Interviews

Saad Chraibi: L’amoureur du cinema

By Pamela Nice with translation by Kabil Kahlaouy

Saad Chraibi has been working in Moroccan cinema as a director, scenarist and producer since 1978. He is highly respected in Morocco for his courage in addressing social and political issues in his films, such as “Femmes.. et femmes” (1998), dealing with domestic abuse, and “Jawhara (fille de prison)” (2004), on political prisoners in Morocco. His films have been shown internationally at film fesitvals, and Jawhara is to be seen in New York this coming fall.

Beyond Morocco’s Literary Divide: Interview with Leila Abouzeid

By Pamela Nice

I spoke with Leila Abouzeid in her apartment in Agdal, a beautiful section of Rabat. She is a diminutive woman, perhaps not even five feet tall, but was colorfully dressed and expressed herself with intensity. She is now working on a collection of short stories, based on a collection published already in Beirut in Arabic, to be published in English by the University of Texas Press under the editing of Elizabeth Warnock Fernea. Abouzeid studied under Fernea at the University of Texas in Austin for two years, and they have continued a close personal and professional relationship since then.

Reckoning with Darkness: Looking Back on Algeria’s Dark Decade

Bobby Gulshan
The Algerian Civil War began in 1991 and ended in 2002. Known as the Dark Decade, the period began with a coup to nullify the imminent takeover of government by Islamists and was followed by 10 years of brutality, violence, and fear. With the emergence of Da’esh (or the Islamic State), we now witness contemporary scenes that feel all too familiar for those who remember the earlier terrors. As too often happens, the geopolitical lens obscures the human element, abstracting suffering into discussions about strategy and policy. Salem Brahimi’s film, “Let Them Come,”1 takes us back to the Dark Decade, with a vocabulary and tone  so reminiscent of our present moment, providing us with a poignant and at times chilling window into the lives of ordinary Algerians.
 

Q&A with Director and Writer Reine Mitri on Her Banned Film “In this Land Lay Graves of Mine”

Angele Ellis

Angele Ellis, who reviews Reine Mitri’s “In this Land Lay Graves of Mine” in the forthcoming issue of Al Jadid, conducted a Q&A through e-mail with the film’s director. Ms. Mitri responded to questions about her changing attachment to and perceptions of Lebanon after making this personal documentary, the advantages (or disadvantages) of being a female filmmaker, and her artistic influences and inspirations. When asked about the effects of the ban the Lebanese government has imposed on this film, Ms. Mitri replied that censorship would not affect its reception, distribution, or inclusion in international film festivals. Perhaps her answer speaks volumes on how the world views Lebanon’s standards of censorship.

Etab Hreib on Conflict, Commercialism , and Sexism in Syria’s Current Art Movement

By 
Rebecca Joubin

In the this interview with the critically acclaimed Syrian watercolorist, Etab Hreib, she discusses the interrelated nature of the arts in the context of her own love for the theater and set design, and details various influences on her work.

Critically acclaimed Syrian watercolorist, Etab Hreib, a native of Der-Ez-Zor, graduated from the Graphic Arts Department of the University of Damascus. Since then, she has exhibited her work in various parts of the world. She was the recipient of the Al-Mahros Golden Award in Tunisia, a Golden Award from the Chinese Ministry of Culture, and an award from the Ministry of Culture in Algeria.

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