Last night I, along with bloggers Ayesha Saldanha and Deonna Kelli Sayed, was invited to participate in a special Elham event regarding the role of blogging in cultural development, with particular emphasis on the literary aspect of online writing. I read several of my posts and answered some very interesting questions from the attendees. This was my second Elham participation (I participated in the first Elham gathering in November of last year.) As usual, Deonna Kelli Sayed, Phoebe Boswell, Al Riwaq Gallery and of course Ali Al Saeed (who unfortunately couldn’t make it as he was abroad,) did a wonderful job of organizing it. Thanks to all who attended, including one venerable blogfather. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Continuing tonight, Al Riwaq will host a discussion on language, translation, and expression. The event will feature poet Ali al Jallawi and translations read by Ayesha Saldanha. Hameed al Qaed will moderate. For the record, here’s a transcript of what I started off with last night before my post readings: Culture is not created by governments, kings, queens or presidents. It’s not [...]
Tag Archives: culture
Ever curious, people have brewed and smoked almost everything that protrudes in one form or another from the earth and then some. Coffee is, without a doubt, the most popular of these experiments. The perfect brew follows the perfect roast. It’s a delightful play on our senses that begins with smell before sight. The smell primes us for an encounter with a dark, rich liquid. A liquid that promises to wake up our other senses as well as our body and mind. And that, it surely does. The first sip quickly crescendos into the blend’s unique character. A rapid cascade follows. Traces of continents and countries and herdsmen amongst plantations meet, greet and dissipate. From Yemen to Brazil, and from Ethiopia to Sumatra, your everyday blend coffee is truly a multicultural experience in its own right. If you will pardon deficient nation labelling, coffee is developing countries in a cup.
Salar Abdoh writes a prescient piece on Iranian cinema for Words Without Borders. Some gems include: …being Iranian today means, among other things, being associated with what the President of the United States has called the Axis of Evil. Evil suggests barbarity. So each time an Iranian film wins an award, each time a reviewer calls Iranian cinema “vibrant” and Iranian society “intellectually vital,” one feels vindicated. “We are not barbarians!” is that cry across continents that forces others to listen and take note. For her first feature film, director Manijeh Hekmat managed to convince Iranian government authorities to allow her access to a real women’s prison, where her actresses literally lived and worked alongside actual female prisoners. Women’s Prison brings to the surface all the incongruities of Iranian society by the very fact of its having been allowed to be made at all, confronting viewers, yet again, with supposedly unthinkable subjects for the Islamic Republic: prostitution, drug addiction, suicide and rape. and …cinema-loving peasants who rode donkeys or each other’s backs when they needed to shoot down-angle scenes, the people of Khosro village churned [...]