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Alfred Basbous (1924-2006): Legacy of Three Brothers Turns Lebanese Village of Rachana into a Global Center of Sculpture

By 
Nancy Linthicum

The name Rachana originally resonated only with this coastal Lebanese village’s population of less than 1,000 inhabitants; now, however, for people around the world, Rachana immediately calls to mind the Basbous brothers – Michel, Youssef, and Alfred – who were amongst Lebanon’s finest sculptors and the source of Rachana’s fame. As Alfred Basbous once said to writer Yaqzan al-Taqi, who like so many others had come to witness the renowned sculptures on display in Rachana, “Much sculpting is taking place here and it is being felt at an international level.

TV Documentary Series on Nezar Kabbani: Exercise in Commercialization by Sanitization

By 
Mohammad Ali Atassi

A few months ago, a private Syrian television company began shooting a 30-segment television series about the life of the great poet Nezar Kabbani. The television company plans to air the program during the month of Ramadan. The series has been creating much tension between the production company, Sharikat al-Sharq Lil Intage Alfani, and the heirs of the poet, who refuse to relinquish Kabbani's copyright to the production company. The family has turned to the courts to stop the filming, which continues nonetheless in more than one country in the Arab world and abroad.

Circumnavigating Islam

By 
Judith Gabriel

 Many Arab intellectuals responded to the awarding of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature to V. S. Naipaul with dismay. Criticism of the Trinidad-born British writer, an often abrasive chronicler of the postcolonial Third World who has long argued that Islam has been as "calamitous" for the world as imperialism, is nothing new, but the timing of the prize opened the floodgates of speculation and debate.

Drawing Out Displacement

By 
Catherine Hamel

Being anchored by a sense of loss and longing is common for those who have experienced forced displacement. They live an unresolved existence, oscillating between the dangerously manipulative memories of a lost place and the difficulty of adaptation to new cultures and their accompanying space. It is a rich existence that defies stale comfort. Nothing is clearly understood.

Thirteen Hours of Interrogation

By 
Mohammed Ali Atassi

The morning of September 18th, Syrian director and film producer Omar Amirlay drove from his home in Damascus to Amman, Jordan. Four months earlier he had begun a daring project to establish the first Arab school of cinema – the Arab Film Institute. 

The morning of September 18th, Syrian director and film producer Omar Amirlay drove from his home in Damascus to Amman, Jordan. Four months earlier he had begun a daring project to establish the first Arab school of cinema – the Arab Film Institute. 

Remembering Salma al-Haffar Kuzbari

By 
Joseph Mouallem

Author Salma al-Haffar Kuzbari, most renowned for her work on women activist and literary pioneer Mai Ziadeh, died in Beirut on August 11, 2006, at 83 years of age. Al-Haffar Kuzbari spent 17 years researching the early 20th century literary figure Mai Ziadeh, ultimately publishing three works on her life and accomplishments.

Like her early 20th century heroine, Haffar-Kuzbari was also at the forefront of defending women's rights and equality in what was a strongly patriarchal society.

Playing Politics with Art

By 
Al Jadid Staff

Art has a tendency to become political fodder, especially when the subject coincides with politically significant events. This tendency was exemplified this year with the successful performance of the musical“Sah al-Noum” (Rise and Shine) by the legendary Lebanese diva Fairuz.

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