Amazigh translator – Liby Amazigh http://libyamazigh.org/ Wed, 20 Apr 2022 08:50:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://libyamazigh.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-1-32x32.png Amazigh translator – Liby Amazigh http://libyamazigh.org/ 32 32 Barcelona’s pro-mother tongue project that reverses the classic rule of migration | Global Development https://libyamazigh.org/barcelonas-pro-mother-tongue-project-that-reverses-the-classic-rule-of-migration-global-development/ Wed, 20 Apr 2022 08:50:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/barcelonas-pro-mother-tongue-project-that-reverses-the-classic-rule-of-migration-global-development/

Every immigrant knows that the key to integration is learning the language of their new country. For many, the language they brought with them is just a remnant of their previous life.

In Barcelona, ​​a project is turning the tide with the philosophy that no one arrives empty-handed in a host country. They may not yet have a job or not much education, they may even be illegal residents, but they speak one language – often more than one.

Since 2020, the Prollema (pro llengua maternaor pro-mother tongue) helps those in North and West Africa to gain confidence by helping them teach their mother tongue, Berber – or Amazigh – languages, as well as Darija, Fulani and Wolof.

Based in Nau Bostik, a former glue factory that now houses a series of cultural and community initiatives, the scheme is open to people aged 17 to 23, unemployed and at risk of social exclusion. About two-thirds are undocumented migrants and more than 80% have no income.

Mohamed Oulhisse, 23: “I would never have imagined that I would be teaching my language. Photography: Stephen Burgen/The Guardian

Darija, a form of Arabic, is the mother tongue of three-quarters of Moroccans, who often speak Tamazight (a standardized version of Amazigh languages) or one of the other Amazigh languages ​​as well.

“We thought, these young people can’t work and they have nothing to do, why not start a project based on their mother tongue?” says David García Savalls, project coordinator. “Based on this, they learn to express themselves.”

Successful candidates undergo a four-month training course to become teachers, although García Savalls uses the terms “those who show” and “learners” rather than teachers and students.

After practicing on volunteers, they begin to take classes of five students who pay a small fee which, alongside a public subsidy, gives teachers an income.

“When a young person sees that they are being listened to and that people are learning from them, it has a huge impact,” says García Savalls. “The mother tongue is an excuse or a vehicle. What happens is that they gain confidence and self-esteem.

So far, 40 people have completed the program, each teaching three groups of students over a seven-month period. The program is elementary and based on their own experience as immigrants struggling to learn the host language.

“I never imagined that I would be teaching my language,” says Mohamed Oulhisse, 23, who teaches Amazigh.

“It opened doors for me. I was able to meet people and share a cultural exchange with the students. This allowed me to work as a translator in organizations working with immigrants or families with children in school but whose parents do not speak Spanish or Catalan.

Chaimae Benlemchkraf, 25, taught Darija at Nau Bostik and is now in charge of expanding the program to Tarragona, 100km south of Barcelona.

“It gave me a lot more self-confidence,” she says. “I am no longer a person, I am an ambassador and responsible for the project here in Tarragona.”

Students range from those who work with immigrants to people who want to travel to Morocco or who simply want to learn a new language. There are no other facilities in the area to learn Amazigh or Darija.

Sònia Angelats, 33, works in adult education and her students are mostly young North African men aged 18 to 25. said. “Our teacher was from Casablanca. I think he was only about 19.

“In my job, when they see that you can say things in their language and are interested in learning it, they feel more valued and that you value their culture.”

García Savalls is clear that the program is as much about building self-esteem, saying participants often don’t value their own language because it’s seen as inferior to European languages.

“And yet, after Catalan and Spanish, Amazigh is the third most spoken language in Catalonia.

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Willow Smith slammed for portrayal of Muslims in new book https://libyamazigh.org/willow-smith-slammed-for-portrayal-of-muslims-in-new-book/ Tue, 22 Feb 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/willow-smith-slammed-for-portrayal-of-muslims-in-new-book/

DUBAI: In 2014, a young girl named Iman Vellani was browsing Marvel comics at her local bookstore in Canada when she saw something she had never seen before: a face that looked like her own. It was Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel, the first Muslim superhero in the company’s decades-long history. She didn’t know it, at the age of 19 in the “Ms. Marvel” of the Disney + series, she would be the one who would bring Kamala Khan to life.

“Playing her is the most surreal thing ever. The only reason I got into comics was because I saw her as a girl like me. She was a Pakistani-Muslim superhero fanatic. was a Pakistani-Muslim superhero fanatic. It was just crazy, because I didn’t think a story like that was possible, because I had never really seen it before. This comic held mirror in front of me, and I completely fell in love with her,” Vellani said during a recent media roundtable.

Vellani herself has yet to properly process what happened to her. After all, she was cast while still in high school as an unknown with no professional credits to her name, whisked off to another country to come face-to-face with her hero, Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios. It’s hard to fault him for going through the whole experience like it was just a wonderful dream.

Ms. Marvel is the first Muslim superhero in the company’s decades-long history. (Provided)

“I was basically in shock for a year and a half,” she said.

Playing her favorite character, however, proved to be more than just a chance to connect with the cinematic universe she so fervently released online throughout her formative years. It also allowed her to explore her identity as a Muslim and a Pakistani herself – something that hadn’t come easy, having grown up with friends who weren’t part of her culture.

“Being Pakistani was a part of my life that I was very dismissive of and felt disconnected from my culture before this show. I was born in Pakistan but moved to Canada when I was one year old. I didn’t have any Muslim or Pakistani friends,” Vellani said. “I felt that isolation that comes with not feeling understood. As close as I am to my school friends, they will never really know my experiences and I will never really know theirs.

Playing her favorite character allowed her to explore her identity as a Muslim and a Pakistani herself. (Provided)

On set, Vellani found herself surrounded by South Asian actors she grew up seeing on TV, and Sana Amanat, co-character creator and director of content and character development at Marvel, herself. even Pakistani-American, took Vellani under his wing.

“Honestly, one of the most important things for me is having brown friends for the first time in my life,” Vellani told Arab News after the roundtable. “I was sitting on set with my co-star Rish Shah and listening to Bollywood music; it’s something I’ve never done before in my life with anyone other than my parents. I had never had the chance to socialize with people from the same background as mine, and it really made me see things in a new way.

During the roundtable, she praised Amanat, describing her as a “big sister” on set. “I felt so removed from the film industry and wanted so much to be a part of it growing up,” she said. “I’m so grateful to have been able to work with so many women and people of color behind the camera. I couldn’t be happier that Marvel is taking steps to be more inclusive and create space for a character like Kamala I hope it opens a lot of doors.

Playing the role of Kamala Khan was a daunting task at first for Vellani. (Provided)

Fittingly, her journey is not unlike the one Kamala Khan herself undertakes in the comics – a coincidence that Vellani didn’t miss.

“I think it’s so cool that there are so many parallels between Kamala and me; that we both went on the same journey of self-discovery, learning about our family and our heritage as the show progressed. And now I couldn’t be more proud to be a Muslim and to be a Pakistani. It’s corny, but it’s true,” Vellani said.

Playing the role of Kamala Khan was a daunting task at first for Vellani, who struggled to naturally act like a character she adored so much.

Despite her lack of familiarity with being in front of a camera, Vellani had an invaluable experience that the show’s writers lacked: Being a teenager in 2022. (Supplied)

“It was really difficult, because I felt like I had to put on a face: ‘I act, so I have to be in character.’ And that was my first character — my very first role,” Vellani explained.

Once again, the women of Marvel have helped her through this ordeal.

“Marvel’s amazing casting director, Sara Finn, held my hand through the whole process and said, ‘Look, we cast you. We want you. Be yourself. You don’t You don’t have to put on a face. It’s not you. You’re already Kamala.’ It was all the comfort I needed,” she said.

Despite her lack of familiarity with being in front of a camera, Vellani had one invaluable experience that the show’s writers lacked: being a teenager in 2022.

“Ms. Marvel” isn’t a show that just tries to capture the Muslim-American experience — it’s also about being a teenager, and all the pain and shame that comes with it. (Provided)

“The show is written by 30-somethings and they write for 16-year-old characters. It often hasn’t been the most realistic thing in Hollywood,” Vellani said. “I really appreciate that the (creators) spoke to us as humans. Our principals called me and said, ‘We want to hear from you. What was your high school experience like? Ultimately, they’ve brought so many of my real-life experiences — and everyone else’s — into the show, and I think that shows how important it is to have those conversations.

After all, while identity is certainly part of “Ms. Marvel,” this isn’t a show that just tries to capture the Muslim-American experience — it’s also about being a teenager, and any the pain and shame that comes with it.

“We really wanted to lean into that cheesy coming-of-age vibe because sometimes being a teenager is so embarrassing and scary. When you’re a teenager, everything is so exacerbated. Small inconveniences feel like the end of the world,” says Vellani. “We wanted to embrace all of that. I think our show is pretty self-aware of how cheesy it is.

Sana Amanat. (Provided)

It’s been a steep learning curve for Vellani, who will become a global star almost overnight when the series comes out, and goes straight from filming “Ms. Marvel” to filming the next “Marvels” movie, which will be released in 2023, in which she will star with Brie Larson.

“I really had to learn to slow down and take care of myself. It has been such an amazing and exhausting experience that if I don’t stop and take care of my own needs, I won’t be able to do it,” she told Arab News.

Vellani is well aware that breaking new ground as Marvel’s first Muslim superhero means she’ll be tied to that phrase for life. But she’s smart enough not to let that define her.

“It’s an honor and a privilege that Marvel trusts me to bring it to life,” she said. “But I don’t go to work every day thinking, ‘Oh, I’m the first Muslim superhero.’ I would never be able to do anything that way.

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“Chant Amazigh” Brings Modern Traditional Sound of Majid Soula to New Listeners https://libyamazigh.org/chant-amazigh-brings-modern-traditional-sound-of-majid-soula-to-new-listeners/ Wed, 08 Dec 2021 19:02:27 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/chant-amazigh-brings-modern-traditional-sound-of-majid-soula-to-new-listeners/

CHARACTERISTICS
“Chant Amazigh” Brings Modern Traditional Sound of Majid Soula to New Listeners

By Saby Reyes-Kulkarni December 08, 2021

“Every time I set out to write a love song,” explains Majid Soula, speaking through a translator on a Zoom call, “it unfortunately turns into a song about justice. in place.”

For Soula, a singer-songwriter / guitarist who has spent most of his life in a kind of gentle exile from his hometown, romance and resistance go hand in hand. If you judge strictly by his music (or, say, the title of his 2001 album Kabylie my love), one gets the impression that Soula’s love of life was not a person, but rather the North African region of Kabylia. Occupying about a fifth of the Mediterranean coast of present-day Algeria, Kabylia stretches inland through a series of mountain ranges. The inhabitants of the region, the Kabyles, a Berber ethnic subgroup who founded one of the oldest civilizations in the northwest of the continent– have withstood multiple waves of invaders for over 2000 years.

Indigenous settlers from a vast expanse of North Africa stretching from Egypt to the Canary Islands, the Berbers collectively refer to themselves as amazigh (pronounced ah-mah-ZEER) and speak a range of dialects of the Tamazight language. Their communities and customs tend to be linked to an Arab presence and influence that dates back to the start of the Arab-Muslim conquest of North Africa in the 7th century. Today, the Kabyle people continue to struggle against marginalization in a postcolonial Algerian society dominated by Arab culture, language and political power, the central conflict that has defined the history of work and life of Soula for almost a half-century.



Since releasing his first single “Eyfouk Achehr Athaaazizth” in 1972 via the late Algerian label Disque Oasis, Soula has expressed feelings of separation, nostalgia, homesickness, alienation and being caught between two worlds. While “Eyfouk Achehr Athaaazizth” addressed the plight of immigrants all over the world, a crucial distinction is that Soula experienced these feelings even before leaving Algeria, finding himself displaced and struck by culture shock when he moved to the capital Algiers in 1969. There he fought against the inability to speak the local dialect of Arabic, the country’s only official language at the time.

Since then, Soula’s work has largely been a response to what he calls the “Arabization” of Amazigh culture. In the late 1970s, amid widespread political unrest and repression of Kabyle artists, Soula found it untenable to stay in the country and moved to Paris, where he has been based ever since. His production during the period before and immediately after this move is summarized and presented again on Amazigh song, a compilation of Habibi Funk label that features songs from several cassette releases that Soula released (mostly independently) during the 1980s.

As Soula’s music aligned with the secular insurgent spirit of Kabylia, what Amazigh song most clearly shown is its openness to a variety of influences. For someone who intended to expose the world to its native customs, Soula was never inclined to purism, drawing rather loosely from West African highlife; Saharan Tuareg scales; American blues and funk; and the Arab disco wave of the 70s and 80s. As a proto-lo-fi artist, Soula was also willing, when the need required, to play roles on the ajouag (shepherd’s flute) and bendir (frame drum) itself.



“Kabyle music”, affirms Soula in the cover notes of the new album, “must imperatively become universal if it is to survive”.

To listen Amazigh songFor example, the single “Netseweth Sifassan Nagh” by “Netseweth Sifassan Nagh”, with its skin-tight charleston guiding a groove intended for the dance floor, one has little sense of the world Soula describes with so much nostalgia when he talks about women. locals singing Kabyle folk songs he first heard as a child, or his memories of attending midnight performances by figures like Slimane Azem and, subsequently, being inspired to sing himself at Kabyle weddings in ceremonies that lasted after 3:00 a.m. Elsewhere on the album, “Lgira” seems to start off as a pensive, atmospheric piece in a traditional mold before a new wave-style electronic beat takes over.

Venturing even further, “Win Terram” begins with a strobe synth pulse dubbed an electric guitar that would have sounded home on Devo’s first two albums, before another line of synths caught fire. spotlight and only sends the song into home video game territory.

“We can integrate all kinds of music wherever it is,” says Soula. “From India, Japan, Russia, Germany, etc. The motivation for me has been to develop new sounds within the framework of the tradition, and my audience has been very receptive to the modern elements that I have brought to them. The modernization of Amazigh music has been a way to ensure that it can spread beyond its original borders.

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Bread & Net panel to explore the intersection of digital rights and MENA languages ​​Rising Voices https://libyamazigh.org/bread-net-panel-to-explore-the-intersection-of-digital-rights-and-mena-languages-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8brising-voices/ Tue, 23 Nov 2021 11:53:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/bread-net-panel-to-explore-the-intersection-of-digital-rights-and-mena-languages-%e2%80%8b%e2%80%8brising-voices/

On November 24, 2021, Global Voices, through its Rising Voices initiative, will host an online conversation at this year’s Bread & Net non-conference, featuring digital activists from the MENA region who strive to maintain their mother tongue alive in a challenging digital landscape.

The panel “Exploring the Intersection of Digital Rights and Low-Resource and Minority Languages ​​in the MENA Region” will raise questions about the challenges facing minority, indigenous and low-resource language communities in the MENA region in creating or accessing to digital content in their native language.

We will hear the experiences of three digital minority language activists in the MENA region working with Amazigh, Kurdish and Nubian languages ​​who take a ‘Do-It-Yourself’ approach to ensure their languages ​​are present on the internet by creating content. digital, helping to create tools, as well as training and mentoring other speakers of their language to participate online.

The participating activists are:

  • Anass Sedrati is a founding member of the Moroccan Wikimedia User Group and is active in creating and editing Wikipedia articles in different languages, including the Amazigh language. He was a member of the global team that drafted the Wikimedia 2030 strategy and is currently a member of the charter committee of the Wikimedia movement, which serves as the committee to draft a global constitution for all Wikipedia players around the world.
  • Aso Wahab is an activist, blogger and trainer in the field of digital rights and digital security, member of the Iraqi Network for Social Media (INSM) and founder of the Cyber ​​Kurds platform.
  • Doaa Farid is an Egyptian Nubian journalist and founder of Nubian voices initiative, keen to promote the Nubian culture and language in digital media. Through this initiative, Doaa cooperates with all Nubian civil society organizations and institutions to publish stories and blogs on the Internet about their activism.

The session will be moderated by Mariam Abuadas, anthropologist and project manager in the fields of community management and gender equality in the Middle East, in the field and in digital spaces. Mariam is responsible for Arabic translation at Global Voices, she is also the founder of Tatawor, a community NGO in Jordan and Akhbarek, a women-centric media platform that focuses on the intersection between language, freedom of expression and digital rights of Arab women.

Register to attend the event online here. Please note that the session will be conducted in Arabic.

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Clear Arabs from “Dune” – Inkstick https://libyamazigh.org/clear-arabs-from-dune-inkstick/ https://libyamazigh.org/clear-arabs-from-dune-inkstick/#respond Mon, 01 Nov 2021 10:45:11 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/clear-arabs-from-dune-inkstick/

First of all, let me say that I love “Dune”.

I have read Frank Herbert’s books several times over the past 30 years. I first read “Dune” along with “The Prize” by Daniel Yergin, the most comprehensive real-world historical account of the political economy of petroleum. These are books that shaped me and led me to my current career as a security and energy specialist. They have also influenced my work as an author of fiction and games. I even had the honor of writing for the role-playing game “Dune” with many other accomplished game writers. My academic and professional background, as well as my Palestinian-Algerian heritage, have been assets for the work and noted by some publications in the gaming industry. My inclusion has enriched the game and was well received by the community, not as a sensitive reader, but as an author and creator.

Needless to say, I was very excited to see the new adaptation of the movie “Dune” despite having near zero representation of the Middle East or North Africa (MENA) in it. screen or behind the scenes. I was not disappointed with the film itself. It was beautiful and well-crafted, with booming music, political intrigue, and epic wide-shots on a scale that brought many other sci-fi franchises to shame. Without reservation, I recommend people to watch this movie in the loudest and largest theater it is safe to attend.

The sophisticated visualization of the novel’s often impenetrable characters shows that director Denis Villeneuve and his team know their predominantly American audiences are often immune to subtlety and subtext. But by erasing the Arabs from “Dune,” they threaten to undo all that hard work by undermining the anti-colonial message at the heart of the story.

– Stilgar: “You are strangers. You come here for the spice, you take it without giving anything back.

– Paul: “It’s true.”

“Dune” is Arab and Muslim and Middle Eastern to his bones.

Clearly inspired by the culture of the Amazigh peoples of Algeria and Morocco, even taking their name from their language, the Fremen are only a small part of the deep MENA roots of the “Dune” universe. The whole framework uses Islamic concepts and several Arabic sayings are common throughout the Imperium. The Quran is referenced as one of the basic religious settings texts and even European coded characters, such as Gurney Halleck (played by Josh Brolin), are considered religious. In the book and film he repeatedly cites this quasi-Islamic / Christian writing and the Islamic concept of a Mahdi or religious savior is universally sown by the Bene Gesserit. Herbert himself has often referred to how Islam and Arab culture influenced his work, and Spice is a not-so-subtle petroleum substitute. The occupation of Iraq for oil turns into the occupation of Arrakis to control Spice by changing just a few vowels.

In fact, one of the most famous lines of the 1984 film adaptation is Paul’s rallying cry “Long live the fighters!” In the book, it is heard in the Arabic-inspired language of the Fremen of Chakobsa as “YA HYA CHOUHADA”. The expression comes directly from the Algerian war of independence against the French. Only a few years before the publication of the first book “Dune”, Arab and Amazigh freedom fighters returned from exile to Algiers, having won their freedom after 130 years of brutal occupation. Several newspapers reported that Algerian leaders were greeted in the streets with deafening chant, which is more correctly translated as “long live the martyrs” in Arabic. Herbert clearly took note of it and included it in his book.

Although the recent adaptation of “Dune” is a deeply American film, as an Algerian, I find something very French in the fact that the director Denis Villeneuve makes a film imbued with our culture and our images but devoid of ‘Arabs. Maybe Rami Malek was too busy on the Bond film for a cameo? That there is no Arab in this film with a speaking role seems almost unreal, but not if it is understood as a conscious decision.

Lady Jessica: “These people have been waiting for the Lisan al-Gaib for centuries. They see you, they see the signs.

– Paul: “They see what they have been told to see.”

Arabs are political.

We don’t choose to be political, but our existence is troubling in white-controlled media and entertainment. Instead of reckoning with decades of exploitation, colonization and militarization of the Middle East by Western powers, it is easier to make us bad guys – fanatics with unreasonable demands and a strange religion.

In “Dune”, despite much of the setting steeped in our culture, Arabs cannot be heroes, so we have to be erased. Arabic has become such an easy shortcut for villains in film, that even a “visionary director” couldn’t imagine us as anything more.

Arabic has become such an easy shortcut for villains in film, that even a “visionary director” couldn’t imagine us as anything more.

As for the other people of color in the film largely casting (spoiler alert), they almost all die for the benefit of Paul and his mother. Duncan Idaho. Dr Yueh. Shadout Mapes. Liet Kynes. Never. Multicultural pawns sacrificed for the queen and her son, the future king. Strangely, this fits very well with the intention of the author of Frank Herbert. The Atreides are colonizers at heart. Despite their more courteous and civilized demeanor, they are really no different from their Harkonnen cousins. Just as the spice is a resource that the Atreids wish to exploit, so too are the Fremen. Power, wealth and control prevail over all considerations of respect and freedom for the colonizer. The only significant difference between Harkonnen and Atreides is that the latter also wants to control how they are viewed. They wish to plunder, but they also wish to be loved. We see it today when the occupier demands gratitude from those he occupies, claiming that he is bringing education or human rights to dark lands when whatever he wants, c ‘is more power.

– Baron Harkonnen: “Arrakis is Arrakis, and the desert takes the weak. My Desert. My Arrakis. My Dune.

Why is this important?

After all, Javier Bardem may be one of my favorite actors and I’m sure he will play an outstanding Stilgar in the sequel to “Dune”. And maybe Denis will read this essay and choose one or two Arabs in speaking roles. Oscar winner Rami Malek would make an excellent Feyd-Rautha, not to mention F. Murray Abraham who would kill him as emperor. Perhaps Tahar Rahim, nominated for BAFTAs and Golden Globes as Fedaykin Otheym. With a second and possibly a third film on the way, there’s plenty of room to cast these incredible actors and, more importantly, hire Arabs and MENA people behind the screen. An Arabic speaker in the writing room or on set would likely have avoided many of the mangled lines of Arabic that made it into the final product, let alone enriching the film as a whole. So why even bother to mention that the Arabs were erased from the first installment?

As I mentioned earlier, critical media analysis is not a valued skill in much of America. It is not a bug, but a characteristic of our culture. In the United States, reading between the lines, disentangling nuances, or finding the deepest meaning in the media is seen as snobbish and hypocritical. This is something the filmmakers seem to understand given their efforts to translate “Dune” from dense cerebral text into an emotional and visual experience.

But this lack of understanding of the subtext means that we are vulnerable to reactionary and backward elements in our society. Right-wing fascists and libertarians in America mistakenly interpret satire and criticism as sincerity with almost comical regularity. Even “Dune” has followers among fascists today, despite the property’s message of colonial evil and the uplifting tale of how charismatic rulers often lead their followers to disaster in pursuit of their own glory. For these fascists, they consider the depictions of conquering tyrants and galactic genocide to be not only good, but necessary for their supremacist ideals. They don’t want Arabs or any other person of color in their “Dune,” although their limited inclusion as sacrificial pawns would likely be seen as a positive for them. Withdrawing the Arabs from “Dune” presents the fascists with a straightforward narrative, which caters to their preferences rather than outright rejecting them.

The difficult questions of how to admire “Dune” on screen when there are no Arabs in his Arab images cannot be ignored. Without the Arabs, the Arabity of the film becomes just another stolen resource to enrich the coded noble houses in Europe. Instead of a critique of the damage done to humanity and our environment by rapacious colonialists hungry for power and hegemony, history is more easily overthrown and co-opted by the very forces it was meant to shame and shame. charge.

Khaldoun Khelil is an energy and international security specialist at the Middle East Institute. He writes fiction and games as a hobby.

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Translation as a new perspective in Amazigh literary discourse https://libyamazigh.org/translation-as-a-new-perspective-in-amazigh-literary-discourse/ Mon, 25 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/translation-as-a-new-perspective-in-amazigh-literary-discourse/

[This article is part of a dossier on Tankra Tamazight, Amazigh Revival, and Indigeneity in North Africa, edited by Brahim El Guabli. To read other articles in this dossier, read the introduction here.]

This article takes as a central question the role of translation throughout the novel in the evolution and reorientation of literary discourse as a new genre, a line of thought not yet explored by Amazigh literary research. Far from attempting a quantitative study of the different translations, we have instead chosen to focus on a small selection of novels translated into Amazigh which highlight certain contributions to the evolution of the Amazigh novel genre.

The value of our research lies in the fact that the practice of translation is of paramount importance in the making and evolution of the Amazigh novel (Maingueneau, 2004). Through different modes of writing, literary translation has the particularity of giving written works a chance to gain international fame. Moreover, the translation is conducive to the transmission of universal themes and stylistics. Indeed, the translated works were able to introduce new themes and textual structures into the Amazigh novelistic discourse.

The lack of interest shown so far in studies of translated Amazigh novels is due, on the one hand, to the difficulty of categorizing the complexities of novel writing as a new genre imbued with textual stylistics and finalities and functions. communicative (Sadi 2019), and on the other hand on the other hand, to the predominance of novels which are extensions of the traditional style of oral narration of the Imazighen.

This state of affairs distinguishes the two practices by defining the essential characteristics of each. In novel writing, creative practice is an extension of the traditional oral style and the act of writing is associated with the lived identity of the author, as inflected by their text (Salhi, Sadi, 2016). In terms of translation, however, the textual choices of the genre and the ideological positions that impose themselves on them are put forward in relation to the original text.

The emergence of novelistic discourse: localization in identity

The Amazigh novel as a genre, just like theater and cinema, emerged in rather singular political conditions, in the shadow of major movements for the institutional and constitutional recognition of the Amazigh language. Thus, novel writing as a new genre often appears as a militant act, characterized by identity politics (Alliche, 981-1986; Sadi, 1983; Mezdad, 1990).

Moreover, this advocacy channel, adopted by activists, has played a great role in supporting and framing various identity struggles. Thus, when activists engaged in novel writing, they were able to create both a new current of literary expression and the beginnings of a cultural project anchored in the political moment. During the 1980s and 1990s, four novels in particular marked the emergence of romantic discourse in Algeria for the Kabyle people. These are Aliche’s two novels: Asfel (“The Sacrifice”) and fafa (“diminutif de France”), published in 1981 and 1986 respectively, Askuti (“The Scout”) by Sadi, published in 1983 and I am summer (“Night and Day”) by Mezdad, published in 1990. That said, some literary critics (Ameziane, 2008, Salhi, 2010) have also pointed the finger Lwali n wedrar[1] “The Saint of the Mountain” by Belaid Ait Ali (1964) as a pioneering text in Kabyle literature. Since the 90s, Amazigh novels have known a remarkable evolution through more than a hundred texts.

This is also true of Shlūḥ, the long scriptural tradition of the Amazigh language (Bouyaakoubi, 2020). The creation of the Tirra Association (2009) played a big role in the emergence and evolution of Shlūḥ novels. The credit goes to Mohammed Akounad and Mohammed Ousouss, who knew how to pass on literary traditions to a new generation of writers. In the space of three novels, Tawargit d imik “a dream and a little more”, Ijjign n tidi “Flowers of Sweat” (2007) and Tamurt n’ilfawn “The Land of the Boars”, published in 2002, 2007 and 2013 respectively, Akounad earned his position as the pioneer author of the Shlūḥ novels. Since then, he has produced seventeen novels (Bouyaakoubi, 2020).

As for the Riffian language, literary production was born thanks to the publications of Chacha, reẓ ṭṭabu ad d teffeɣ tfukt (Break the taboo and the sun will appear”) and Tayri n tayri (The Love of Love), published in 1995 and 2016 respectively.

Translation for a new era of the novel

After the first stage of this literary tradition, where novel writing was part of broader identity struggles, a new generation of writers emerged who intended to position themselves in a more universal literary discourse by translating works of international renown. This new method of novel writing aims to redefine the discourse around the novel, framing it as a new genre with new textual structures, new thematic orientations and new societal functions.

This view of creating novels through translation from Arabic, English, and French resulted in significant literary evolution across a range of texts. Kabyle won first prize with around twenty novels. The following table summarizes most of the essential translated texts.

Shlūḥ comes second with seven novels (Bouyaaakoubi, 2020).

Examination of the quantitative results of the two tables allows us to identify two important trends in this translation work. One part appeals to memory and historical identity in its translation of French Maghreb novels (Mammeri, Feraoun, Camus, Yacine, etc.). There is also a competing vision that seeks to capture the universality of the genre (Westwood, Carter, Orwell, etc.).

Both visions aim to integrate the Amazigh novel into the new textual, thematic and social perspectives of the world literary arena. These characteristics give the Amazigh novel a new context that allows it to take a westernized turn.

In (De)Conclusion

As this article traces the path of various Amazigh translations, it should be mentioned that this novelistic practice gives an important place to the novel as a universal genre. The camp focused on the translation of Maghrebi works sheds light on the history of literary borrowings, while the more universal vision of writer-translators aims to bring Amazigh works into dialogue with world literature.

Additionally, it should be noted that this work is still in its preliminary stages and there is still a lot of cross-genre analysis to be done. It would be particularly enriching to do so through a comparison of two texts (source text and translated text). The aim would be to highlight the similarities and differences between the original and the translation, with a view to highlighting the stylistics of the translated genre. It would be just as interesting to confront the vision of the creator with that of the translator, in an attempt to highlight the role of translation in the redefinition of the Amazigh novel.

[This article was translated from the French version by Benjamin Connor.]

Bibliography

Abrous, Dehbia, 1989, Kabyle novel production: an experience of passage to writingDEA (dir. S. Chaker), University of Provence.

Abrous, Dehbia, 1991, “Some remarks about the transition to writing in Kabyle”, Proceedings of the international conference Unity and diversity of TamazightGhardaïa, April 20 and 21, p. 1-14.

Aliché, Rachid, 1981, Asfel. Mussidan: Federop, 139 pages.

Aliché, Rachid, 1981, Faffa. I yuɣen irgazen ur ttrun. Mussidan Federop,

Ameziane, Amar, 2008, Tradition and renewal in Kabyle literaturedoctoral thesis, Bounfour, A. (under direct. of), Paris-INALCO.

Bouyaakoubi, Anir, 2020, “Tirra, Alliance of Amazigh writers. A new dynamic around writing in Amazigh in Morocco”, Imesli Islands Magazine, volume 12, No. 01, PP. 05-21

Chaker, Salem, 1992, “The birth of a written literature: the Berber case (Kabylie)”, Bulletin african studiesno. 17-18, p. 7-21.

Chaker, Salem, 2007, “Berber Language and Literature”, Clio2007, p. 1-10.

Maingueneau, Dominique, 2002, Analyze communication textsParis, Nathan.

Maingueneau, Dominique, 2004, literary discourse. Paratopia and scene of enunciationParis, Armand Colin.

Mezdad, Amar, 1990, I am summer. Algiers: Asalu, 182 pages.

Sadi, Nabila, 2019, Problems of novelistic writing in Kabyle. sociopoetic approach, Doctoral thesis, Mouloud Mammeri University of Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria.

Salhi Mohand-Akli., Sadi, Nabila, 201, “The Maghrebian Novel in Berber”, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies 20(1), pp. 27-36. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17409292.2016.1120548

Sadi, Sadi, 1983, Askuti. Paris: Imedya


[1] Work written in the 1940s and published with other texts in “the notebooks of Belaid Ait Ali”.

[2] This table is taken from Bouyaakoubi’s article “Tirra, Alliance of Amazigh Writers. A new dynamic around writing in Amazigh in Morocco. ISLANDS OF IMESLI REVIEW 12, no. 1 (2020), p. 05-21.

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Acclaimed Irish author rejects Hebrew translation of latest book https://libyamazigh.org/acclaimed-irish-author-rejects-hebrew-translation-of-latest-book/ https://libyamazigh.org/acclaimed-irish-author-rejects-hebrew-translation-of-latest-book/#respond Tue, 12 Oct 2021 12:42:24 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/acclaimed-irish-author-rejects-hebrew-translation-of-latest-book/

DUBAI: Mexican-American actress Salma Hayek appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in Los Angeles this weekend wearing a fiery leopard-print suit from Lebanese designer Elie Saab.

The actress, of Spanish and Lebanese descent, appeared on the TV show alongside fellow actor Kumail Nanjiani to talk about their latest film, Marvel’s “The Eternals”.

For the occasion, she looked glamorous in a coordinated Saab ensemble from the designer’s pre-fall 2021 collection.

The animal print wide leg pants featured a single black stripe on each leg, while the fitted blazer sported black lapels and was worn over a sheer black top with a high neck.

(Getty Images)

The star-studded cast of the film includes Hayek, Nanjiani, Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden and Syrian refugee teenager turned actor Zain Al-Rafeea, among others.

Directed by Oscar winner Chloe Zhao, the plot centers on an immortal alien race with superhuman powers who have secretly lived on Earth for thousands of years. The film is slated to hit theaters in November.

Chatting with the Jimmy Kimmel host on Thursday, Hayek revealed why her co-star Jolie had her face smashed in a birthday cake in a video that went viral online in September.

When the show host asked about her 55th birthday celebration last month, Hayek said, “There was no birthday party. All of these people were crashers. said, ‘I don’t want a birthday party this year.’ I had to work all day. Twenty-five people, who I told them there was no birthday party, showed up anyway, ”she said, referring to the party documented in her September Instagram post.

The actress went on to explain that it’s a Mexican birthday tradition to embed a person’s face in their cake – and Jolie was put in charge of this work.

In the video, a group of friends gather around the actress chanting “Mordida! as Jolie buries Hayek’s face in her birthday cake.

“After you’ve blown out the candles, you have to bite,” Hayek explained to Kimmel. “It means a bite to eat. You have to bite the cake with your mouth, without your hands holding on or anything. Then there’s always one that comes hitting you and thrusting your face into the cake.

“We were starting, ‘Mordida!’ She said, ‘What’s going on?’ Hayek said of Jolie’s apparent confusion over tradition, before she had fun and smashed Hayek’s face in the coconut cake.

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Ancient Egyptian statues found in English garden https://libyamazigh.org/ancient-egyptian-statues-found-in-english-garden/ https://libyamazigh.org/ancient-egyptian-statues-found-in-english-garden/#respond Mon, 11 Oct 2021 18:42:57 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/ancient-egyptian-statues-found-in-english-garden/

PARIS: “Somewhere between silence and words” revives memories of a trip to Algeria made by Florian Gaite, philosopher, art critic and curator of the exhibition which runs until November 28, 2021 at the Maison des Arts Malakoff centers in Paris.

The exhibit “seeks to convey the voices and silence that characterize Algeria so well,” Gaité told Arab News in France.

“It is an attentive ear beyond the Mediterranean. Algeria is a country as well known as it is unknown, and whose complexity – social, political and historical – is equivalent to the cultural diversity expressed there.

Gaite said he set up the project before the Hirak movement and the widespread protests in Algeria in early 2019.

“It upset my vision of the Algerian scene, a country that I did not know, and on which I had prejudices and preconceived ideas from an exclusively Western reading,” he added.

“When I arrived in Algeria, I realized that the sensitive and sensory experience felt there was made up of two extremes. On the one hand, it is an extremely talkative country, where several languages ​​are spoken, a kind of linguistic tinkering. The same language is not spoken from city to city or between generations.

“The older generation speaks Amazigh, their children speak French and Arabic, and the younger generation is more Arabic and English oriented. This stratification of languages ​​seemed crazy to me because in Algeria, there is also a lot of silence. It is a country where people whisper, where there is modesty, ”he said.

Gaite said Algeria is a country “marked by many traumas and by a form of detention” because the same injuries are not discussed between generations.

“There are two pitfalls that I wanted to avoid: The first is to place myself as a Western critic coming to evoke the Algerian artistic scene, in which I am not specialized. The second consisted in choosing artists as simple mediators to bear witness to the Algerian. artistic scene. In fact, they know their country better than I do and their testimonies are more accurate and authentic.

According to the organizer of the exhibition, colonization, Islamism and state authoritarianism are among the many traumas in contemporary Algerian history.

“These are a series of causes, prohibitions, denials, repressions that hinder speech and often prevent its transcription in the form of a story. The presence of the testimony and documentary function in contemporary Algerian art thus responds to this need to bear witness to the past as well as the present – colonization, the war of liberation, socialism, the black decade, the Bouteflika era, the Hirak – and to propose rewritings, to exhume what has been erased or falsified, to give a voice to all that is forgotten, ”he declared.

“Somewhere between silence and words” brings together artists born, living or working in Algeria, including Louisa Babari, Adel Bentounsi, Walid Bouchouchi, Fatima Chafaa, Dalila Dalleas Bouzar, Mounir Gouri, Fatima Idiri, Sabrina Idiri Chemloul, Amina Menia and Sadek Rahim.

These Algerian or Franco-Algerian artists were selected by Gaité, who specifies that some are still poorly represented in French galleries.

“This exhibition, which includes more women than men, presents works made with various materials such as paper, charcoal or even fabric.

While in Oran, birthplace of Gaité’s grandmother, the curator met Sabrina Idiri Chemloul, a Franco-Algerian director, who introduced her to her mother, Fatima Idiri.

Born in Aurès, in northeastern Algeria, Idiri lived in Nancy in a family that was part of the resistance networks of the National Liberation Front.

Returning to the country after her independence, she is a self-taught artist – from styling to painting on silk, from mosaic to Berber embroidery – strongly influenced by Impressionism and Orientalism.

“Hirak’s fervor has changed the game,” she said.

By choosing figurative drawing as an artistic identity, she strives to preserve the memory of one of the traditions of her native region, the Aurès, says Gaité.

“By creating his masterpieces from coffee grounds and acrylic, the artist pays homage to the free and liberated poets and singers that are Azriat.

Idiri studies colonial photography and seeks to deconstruct images in order to rediscover the spontaneity of avant-garde artists frowned upon, even marginalized, during the colonial period.

The exhibition also includes works by Mounir Gouri, winner of the Friends of the IMA (Arab World Institute) prize.

Based in France, Gouri produces moving paintings of “harraga”, or illegal immigrants, turning their journey into a performance.

Gaité highlights a painting of a starry sky, painted in charcoal. “The message that the artist wishes to convey is that when the harraga are in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea in the dark night, the stars are their only source of light.

Works by the visual artist Amina Menia, who lives and works in Algeria, are also on display. His art takes the form of an urban archeology, centered on places and architectural language.

Menia’s works have been exhibited in numerous museums, art centers and galleries, including the Center Pompidou in Paris, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Museum of African Design in Johannesburg, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Marseille and the Royal Hibernian Academy of Dublin.

Works by Sadek Rahim, a multidisciplinary artist who lived in Syria and Jordan, and studied at the Beirut School of Fine Arts, are also presented.

“Somewhere between silence and words” takes place until November 28, 2021 at the Maison des arts de Malakoff, in the Hauts-de-Seine, in Paris.

This story was originally published in French on Arab News in English

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Escape accomplished in the realm of Arab cinematic appropriation https://libyamazigh.org/escape-accomplished-in-the-realm-of-arab-cinematic-appropriation/ https://libyamazigh.org/escape-accomplished-in-the-realm-of-arab-cinematic-appropriation/#respond Fri, 01 Oct 2021 11:11:07 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/escape-accomplished-in-the-realm-of-arab-cinematic-appropriation/ Film Review: The long-awaited adaptation of the sci-fi classic Dune has received unanimous praise as a Hollywood blockbuster. Yet beneath the hysteria lurk troubling questions about the lack of Arab representation, given the film’s influences.

There are many reasons why Dune is considered the greatest science fiction novel ever written. A few of these might explain why non-readers watching the $ 165 million adaptation of Denis Villeneuve’s first part will find aspects of its intergalactic plot, messianic themes, and warring characters somewhat similar. to established films like Star Wars, Stargate or The Matrix. Frank Herbert’s seminal book, first published in 1965, explored so many future sci-fi properties might work.

Corn Dune is not a novel to be adapted lightly. The fundamental mythology, ecology, theology, politics, philosophy and history that the late author Frank Herbert borrowed and reconstructed in this universe, located 20,000 years into the future, is so dense that copies are accompanied by several appendices and a glossary to guide readers.

Her epic fantasy takes place in the year 10191 on a hostile desert planet called Arrakis, where noble houses fight each other and native warriors for control of spices, their society’s most precious item known as Old Imperium. He positions the contextual minutiae less in the dialogue and more in the narration; in the mood, tone and rhythm; in Herbert’s extensive descriptions of this futuristic environment and the various people who inhabit it.

“These ideas, along with the cyclical nature of dynasties and civilizations, were reflected in the 14th century Islamic history book of Ibn Khaldun, the Tunisian sociologist, philosopher and historian, La Muqaddimah, who supported much from Herbert’s science fiction series. “

Alejandro Jodorowsky tried to adapt the book and failed when his unrealized 1970s film proved too expensive, too long and too risky for studios to help him realize his dream of expansion. David Lynch was successful in 1984, but his completely whitewashed adaptation felt overloaded even though it provided various moments of excellence at camp. Corn DuneThe latest foray into the big screen should deserve applause from Villeuneuve.

Timothée Chalamet takes the lead as Paul Atreides, heir to Duke Leto (Oscar Isaac), ruler of a respected dynasty, and his concubine Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson), a member of the Bene Gesserit, a matriarchal order with superhuman abilities that she has been teaching her son for a long time. When Emperor Padishah takes control of Arrakis from Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard) and hands it over to Duke Leto, a new conflict breaks out.

House Atreides must move to the desert planet and find a way to ensure its survival by convincing the Fremen, the secret and fearsome indigenous population, to join the powers against their former oppressors. The Harkonnens’ evil plot quickly sets in, forcing Paul and his mother to hide among the dunes, where giant sand worms roam and his premonitory powers manifest to reveal an ominous future.

The execution of several action sets is brutal and gripping. A silence seizes a scene where a team of Sardaukar – the fanatical soldiers of Emperor Padishah – land on an abandoned science site previously occupied by Fremen warriors. The place is empty until the natives come out of the sand to attack their enemy. Later, Duncan Idaho, the sword and cloak of Jason Momoa, takes on a group of Sardaukar himself in a choppy but fiercely choreographed hallway fight sequence.

The granular details of Villeneuve’s world-building are often breathtaking. From dragonfly-like ornithopters to the menacing costumes of the Fascist army, to the frequent bullfighting motifs and the recurring appearance of a desert mouse, book fans have many references to Muad’dib and his ancestors. .

CGI’s artistic application made it possible to majestically realize the sand worms; their fierce, tooth-filled mouths dilate like an all-seeing eye as the textured sound mix travels under and across the dunes, causing the sand to move awe-inspiring, mirror waves crashing into a choppy ocean. The wide shots reflect all the devastating destruction that rains down on Arrakis like fire and brimstone.

Han Zimmer’s score adds to this oppressive quality. At times, it’s a tension to hear key pieces of dialogue, but he’s as much a lively, breathing character as any other member of the cast. The drums work like a whispering heartbeat with intense anticipation while the layered use of the human voice, God’s perfect instrument, so to speak, reinforces the overt religious symbolism of this story of a conceived young man. to become an omnipotent prophet and the catalyst for a new feudal power structure.

The script does well to lay the groundwork for this pattern which highlights Herbert’s overall anti-messiah message. With sharp storytelling from Chani (Zendaya), a young Fremen woman Paul dreams of often, and clever exhibition scenes reminiscent of audio guides you get in museums, the basic bones of this intricate plot can be understood. Still, its delivery is too subdued, with a small portion of the story going forward and a lot of character development being skimmed over.

Of course, the teenager chosen by Chalamet is the kingpin and he certainly looks the part. The actor reveals little flourishes of Paul’s personality and emotional rigor, but more often than not he looks dead behind his eyes and unable to convey much of the internal confusion, turmoil, even of affection, which takes place during his tumultuous journey of self- Discovery.

Timothée Chalame plays the protagonist Paul Atreides in the film adaptation of Dune in 2021. As the plot unfolds, we discover that Atreides is revealed to be the Mahdi (the savior), a term taken from the Islamic eschatology. [Getty Images]

But the most overriding issue, at least for this reviewer, is the complete lack of meaningful Middle East and North Africa representation in the cast despite the distinct influence of MENA, Islamic and Arab culture on the cast. the desert planet and this universe in the original book. and this movie. I have already written about the importance of the Fremen characters played by actors from the MENA region, not least because their language is mainly composed of Arabic words, like “Mahdi” (“the well guided”) and “Lisan al Gaib” (“the voice of the outside world”), respectively.

One can easily observe the Bedouin and Amazigh inspiration behind this nomadic community on the page and on the screen, through the Fremen’s penchant for the Keffiyeh, a group feeling united and strong in their ability to survive in such a dangerous environment. These ideas, as well as the cyclical nature of dynasties and civilizations, were reflected in the 14th century Islamic history book of Tunisian sociologist, philosopher and historian Ibn Khaldoun, “La Muqaddimah”, which underlies a great deal of part of Herbert’s science fiction series.

Then there is the fact that Villeneuve shot most of the Arrakis in Arab countries; Jordan’s Wadi Rum and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates provided the great beauty and brutality of this fictional desert planet landscape. The pale, flat-roofed buildings of Arrakeen, the seat of power for the planet which in the book was transferred from the city of Carthag (sounds familiar to you?) During the reign of the Harkonnen, is reminiscent of northern architecture. African. If the general scenario of imperialist colonizers stealing powerful fuel from the native population doesn’t remind you of some 20th century Western conflict with the Middle East, the Templar Templar color scheme of Sardaukar certainly hints at that of the 12th century. A holy war nothing less!

“Should we continue to wait and bitterly watch movies like Dune that take but don’t return?”

With all this rich North African and Middle Eastern culture, the aesthetic and historical references on display, I must once again ask myself: where are the significant players in the MENA region? Dune is a complex novel with complex characters that stand between good and evil. There are no real heroes and the motivations are often risky, so these people exist in the gray area of ​​morality with Fremen characters like Stilgar and Chani still among the most admirable figures. What an opportunity it would have been to engage actors like Egyptian actor Amr Waked or Franco-Algerian actress Lyna Khoudri in these roles.

Instead, we ask Javier Bardem to make whatever Arabic version of Blackface is.

The rest of the Fremen – those whose faces are not masked and have speaking roles – are made up of actors of Guyanese, West African or East African origin. It would not be a problem at all if there were at least a few actors from the MENA region to reflect the diversity of this region that Villeunueve claims to care so much about and admitted to being inspired by it: “I feel true that I have reason to do it that way. It’s genuine, honest and true to the book.

No, Denis. It is corruption; the one that erases the Middle East and the North of the MENA region and that, for the most part, only people of our heritage will care.

We are used to being vilified, slandered or erased from the screen. We’re used to most of our performances in Hollywood being limited to hijackings or suicide bombings, sheikhs or evil refugees, or non-MENA actors replacing us in our own stories. Like Dwayne Johnson who plays Black Adam, the first superhero character in the MENA region to have his own solo film. Can you imagine the outrage if The Rock was chosen as Black Panther? Or Shang-Chi? People wouldn’t take it.

But in a post 9/11 world where Arabs and Islam are still seen as too dangerous and foreign to transmit racial profiling in studio boardrooms and casting call discrimination, too taboo to have the same chances positive or nuanced representation than other ethnic groups. minorities are now slowly starting to benefit, should we keep waiting and bitterly watching movies like Dune who takes but does not return?

Villeneuve has certainly reached the grand scale of his vision, and truly other successful franchises should take note of his artistic attention to detail. It’s just a shame that vital elements of the MENA story, character construction, and portrayal were lost in its translation.

Hanna Flint is an independent film and television critic, writer and interviewer who writes for The Guardian, Total Film, Time Out, Syfy, Yahoo Movies, SyFy and other international media.

Follow her here: @HannaFlint

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Red Sea Souk to promote the work of Arab and African filmmakers https://libyamazigh.org/red-sea-souk-to-promote-the-work-of-arab-and-african-filmmakers/ https://libyamazigh.org/red-sea-souk-to-promote-the-work-of-arab-and-african-filmmakers/#respond Fri, 01 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/red-sea-souk-to-promote-the-work-of-arab-and-african-filmmakers/

DUBAI: It took over 200,000 workers and 240 million combined man-hours to bring the expansive site of Expo 2020 Dubai to life.

Now, to thank the workforce, a 38-column colonnade has been set up at the Jubilee Park site, with the names of the workers carved in stone.

Reem Al-Hashimi, Managing Director of Expo 2020 Dubai, came up with the idea for the Workers’ Monument and commissioned London architect Asif Khan to design the project.

“It’s such a powerful form of recognition, positive energy and kindness. It’s a very human statement and a reminder that human beings are at the heart of what has been accomplished, ”Khan told Arab News.

The monument is located at Jubilee Park at Expo 2020 Dubai. (Provided)


“In general, the people who build all these projects that transform the world and our culture are rarely thanked or, if they are, it is in an impersonal, general way,” he said.

“What we forget when people work on projects is that their family and friends are part of the process. They make sacrifices.

Khan, who also designed the massive Expo entrance gates, has met many workers on site over the past five years.

“They come from all over the world, especially South Asia, and they all got along,” he recalled.

However, detailing the tribute was no easy task, with spreadsheets listing hundreds of names – a challenge Khan saw as a “fascinating anthropological study.”

Duplicate names, alternate spellings, and names between one and five words were all honored in the final structure. Each two-meter-high circular column, made of Omani limestone, is like “a book in a library”, where every worker can find his name.

“When I first visited the site, it was desert. Thanks to the work of these people – brick by brick, inch by inch – this site has been transformed, ”said Khan.

“They are like magicians who changed the state of matter.”

Dubai’s festive tribute is considered the first of its kind, with similar monuments traditionally associated with solemnity and loss.

“It is a monument to the living. In our research, we couldn’t find any monument on this scale that names each worker individually, ”Khan said. “I hope this is the start of being grateful, on a global scale.”

The exhibit may only last six months, but the entire site and the monument to the workers are here to stay, according to Khan, “making sure future generations know who made it.”

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