mina Al-Droubi
Written by :
on : Monday, 27 Jan, 2014

Past meets Present in Egypt

They say that history repeats itself. Egypt’s second president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, was hailed as a hero after he headed the coup d’état that deposed King Farouk in 1952....

Read more »

Amy Assad
Written by :
on : Friday, 13 Dec, 2013

Capturing the Human Story

Saddam Hussein’s scorched-earth policy in Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf War resulted in an environmental catastrophe. On assignment at the time to document the ongoing devastat...

Read more »

Nicholas Birch
Written by :
on : Sunday, 1 Dec, 2013

Poetry Leads the Turkish Republic

Turkey’s prime minister has a poetry obsession. Barely a speech of his goes by without him quoting some. Back in his conservative democratic days, his favorite political ...

Read more »

Noel Brehony
Written by :
on : Thursday, 7 Nov, 2013

Learning from Past Mistakes

Jason Pack has assembled articles by both new and well-known experts on Libya to produce a book of consistently high quality, which is not all that common in edited works. Both tim...

Read more »

Tara Aghdashloo
Written by :
on : Friday, 25 Oct, 2013

The Messenger

Abdulnasser Gharem is the highest-selling artist in the Arab world. Let us get that out of the way, because as important as it sounds, it really is irrelevant to the value of h...

Read more »