10th Dec – 16th Dec 2012

What's On This Week...

What's On

10th Dec 2012

Souk (1)

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Another week, and another week closer to Christmas…if you can withhold the excitement enough and drag yourself away from decorating and shopping for presents, then check out what’s on this week on the country’s Middle Eastern cultural scene…as always, get in touch if you feel we’ve missed something!


Monday 10th December

The Arabian Nights - The Tricycle Club, London

“In our heads, my lord, we do contain all the images of the universe.”

In Baghdad, a young woman starts a revolution through the power of storytelling. For three years, King Shahryar has taken bloody vengeance against the women of his city, marrying a new bride every night and killing her in the morning.

Scheherezade is determined to stop the bloodshed using the only weapons she has – her wit and imagination. Night after night, the King’s newest bride weaves tales of seduction, silliness and suspense. How long can her stories save her?

A punky, modern reimagining of ancient tales which will be on until the 12th January.

For more information, see here


Tuesday 11th December

Despite - Rix Mix, London

Up until the 28th December, Arts Canteen and Rich Mix will combine to bring together the work of a group of contemporary artists from Palestine – both the West Bank and Gaza, including work by artists such as Mohammed Joha, Hani Zurob, Majed Shala, Mohammed Abusal, Nidal Abu Oun and Raed Issa.

The exhibition is curated by Arts Canteen which aims to encourage artistic conversations between the Middle East/Arab world and the UK, bringing the work of visual artists and musicians of the region and its diasporas to the UK.

Despite explores the juxtaposition of our “real” structured environments with the artistic imagination. It draws on bleak images of humiliation and restricted movement alongside sheer joy in the diversity of forms of cacti.

This collection will challenge pre-conceptions and fire curiosity.

For more information, see here


Wednesday 12th December

Israel and Iran: Countdown to WarSheikh Zayed Theatre, London School of Economics, London

As he is about to embark on his second term, President Barack Obama’s relationship with Israel is already being tested. But while all eyes are on events in Gaza, Obama is facing major decisions that could lead to the beginning of a new conflict.

Israel’s threat of military action against Iran has already raised tensions in the Middle East and in the summer of 2013, the US and its allies will decide whether or not to attack Iran’s nuclear sites and if Israel should be given the go ahead to start a war.

While leaders of these countries continue their brinkmanship, recent and increasingly biting sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union have had a significant impact, choking the country’s economy and provoking growing unrest on the streets. Iranians are facing ever increasing hardship as a result of the devaluation of the currency, food shortages and lack of medical supplies.

Chaired by Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow, come along to discuss what the future holds for relations between Iran, Israel and the US in the year ahead.

For more information, see here


Hassan Blasim: The Iraqi ChristThe Mosaic Rooms, London

Hassan Blasim is one of the few fiction writers to have chronicled the destruction of his country from an Iraqi perspective (and to have been be translated in English).

This event celebrates the launch of his much-anticipated second collection of short stories, The Iraqi Christ (Comma Press), and is a rare public appearance for the writer, filmmaker and poet.

Hassan Blasim (born 1973) is an Iraqi-born film director and writer who lives in Finland. He writes in Arabic. His first collection of stories, The Madman of Freedom Square (Comma 2009) shines a torch into the dark reality (and surreality) of the Iraq experience – from life under Saddam through the Occupation and on to equally harrowing Iraqi refugee experience. It has been sold into six different languages.

Hassan has been described by The Guardian as ‘perhaps the greatest writer of Arabic fiction alive’, and is Winner of the English Pen WRITERS IN TRANSLATION award. There will be readings and discussion in Arabic and English.

For more information, see here


Thursday 13th December

Banipal Book ClubThe Arab British Centre, London

In conjunction with the Arab British Centre, the next Banipal Book Club will discuss Latifa al-Zayyat’s The Open Door. The novel is considered to be a landmark in women’s writing in Arabic and was awarded the first ever Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 1996. Published in 1960, The Open Door depicts a young woman, Layla, and her personal, sexual and political coming-of-age in 1950′s Egypt as she seeks to escape the narrow confines of her conservative social background. Set in the decade following the Second World War, the novel depicts the 1952 Revolution and Suez Canal Crisis. The Open Door is an exploration of both the changing social and political circumstances of Egypt and the complicated and troubled consciousness of its protagonist, Layla.

For information, see here


Friday 14th December

Bristol Palestinian Film Festival - Bristol

Ending on Sunday, this year’s festival focuses in on four villages in West Bank Palestine, provides the opportunity to try free running and invites communities in Bristol to curate their own photography exhibition on the theme ‘Us’. Alongside this you will find a season of films, shorts, photography and music exploring topics both Palestinian and universally human. Running until the 16th December, the films will be shown in various locations around Bristol.

For more information and a full programme, see here

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