AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

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Thursday, March 20th, 2014

What if you witness a revolution but things get worse?

Last week “Arij – Scent of Revolution” had its Egyptian premiere during the Goethe Film Week in Cairo. After an understated introduction, director Viola Shafik slipped to the back of the smallish screening room as the lights dimmed. I can say unequivocally that “Scent of Revolution” is a powerful documentary. In her brief introduction, Shafik

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

The Jews of Egypt

The subject is fascinating, both broadly and specifically. Specifically, “Jews of Egypt” explores the history of a group that has been all but forgotten in a country whose current Jewish population, by several accounts, amounts to roughly...

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

What’s it like to be an artist in Egypt right now

On the last Sunday of January, an Egyptian musical theatre group performed a bare-bones rendition of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables in colloquial Arabic to a standing room only crowd in New York City’s Leonard Nimoy Thalia. In fact the...

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Egyptian director Mohamed Diab talks about his film on sexual harassment

Over the last few years, the waves of sexual assault and harassment on the streets of Egypt have been in the news perpetually: Initially as a disheartening stain on the euphoria generated from the promise of political...

Monday, September 30th, 2013

An interview with artist Lalla Essaydi on looking beyond beauty

In early September, I sat down to lunch with artist Lalla Essaydi not far from her Midtown West studio in Manhattan. Ms. Essaydi comes across as a self-assured woman. In appearance and manner, she is refined and...

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Reimagining the image of the modern Arab man

“My aim is to unveil men in regions where most of the time, we try to unveil women.”

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

What The #@%* Is Going On In Egypt: The Danger of Media Noise

On Monday at least 51 people were killed around Nasr City in Cairo. What followed were gruesome images of the wounded and killed, and speculation about who bore responsibility for the deaths. It was reported that the...

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

When the Material Writes Itself: Jon Stewart, Bassem Youssef and the Muslim Brotherhood

When watching Bassem Youssef skillfully deliver satiric political commentary on “El-Bernameg” (The Program), it is impossible not to be almost startled by the resemblance to Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show”. The similar set and the fact that, let’s...

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Egyptian Women [are not willing to be] Blamed for Sexual Assaults

One of yesterday’s New York Times headlines addressed the problem of sexual violence in Egypt that has “become too big to ignore”. The article by Mayy El Sheikh and David Kirkpatrick, “Rise in Sexual Assaults in Egypt Sets off...

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Another Side of the Story: A Discussion with the Managing Editor of “Daily News Egypt”

I had the opportunity to sit down with Rana Allam, Managing Editor of the Daily News Egypt towards the end of January this year, just days before the two-year anniversary of the start of the Egyptian uprising that...

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

The enduring controversy around Egyptian-American activist Mona Eltahawy

A week ago the Huffington Post published an article written by Melissa Jeltsen on an increasingly familiar name in women’s activism in the Arab world. The article, entitled “Mona Eltahawy, Egyptian-American Activist, On the Power of Protest,”...