The Golem and the Jinni — Mythological Jewish and Arab Creatures Go Bump in the New York City Night

Helene Wecker’s first novel, The Golem and the Jinni, places two beings from very different, and at first glance, opposing cultural origins, in a turn-of-the-century Lower Manhattan arena. How they meet and who they become to each other are both impossibilities that can only happen in New York City. Chava, the golem, was created for an Eastern European Jew migrating to the United States by an isolated and mystical rabbi with a mastery of dark arts. She is transported in a wooden box by her new master, who she never really knows, because he dies halfway across the ocean. Ahmed, the jinni, finds his way to America in a copper container with a stopper. After centuries of imprisonment, he is chagrined to find himself unleashed in an unimpressive New York City. read more

Nour Festival in London Features Middle East Visual and Performing Art 20 October Through 6 November

arab-puppet-theatre-foundation_catching-the-ball-image-1-lama-chidiac
The Arab Puppet Theatre Foundation

Those lucky enough to be in London right now will enjoy a spectacular treasure trove of culture from the Middle East. Each year the city hosts the Nour Festival featuring visual art, literature, music, and performance ‚ÄĒ this year, from fifteen countries. Appropriately, the themes of this year’s festival focus on topics of displacement and conflicted identity as millions of people are driven from homelands by war forcing them into exile and causing them to face challenges that migration brings. read more

Write Down, I Am an Arab — Palestinian National Poet, Mahmoud Darwish

Write Down, I am an Arab, is a documentary by Ibtisam Mara’ana Menuhin about Mahmood Darwish, one of the Middle East’s most prolific and loved contemporary poets. Born in Palestine in 1941 in the village of al-Birwa, Darwish witnessed the razing of his village and home by Israeli forces in 1948. Following this, his family fled to Lebanon and returned later to Acre eventually settling in Deir al-Asad. He studied for one year in Moscow then moved to Cairo. He then spent twenty-six years in exile living between Paris and Beirut during which time he wrote many anthologies of poetry. He died in Houston, Texas in 2008. This is a partial list of his honors and awards: read more

Creative Memory of the Syrian Revolution — Witnessing Revolution Through Art

Revolution Continues
One day, we will cover the Earth with roses, The Revolutionary Movement Team in southern Damascus

The website, Creative Memory of the Syrian Revolution, is a comprehensive  database of art produced by Syrians in the wake of the ongoing war-revolution. The producers of the site note that the war, now in its sixth year, has unleashed an astonishing wave of artistic expression that communicates the challenges to Syrians, its political and cultural upheavals, not to mention the ever-present threat to life and livelihood. read more