Art, Music & Culture

FAST T-shirt contest deadline on June 10th

6 June 2005

On Friday, June 17, 2005 the National ‘Back to Israel’ Day will take place in Israel. The National ‘Back to Israel’ day: Saving Israel’s Democracy by Fighting the Occupation will create a central stage for all of Israel’s civic organizations delivering the key message to the broad public: Israel’s democracy is at risk due to the occupation. The coalition of pro-peace and human rights organizations in Israel got together to celebrate the value of democracy and its contribution to the Israeli public at-large. F.A.S.T.(the Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory) has decided to help the coalition of -peace and human rights organizations in Israel and to promote the T-shirt contest of the National ‘Back to Israel’ Day.

Book Review: Sabra and Shatila 1982

Victor Kattan
21 May 2005

Day and night, for three days in September 1982, a massacre took place in Sabra Street and Shatila refugee camp in a popular residential area of Lebanon’s capital Beirut. Even today, few people are aware of the scale and extent of the killings that took place for 43 consecutive hours some 23 years ago. Palestinians were the target of this massacre, but they were not the only victims. Arabs of other nationalities, Turks, Bangladeshis and Iranians were also killed in their homes, in the streets, or marched to Sports City where they were shot in hastily-dug death pits.

Birzeit's Virtual Gallery: The university's latest means of cultural exchange

Maureen Clare Murphy
6 May 2005

This spring Palestine’s Birzeit University launched its latest means of cultural exchange. The new Paltel Virtual Gallery, which serves as an Internet portal for Birzeit students, Palestinians, and anyone else interested in Palestinian art, will also feature academic courses on Palestinian, Arab, and contemporary international art. In addition to highlighting a different Palestinian artist each month, the multiple functions of the bilingual Paltel Virtual Gallery intend to serve both those curious about Palestinian art, as well as Palestinians thirsting for more exposure to international art, which doesn’t enjoy a high priority in Palestinian schools.

ADC Praises Representation of Arabs, Muslims in "Kingdom of Heaven"

29 April 2005

The American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC) today praised the portrayal of Arabs and Muslims in the Kingdom of Heaven, a film about the Crusades, which will be opening nationwide on May 6. Last night, ADC staff attended a private advance screening of this new film by Sir Ridley Scott and offers the following comments. Kingdom of Heaven is an epic-scale historical drama inspired by the events of the third Crusade of the 12th century and is based on real characters, including Balian of Ibelin, a Crusader knight, and Salah El Din (Saladin), the renowned Muslim leader.

Film review: "Rainbow"

Jenny Gheith
30 April 2005

”Hearing is not like seeing and seeing is different from living the experience,” reflects Shehada’s mother about life in Rafah. And for a week in May 2004, that experience worsened as Israeli forces pushed forward with “Operation Rainbow,” killing 45 Palestinians, 38 of them civilians including nine children. “The only thing we can do is pray to God.” This overwhelmingly distraught sentiment runs throughout Shehada’s newest documentary Rainbow (2004), which examines first hand the devastating effects of the events of May 13-May 20th. However, this film is not a documentary in the traditional sense — from the perspective of an outsider looking in.

Film review: "The Eternal Dance"

Jenny Gheith
2 May 2005

The Eternal Dance (2003), the second film directed by noted Palestinian actress Hiam Abbas (Satin Rouge, Door to the Sun), is the beautifully poetic story of coming to terms with the loss of a loved one. Just shy of thirty minutes, each short scene commands heartfelt performances that tenderly reveal the emotion that death leaves in its wake. While on the surface the plot is simple, The Eternal Dance reveals itself to be much more. The Eternal Dance at times feels more like a stage play than a film, but this is not a bad thing. Every suggestive movement, silence and gesture builds to create an unforgettable film dealing with a highly significant subject.

Film review: "Curfew"

Jenny Gheith
1 May 2005

It begins ordinarily enough — kids play soccer, people walk freely about the streets, and a mailman delivers letters from afar. This is Gaza in 1993, before the Oslo Peace Accords, and the setting for Curfew (1993), which was written and directed by Rashid Masharawi. “Always the same refrain. Tomorrow is another day and after that comes another day. And what will happen today?” Unfortunately, this day freedom will transform into restriction as Israeli soldiers call for a curfew that confines the Palestinian inhabitants to their homes; a restriction due to the ongoing occupation.

Film review: "Land of '48"

Jenny Gheith
28 April 2005

A map abstractly records places, borders, and distance through line and shape. However, as a group of Palestinian refugees gather around a map that depicts Palestine before the Nakba, or the expulsion of 750,000 people from their lands and homes, these dots and letters do much more than just describe a location. They trigger memories of a land they once called home. Barrack Rima’s aptly titled documentary Land of ‘48 (2003) explores this deep connection to place through interviews conducted with refugees living in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

Film Review: "Soraida, A Woman of Palestine"

Jenny Gheith
26 April 2005

Soraida, A Woman of Palestine (2004) is an outstanding documentary by Egyptian-born Tahani Rached. Rached, who has directed many documentaries that focus on the condition of women in the Middle East, compellingly turns her camera on Soraida Abed Hussein and her close circle of friends and family who live in Ramallah. Throughout, we casually observe the lives of these close-knit neighbors while they recall memories (at times even re-enacting them for the camera), discuss current events, and openly expose their fears and hopes, all while going about their daily activities.

Film review: "Another Road Home"

Jenny Gheith
2 May 2005

At some point in our lives, we grapple with understanding our childhood relationships and seek to find answers to unresolved familial ambiguities. This is exactly what Israeli-born Danae Elon chooses to document in her honest film Another Road Home (2004). While Elon’s search focuses on finding one man, Mahmoud “Musa” Obeidallah, the Palestinian caretaker who helped raise her for twenty years of her life in East Jerusalem, her subsequent film openly exposes a unique side of Palestinian-Israeli relations.

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