AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

Egypt

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Friday, September 26th, 2014

Two filmmakers tackle sexual harassment in Egypt

Both domestically and abroad, the issue of sexual harassment has been called a sickness in Egyptian society. Abroad what had previously been framed mostly as an annoyance for female tourists was thrust into the spotlight in 2011 following now infamous and violent attacks on both foreign journalists and local woman during the protests that led

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Review: The Square by Jehane Noujaim

The 16th Encounters South African International Documentary Festival opened on Wednesday with The Square, Jehane Noujaim’s documentary about the Egyptian Revolution. The film (available in the US on Netflix) holds the title of being the first Egyptian...

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...

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

New Documentaries To Look Out For at the Luxor African Film Festival

The third edition of the Egyptian Luxor African Film Festival again has a wide-ranging programme scheduled for next month. Selected films will be showing in different competitions: Long Narrative, Short Narratives, Short Documentaries and Long Documentary. Below...

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...

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.”

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Hassan Khan and his 6 minute film “Jewel”

Last year, while visiting Okwui Enwezor’s Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (titled: “Intense Proximity”), I was struck by one specific piece: “Jewel”, a 6 minute short film by Egyptian artist Hassan Khan. As already...

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...

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

The Popular Resistance in Egypt

It feels like we have been here before. The last time I had to field this many phone calls, texts, and e-mails was in February 2011. Then, as now, Egyptians and their allies all over the world celebrated...

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Whose “New African Writing”?

The latest issue of the Journal of Postcolonial and Commonwealth Studies takes on “African writing in the twenty-first century” and presents views on topics as varied as South African theater, queer Kenyan bloggers, digital publishing, and the Caine Prize for African...

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...

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Egyptian Graffiti and Gender Politics: An Interview with Soraya Morayef

Mickey Mouse is pulling apart a bomb: inside is the torso of George W. Bush, and they’re both looking perfectly happy about the whole thing. Soraya Morayef is taking a photo of the wall where these figures...

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...

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Rap Comes Home

It’s quite a weekend for New York’s prodigal child. Hip-Hop, that burst of youthful energy that was put out into the universe 30 plus years ago is coming back home from several places at once. It’s arriving at...

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Meet photographer and blogger… Mohamed Elshahed

Our weekly feature profiling African photo-blogs and/or tumblrs moves to Cairo this week, as we take a scroll through Picture Masr, a Tumblr created by Cairo resident and Phd student Mohamed Elshahed. The images of “Egypt (mostly Cairo) beyond...

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,”...

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Social Media in Africa’s Revolutions

I recently visited the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (better known by its acronym MoCADA) in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn to view its current exhibition: NEWSFEED: Anonymity & Social Media in African Revolutions and Beyond. Running...

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Cairo mosh pit

A few days ago Tom posted another installment of 10 African films to watch out for, one of which is the documentary “Underground/On the Surface,” on the popular “second-class” youth music genre mahragan shaabi. While we wait to...

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Should Mohamed Morsi be TIME’s Person of the Year?

Last week, as he made a bid to become Egypt’s latest dictator, plunging the country into a constitutional crisis, and drawing new crowds to Tahrir Square, TIME magazine interviewed Mohamed Morsi. The ‘exclusive’ interview took the title...

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

10 African films to watch out for, N°3

‘O Grande Kilapy’ (“The Great Kilapy” — ‘kilapy’ is Kimbundu for ‘scheme’, or ‘fraud’), the new film by director Zézé Gamboa, portrays the last decade of Portuguese rule in Angola through the story of Joao Fraga (played...

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

10 things we learned from the African Cup of Nations qualifiers

1. This high-stakes knockout format might not be so bad after all. Qualifying groups are long, turgid affairs, especially the European ones, international football’s equivalent of the snoozetastic-but-moneyspinning Champions League group stages. Knockout football puts the big...

Friday, July 20th, 2012

What, dear readers, are your most cherished Ramadan meals and traditions?

It’s that time of year once more – Ramadan Kareem all! Last Ramadan I reminisced about my favourite sights and sounds in Egypt during our annual period of fasting and self-reflection. This year, food is on my mind....

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Five alternative filmmaking collectives

Theatrical release is the holy grail of filmmaking. Well, it was until relatively recently. But, since the internet, dvds, digital files and all the other ethereal modes of sharing and circulating became available to the masses, alternative...

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Mubarak is a Diva

So much has been written on the Egyptian presidential elections already that it is a bit overwhelming to weigh in on them now. So let me be clear – this post is intended only to introduce some...

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Spring revolution or a summer of discontent?

I’m still mulling over the Openforum 2012 conference, which took place a few weeks ago in Cape Town. The meeting’s theme was ‘Money, Power and Sex: the paradox of unequal growth’. The meeting brought together an interesting...

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Egypt after Edward Said

Last December, when the Institut d’Egypte was burned down, I thought immediately of Edward Said. Napoleon’s expedition to Europe is described at the beginning of Orientalism, where it is a classic example of how academic and scientific discoveries...

Friday, May 18th, 2012

The Unfinished Revolutions

What is the nature of the Arab Revolution? Why did it start and where is it headed? Most important, what is the potential for the emergence of new forms of political democracy, social equality, and regional autonomy...

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Why We Loved Warda

Yesterday, 72 year old French-born Algerian-Lebanese songstress Warda Al-Jazairia passed away. Known just as Warda to her millions of beloved fans, she leaves behind a legacy comparable to such musical stars as Umm Kulthum. Warda died in...

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