Features

Living in a politically volatile city in the Middle East, a young Arab drag queen – who is by day a tireless human rights activist – is arrested by the police in the early hours of the morning for being at a cinema which is a cruising spot for working class men. He is subjected to intrusive questioning and cruel abuse by the insertion of an egg-like contraption into his rectum to test and gage his homosexuality.

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If you love independent films that hold the power to take you on a visual tour of faraway places, then a cinematic festival that has carefully selected its titles to represent the best of what is coming out of a particular region is a must see. More of a reason also when that region –the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) - is currently experiencing unprecedented turbulence that has been embarrassingly laid out for the world to see and when the dearth of good news has meant a lack of an adequate reflection of what else is going on in the Arab world.

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Curated by Najlaa El-Ageli, the ‘Textural Threads’ exhibition forms an integral part of the Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) Festival 2016. The AWAN is an annual event that celebrates Arab female artists, by offering them the platform to increase the visibility of their artwork and also by exposing their talent to newer audiences. The AWAN is organised by Arts Canteen.

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Includes: Exclusive Insight From Director Kay Adshead and British Syrian-Lebanese Actress Alia Alzougbi

 

It took over three years from first impulse-inspiration to gathering the necessary crowd and institutional funding to finally be able to deliver at The Arcola Theatre this week. ‘The Singing Stones’ is a triad of plays that creatively tackles the challenging role of Arab women during the Revolutions that swept the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) starting circa January 2011 to the post-revolutionary period up until where we are today.

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Welcome to the pop-up mosque. The one where prayer is often led by women. And vegan food is served at their special events.

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Syrian-British Artist Bayda Asbridge Shares A Personal Tale

 

Death is the ultimate separation but not being able to attend your parent’s funeral makes it that far more difficult to grieve and deal with the loss. When an unfair bloody war is also taking place in the background and you are in exile, there is no option left for the psychological survival but to claim the personal story.

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‘Human Trafficking’ today is considered one of six types that manifest modern-day slavery and especially of sex trafficking. The other ways are bonded labour, forced labour, child slavery, early forced marriage and descent-based slavery. 

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First published as Foreword to a Photographic Exhibition by Marwah Almugait, from Saudi Arabia.

 

"​Existentialism is the philosophic notion of Self Awareness” according to Irvin Yalom and its form of therapy explores the facts of life and how they affect the individual without making prior judgment.

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These be the Libyan tribes whereof I am able to give the names; and most of these cared little then, and indeed care little now, for the king of the Medes.” Herodotus from The Histories, c. 430 BCE

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First Published in The Libyan Magazine

 

Very few Libyans are familiar with the ‘talking cure’. They know little about its theories and almost nothing of its practice. Perhaps they never felt the need to rely on its wisdom and have dismissed its benefits. In our culture, one’s emotional and mental states are seen as a part of their spiritual character. If they complain of psychological distress, it is seen as a failure in not finding peace in God or religion.

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