Amazigh translator – Liby Amazigh Tue, 12 Oct 2021 12:42:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Amazigh translator – Liby Amazigh 32 32 Acclaimed Irish author rejects Hebrew translation of latest book Tue, 12 Oct 2021 12:42:24 +0000

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 Mon, 11 Oct 2021 18:42:57 +0000

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 Fri, 01 Oct 2021 11:11:07 +0000 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 Fri, 01 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000

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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Morocco targeted for planned attacks due to its security and stability, says King Mohammed VI Fri, 20 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Morocco has recently been the target of attacks planned and hatched by certain countries and organizations known for their hostility towards the Kingdom, a country steeped in history, said King Mohammed VI, indicating that these countries have concocted a campaign of their own. whole to distort the image of the Moroccan. institutions and undermine their usefulness and effectiveness in preserving the security and stability of Morocco.

“Morocco is a target because it is a country steeped in history – it has existed for more than twelve centuries, not to mention the long Amazigh history of the nation – and it is ruled by a citizen monarchy that has existed for more than four centuries. , and which is rooted in a solid bond between the throne and the people ”, declared the Sovereign in a speech which he delivered Friday evening on the occasion of the celebration of the 68th anniversary of the Revolution of the King and the People .

The royal speech indeed comes at the end of an unprecedented episode of fallacious accusations to which Morocco has responded firmly to thwart all the tendencies which aim to destabilize it or to discredit its action and its position.

The King clarified that Morocco is also a target because of the security and stability and the reputation and undeniable prestige it enjoys. “These are invaluable assets, especially in light of the upheavals that characterize the world today,” said the Sovereign, noting that “the Kingdom also has a strong network of relationships and connections and is a nation trustworthy and credible at regional and international levels “.

Like some other countries of the Arab Maghreb Union, Morocco is the target of deliberate and hostile attacks, insisted the King, adding that the enemies of the territorial integrity of the Kingdom are building their positions on ready-made premises, but obsolete, and do not want Morocco to remain free, strong and influential.

Unfortunately, some countries, especially European ones, which are traditional partners, fear for their economic interests, their markets and their spheres of influence in the Maghreb region, he continued, noting that some of their leaders do not understand. that the problem does not lie in the systems of the Maghreb countries, but in theirs.

“These are systems that continue to feed off the past and cannot stay abreast of new developments. The past few months have shown that these countries are facing serious shortcomings in terms of respect for state institutions and its fundamental and traditional functions, ”added King Mohammed VI.

“Therefore, they want us to become like them. And to this end, they invoke unfounded pretexts and accuse our national institutions of not enforcing rights and freedoms in order to tarnish their reputation and to try to undermine the esteem and the great respect enjoyed by our country ”, underlined the king in his speech.

They do not want to recognize that the rules of the game have changed – that our countries are able to run their own affairs and use their energies and resources for the benefit of their people.

Thus, all possible means – legal and others – were used, roles assigned and considerable resources mobilized to involve Morocco in problems and disputes with certain countries. In fact, some reports have really crossed the line. Instead of calling for support of Morocco’s efforts for balanced development in the region, they made recommendations to hamper Morocco’s progress, arguing that its development creates an imbalance between Maghreb countries.

In addition, they have concocted a full-fledged campaign to distort the image of our security institutions and undermine their usefulness and effectiveness in preserving the security and stability of Morocco. These institutions also provide support and coordinate action at the regional and international levels, as recognized by a number of these countries themselves. And since each cloud has a glimmer of hope, the plots hatched by the enemies of our territorial integrity only strengthen the faith of Moroccans and their determination to continue to defend their homeland and its interests.

Whether these parties like it or not, we will continue on the path we have chosen for ourselves, despite the exasperation of enemies and the envy of those who hate us, underlined the Sovereign.

“Some people claim that Morocco is under attack because it has changed its political and strategic orientation, or because of the way it handles certain diplomatic issues. This is simply not the case. Morocco has changed a lot, but not as they wish. Morocco does not accept that its best interests are violated. At the same time, my country wishes to maintain strong, constructive and balanced relations, especially with our neighbors.

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Universal Banjo by Hassan Wargui | Daily Bandcamp Mon, 26 Jul 2021 13:48:42 +0000

Universal Banjo by Hassan Wargui

By Phil E. Bloomfield July 26, 2021

Video shows a group of friends, young men, their faces lit by phone light and the glow of a campfire off camera. They smile, comfortable with the camera as well as with the instruments they hold in their hands. One of them, crossed legs and bare feet, cradles the characteristic form of a banjo on his knees. As he plucks the strings with a certain lack of attention born from a skill acquired over years of practice, he closes his eyes, nods his head, and begins to sing a plaintive and dismal song.

The banjo player is Hassan Wargui and the video, which appears on Wargui’s Facebook page, is not shot in the Appalachians, but in a cave in the Sous Valley, a region in southwestern Morocco, perched between the Anti-Atlas mountains. immediately to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It is a fertile part of Morocco, most famous for the oil produced from the fruit of the argan tree and the goats that sometimes climb them.

“I love the banjo, it’s my first instrument,” says Wargui. His music is actually part of a hidden tradition of banjo music in the region that dates back to the 1970s: he learned to play by imitating bands like Archach and Izenzaren, who hold legendary status in the Sub. “No one taught me, I learned it myself.”

The modern banjo arrived in Morocco in the 1950s, when the country was still occupied by the French after World War II. Political scientist Hisham Aidi suggests in his book Rebel Music: Race, Empire and New Culture of Muslim Youth that American GIs stationed in Morocco exchanged banjos for cigarettes with the local population. In the 1970s, the Nass El Ghiwane banjo rose to fame (they are probably still the most popular group in Morocco), bringing together Moroccan and Western music with groundbreaking social commentary.

Moroccan musicians were probably drawn to the banjo because of its similarity to the guimbri, a stringed instrument with a camel skin membrane that provides the hypnotic rhythms for gnawa ceremonies. Gnaoua was created in Morocco by enslaved peoples of sub-Saharan Africa who merged their music and traditions with the principles of Sufi Islam, and the guimbri clearly looks like ngoni, an instrument that can be found throughout Mali. There is a parallel relationship between the western banjo and West Africa, which evolved from string instruments imported to North America, involuntary collateral of the slave trade. Coincidentally, the Anti-Atlas and Appalachians were once part of the same mountain range over 335 million years ago.

There’s another practical explanation why the banjo has spread in Morocco, says Marc Teare, who just released a record from Wargui Tiddukla’s band on his label, Beehive Spirit. “It’s a loud instrument,” he says, which means it can be played in groups, without the need for amplification. “You can have a banjo and a group of percussionists, and the banjo doesn’t have a hard time getting heard.”

Yet the bands that inspired Wargui struggled to gain a voice for another reason. Archach and Izenzaren were Amazighs (sometimes called Berbers, from ancient Greek for barbarian), part of a minority that represents 35 to 40% of the Moroccan population. The Moroccan state pursued a policy of Arabization after its independence from France in 1956, and the Amazigh culture was suppressed. The practice of Amazigh languages ​​(mainly Tachelhit in the southwest, where Wargui lives, and Tamazight in the central Atlas) has even been banned. In the 1970s, when fiercely Amazigh Izenzeran started performing, singing to Tachelhit could even get you to jail, says Teare. Times have changed, of course, and Tamazight has been taught in schools since 2003. However, it is still difficult to make a name for yourself as an Amazigh musician. Wargui does not strike: “As Amazigh, we have few concerts and we live from racism. “

All the money Wargui earns from music comes from Amazigh festivals, performances at weddings, and religious festivities. “From the records, it’s really nothing,” he says. Making money only with music is impossible: he travels regularly from his village, Issafen, to Morocco’s second largest city, Casablanca, where he finds work selling food. His experience is typical of many who live in Amazigh regions, rural areas that suffer from higher levels of poverty than the rest of the country. “The village is beautiful and it is very pleasant to live here, but the problem is that there is no work, no work and no money.

Wargui could be forgiven for giving up music altogether, but a constant stream of recordings and live video continued to appear on both of his. Youtube and Facebook pages over the years. It was through Wargui’s YouTube channel that Teare came across Tiddukla (“friendship” in Tachelhit), which Hassan had posted in 2015. Teare has spent many years visiting Morocco, indulging in his passion for music from the country (before starting Hivemind, he uploaded cassettes that he bought in the country to his blog, Snap, Crackle and Pop) and marvels at Wargui’s dynamism when it comes to producing music. He compares it to a vocation: “If he doesn’t have a group around, people to play with, then he will do everything himself on FruityLoops”.

Teare is not the first foreign person in Morocco to fall in love with the music and the personality of Wargui. Jace Clayton, the artist and writer known as DJ / Breakup, came across another group of Wargui, Imanaren, after hear booming music from a sportswear store in Casablanca circa 2009. He was so struck by what he heard that, with the help of a Moroccan friend, he called the number on the back of the homemade CD to get in touch. (Wargui’s cousin answered, and immediately hung up because he thought it was a joke). Clayton would then re-release the band’s music on his label, Homework Artz, and the duo have collaborated on a series of live shows in Morocco and Tunisia, including one with Clayton’s Nettle group.

One thing that makes Wargui so unique is that he writes his own songs instead of tapping into traditional repertoires. “I think I have 154 songs,” he says. “I like to write songs when I travel, when I go to the mountains.” Being in these places helps him “flash” and focus on the material of his lyrics, he explains. The subject varies from common topics like love and romance to what he describes as “social reality, life in Morocco, the poor and humanity”. Sometimes he even writes stories based on his friends, who frequently harass him to write songs about them. “But I don’t tell them, I just write and keep it to myself.”

Even if you fail to understand the lyrics, Wargui’s music has a surprising universality. On Tiddukla, there is an ease in the way his voice rises and falls; a harmonious tranquility to the way his banjo fits into the pitch and yaw of the rhythms, between the low hum of the guimbri and a gentle chatter of hand drums and percussion. It is by turns nostalgic and full of hope, mixed with a latent emotion that does not require translation. This openness may have come from the intention of its creator, says Teare. “Hassan wants people to hear his music. He wants to expand his audience.

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Overcome Arab stereotypes in the game Thu, 15 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000

There has been a major shift in recent years in the way video games portray Arabs, but developers are still struggling to find their place and not lean on problematic stereotypes.

Why is this important: Arab cultures have been coded into harmful stereotypes in games for decades.

  • During a recent Games for Change panel titled “Arab Voices in Games,” four developers discussed the Arab / Amazigh / indigenous mena representation in video games and the issues they still face.
  • These vary from more benign errors, such as poor translations or presenting the Arabic script from left to right. More seriously, he reduces Arab characters to terrorists and enemy food.

The big picture: The gaming industry is improving in the creation of diverse characters, including Pharah in “Overwatch” or Nomad in “Rainbow Six Siege”.

  • But panelists believe there is a need for video games to normalize Arab cultures and voices in a more meaningful way. It means moving away from the idea that they are “sand villages with jeeps, machine guns, and really there is nothing in the area except fighting,” developer Rami Ismail said.
  • “I would like scary Arabs. I would like happy Arabs. I would like silly Arabs. I would like funny Arabs. I would like too serious Arabs, I would like unfriendly Arabs.”
  • For now, he says, developers still have to fight to make games about Arab cultures in a way that doesn’t use stereotypes. If you are creating a game about Egyptian culture, for example, you might need to explain “yeah, no, there are no pyramids”.

Final thought: Ubisoft’s communications and localization manager, Malek Teffaha, mimicking the stereotypes used by screaming vocal video games in their games with Middle Eastern sites, had a request: “Please get rid of it. you from that soundtrack. Please, please, everyone stop. “

If developers and investors want to make impactful changes in the gaming industry, Perfect Garbage’s co-founder and studio director, Son M., gave a simple piece of advice: “Money. Give me your money. “

Why is this important: Creating a meaningful change in the makeup of the gaming industry requires both creating space for marginalized creators and supporting them.

  • While there are fundraising initiatives for small creators to tap into, Son says these diversity inclusion funds “get capped all the time” and developers ultimately need to find additional ways to fully fund their projects.
  • “Without that kind of money, you can’t have teams that you can support, like a growing studio,” they told the Games for Change panel. “I really think that at least putting money into these initiatives is a good start.”

Inventory: Independent and AAA spaces often differ in their approach.

  • It’s “because a lot of developers who come from our cultural backgrounds make games and put themselves in the foreground,” according to Son.
  • They added that they had not seen this attitude fully spread in AAA games, as the industry “is still not fully receptive yet.”
  • “There’s kind of a subtle three-move rule when you launch a game, which is risky. And apparently brown and black characters as the main characters in some genres are a risk factor.”

And after: To move the industry forward, the big studios will have to do their part.

  • “I think the AAA actually has a very important role to play in using the resources they have to get these pieces of representation and standardize getting those representations,” Ismail said.
  • “The push is definitely coming from indie,” he added. “But in AAA, that’s where a lot of the fighting seems to be right now.”
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A visit by the Prime Minister, a court ruling and the possibility of another Gaddafi for Libya – Middle East Monitor Thu, 24 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Last month Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh visited Bani Walid, southwest of Tripoli. He visited the mountainous city, visited some government institutions and met with local officials and civil society leaders. The visit was the first of its kind by a Prime Minister and marked a new government approach to Bani Walid, long considered the center of support for the late regime of the late Muammar Gaddafi; he sent a message of reconciliation across the divided land.

Home to Libya’s largest tribe, the Warfalla, Bani Walid was the last town to fall to NATO-backed rebels in October 2011. Its fall literally ended the Gaddafi regime in what has become ” Libyan revolution ”. Since then, the city has been closed to the new authorities of the country because it has become a rallying point and a refuge for former supporters of the regime.

It paid a heavy price when in 2011 it was overrun by a coalition of militias aimed at flushing out Gaddafi’s supporters and bringing the city under Tripoli control. However, the invasion failed to break the city’s strong pro-Gaddafi position. Instead, Bani Walid won the support and sympathy of the public from all over Libya, and his tribal members and social leaders became a leading voice for reconciliation in the country.

The reconciliation process was officially launched by the Presidency Council and Bani Walid is likely to once again play a leading role in bringing Libyans together as they prepare for the elections scheduled for December 24. It is in this context that we read recent press articles claiming that Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the late leader’s son, is considering running for president later this year.

READ: Will Libya’s First Female Foreign Minister Be Forced To Leave Her Post?

However, his representative living in exile abroad told me that Gaddafi has not spoken to any media recently and that the media reports are only speculation. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the 58-year-old former university professor confirmed that Gaddafi is “in good health and well inside Libya and that he is in indirect contact with the Libyan people, regularly receiving visitors “. His whereabouts, however, “cannot be disclosed” for obvious security reasons.

Gaddafi junior took refuge in Bani Walid when he fled Tripoli after it was taken by the rebels in August 2011, at the end of the war. In the city where he enjoys respect and support, he has been offered shelter and protection. If, indeed, he decides to run for president in December, he will certainly be a serious candidate.

Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dabaiba or Dbeibeh holds a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi (not pictured) after a meeting at Palazzo Chigi on May 31, 2021 in Rome, Italy. [Antonio Masiello/Getty Images]

He was captured on November 19, 2011, while trying to leave Libya, shortly after leaving Bani Walid. In July 2015, Gaddafi and eight former officials in his father’s government were tried and sentenced to death by a court in Tripoli. His captors, the Zintan militia west of Tripoli, worried about his safety and refusing to hand him over to court, his trial was conducted by video link.

Since then, the elected parliament of Libya has adopted law number 6/2015 which mandated a general amnesty under certain conditions for all crimes committed between 2011 and 2015. Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi’s representative confirms that the amnesty law general applies to him “since the Supreme Court recognizes this [the law]”This explains why he was released from prison on June 11, 2017. However, he is also wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Nevertheless, his representative believes that all the legal problems facing Gaddafi are behind him, including that of the ICC. This gives him the legal right to stand for election. Whether it is final or not is another matter.

When asked if Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi was ready to run in the December elections, his representative replied that it was up to him to decide. “He will make his decision in due course… depending on the circumstances inside Libya.”

READ: What can we expect from the Berlin II international conference on Libya?

Since 2011, Libya has experienced a series of wars and the near total collapse of government services. Such failures have served to rekindle the belief that former regime supporters should have the chance to run the country. The state has been deprived of experienced bureaucrats who know how to run the country as they did for decades under Muammar Gaddafi.

In 2013, the parliament, under pressure from armed militias, was forced to pass the law on political isolation. This notorious law, condemned by international rights groups, has deprived the country of thousands of experienced civil servants. Fortunately for Libya, the law was overturned by the new parliament in 2015. This allowed former regime supporters to return to the country and participate in the political process again. A handful of former Gaddafi officials now openly hold key government positions.

Gaddafi supporters also took part in the UN-led Political Dialogue Forum that produced the current government of national unity last February. Even Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi’s political team took part in the dialogue which resulted in the appointment of Prime Minister Dbeibeh and the election of a new Presidential Council. This development opens the door for former supporters of the regime to seek political representation.

Kadhafi junior could he, despite everything that happened, come forward to “save the country” as his representative says? Many Libyans still have some nostalgia for their days under Sr. Gaddafi, especially when it comes to security and stability, but translating such sentiments into votes will be difficult.

Observers believe that the Libyan people have now tasted the new political reality of their country, which has cost them dearly. Others think that the people are not yet ready to welcome another Gaddafi even if it is said that Saif Al-Islam is not his father. The only thing that is certain in all of this is that the late Muammar Gaddafi is still popular in Libya, although he was killed ten years ago. Can his son take advantage of this popularity? This is the question we are waiting for an answer.

The opinions expressed in this article are the property of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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Abstract and Arabic: “Take Shape” at the McMullen Museum Mon, 31 May 2021 07:00:00 +0000

Between 1950 and 1980, the Arab world survived the world’s precarious geopolitical balance as the lines that distinguished East from West were redrawn. Imbued with the legacies of an unparalleled global mix, inheriting overlapping traditions and conflicting identities, Arab artists from India to Morocco, from Kuwait to Paris have been trained in modern techniques, painting in dialogue with canonical western developments. But while their works encompassed avant-garde creative visions from the West, even decades behind, their adaptations of indigenous motifs relayed the complexity of making art in the Arab world.

Abstraction, like most artistic terms, is a catch-all convenience for what, more accurately, encompasses a range of diverse, perhaps coded, representations of methodology and perception, with their puzzles of meaning, emotion or expression according to each specific work of art. “Taking Shape” verbalized its titular metaphor for abstract art as another way of saying that these artists told the stories of their coming together national and ethnic identities. Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, who advised “Taking Shape”, confessed that it was difficult for him to focus on abstract art, his least preferred genre.

Rachid Koraiichi, “Without you, or me, or nostalgic hallucination”, 1986, ink on clay on wood. (Photo by Matt Hanson)

While it may be overly critical to assert that “Taking Shape” is an art-heavy branding of what in the United States remains the “developing world”, the radical retention of is not immune to generalization. In an explanatory video accompanying the exhibition’s prolific catalog of works, texts and interviews, Qassemi reveals that he would have preferred art with a more salient focus on themes relevant to the social sciences, for example. deeply subjective knowledge of the Arab world, live from the lives of its minorities, women and exiles.

While the “Arab” identity is at the forefront of the show with regard to the dominant and official languages ​​of the nations represented, its inclusion of artists who identify themselves or whose descendants are Amazigh (Berber), Armenians, Circassians, Jewish, Persian, Turkish, demonstrates the complication inherent in using a single category to understand, and even more problematic, to define where a person and their relationships with others begin and end. individualism is arguably a main motive in the pursuit of abstraction.

And true to the polymatic varieties of West Asian and North African intellectualism, many of the artists exhibited were authors of critiques, manifestos, and literature that detailed the breadth of their explorations and ideas. on the wholly shared power of individual thought and free expression, especially when held against the harsh light of nationalist politics and the conditioning of its often monolithic and xenophobic cultural upbringing. The many works by Palestinian artists at “Taking Shape” testify to the resilience of life in search of grace.

Air and earth

The two floors of galleries that make up “Taking Shape” on the bucolic downtown Boston College campus at the McMullen Museum of Art begin in the far west of the Arab world, in Morocco. In Arabic, the word for North Africa is “maghreb”, which literally means west, but also etymologically designates what is strange, foreign or otherwise. In Turkish, it is pronounced “garip” and can mean exoticism. Moroccan art flourished in modernism through the Casablanca school of the 1960s. The works of the co-founders Mohamed Melehi and Malika Agueznay are complementary in their vivifications of color, framing and op-art motif .

Agueznay found inspiration in the corresponding structures of calligraphy and seaweed as she stylized her distinctive abstract and religious naturalism with the sociocultural vibe of a newly independent Morocco, as an observer among her people, enjoying the invaluable and irreplaceable integrity of the local ecology with a collective sense of magic and the sacred. Calligraphy, or lettering, a direct translation of the “Hurufiyya” movement, is a common thread that connects artists from the Arab world, most of whom grew up or established themselves in logocentric circles of Islam.

“Taking Shape” recognizes the multi-faith web of its pale, in which Jews, Baha’is, Druze and other faiths struggle shoulder to shoulder with their fellow Muslims for those flashes of light that could give them a glimpse of their muse . In this case, the exhibition’s generous attention to women complements the idea that artists are like the canaries who enter first and head down into the mine of the future, prophetic in their leadership. Aleppo, became the first Iraqi woman to receive a government scholarship to study in Europe.

The “hurufiyya” artists of the literate movement came to strengthen a mid-century choir in Arab, Persian and Pakistani circles. Umar’s essay, “Arabic Calligraphy: An Inspiring Element in Abstract Art” was published in 1949, the year of his first solo exhibition in the United States at the Georgetown Neighborhood Library. His work in “Taking Shape” is an untitled 1978 watercolor on paper in which the lunar and planetary calligraphic marks are apparently habitable, their extraterrestrial proportions transcendent. Coming closer to tradition, the calligraphic renderings by Palestinian artist Kamel Boullata are curated within walking distance of Umar’s work.

Mohamed Melehi, 'Composition', 1970, acrylic on wood.  (Photo by Matt Hanson)

Mohamed Melehi, “Composition”, 1970, acrylic on wood. (Photo by Matt Hanson)

Boullata, who enjoys even posthumously the exhibition of a series of related works at the McMullen is known outside his visual art as a renowned scholar and author of “Palestinian Art, 1850-present” ( 2009). By 1983 he was producing lettering-style serigraphs, forming new variations on religious proclamations central to Islam and its centuries-old legacy of calligraphy. The geometric interplay of coloring and sequences of linguistic linearity that Boullata demands strongly opposes the parallel history of pop art in the West as mimetic and prescribed to a group of culturally specific consumers and agents.

In silent words

The deceptive simplicity of Arabic, as Umar wrote, is ideal for disregarding visual formality, its rudimentary alphabet of lines and dots borrowed from the ancient Phoenician and Nabataean civilizations of the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula. Yet artists born with Arabic on their tongue or in their ears have apparently turned to the endless diversification of his letters to combat the ethnocentric nationalism of his modern societies.

Much more than a show on calligraphic art visualizing the Arabic language again, “Taking Shape” is sensitive to the genesis pools of its artists, from Frank Stella and Josef Albers to the history of Japanese and Chinese art. The exotic appeal didactics of “Taking Shape” is symptomatic of the neglect that American curators have sought to ameliorate by rewriting the history of Western art in symbiosis with those never seen before. This is evident in the curating of the exhibition of “The Last Sound” (1964), an oil painting by Sudanese modernist Ibrahim El-Salahi, who in 2013 became the first African artist to win a solo retrospective. at Tate Modern.

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Algerian military regime pushes conspiracy theories to limit to dismiss Hirak Tue, 27 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000

After the failure of the conspiracy theories brandishing the foreign threat card, the Algerian military junta is now targeting the independence movement of Kabylia, known as MAK, which it accuses of having instigated attacks against the demonstrations of Hirak.

The elderly military commanders issued a statement accusing the secular independence movement of planning attacks in order to unleash a crackdown by the authorities and use it to gain international support.

The movement for an independent region of Kabylia, the MAK, responded the same day and challenged the defense ministry to expose the independence activist he accused of having instigated attacks.

In a video, exiled MAK leader Farhat Mhenni said the Algerian regime’s decision will neither frighten nor push pro-independence activists into underground activism.

He underlined the peaceful nature of the movement and its rejection of all kinds of violence as well as its attachment to an independent Kabyle state.

This new desperate attempt to sow fear among Algerians by waving the terrorism map and dismissing the Hirak as a movement instigated by the enemies of Algeria has once again failed to convince.

The Algerian regime has previously attempted to use its statements and media propaganda to discredit the Hirak as a Moroccan plot.

The aging and sick regime has also unsuccessfully attempted to smear the Hirak as a protest movement in the service of extremists and Islamic terrorists.

The dirty game of the army is not fooling anyone. Triggering painful memories of the black decade did not stop the Hirak movement from gaining traction after a halt imposed by the pandemic.

The movement for the self-determination of Kabylia has organized in recent years massive marches in the towns and villages of Kabylia to demand the independence of Algeria.

The bloody events of 2001 in which 125 young people were killed sparked the birth of the movement for the self-determination of the Kabylie region (known by its French acronym MAK) which continues to gain ground among the Kabyles in Algeria and France. where a large diaspora of lives.

Supporters of the independence of Kabylia cite a series of grievances their region witnessed after the independence of Algeria. They accuse the Algerian regime of seeking to eradicate their linguistic and cultural particularities by imposing a policy of Arabization coupled with economic marginalization.

Mhenni helped create a Kabyle Provisional Government in Exile. The movement identifies itself as a pacifist movement seeking autonomy in Algiers as a prelude to the founding of an independent state of Kabylia.

Kabyle independence activists argue that their region was attached by colonial France to an artificial Algerian state and that their historic leaders who fought for independence from France were marginalized along with their region in post-independent Algeria.

Human Rights Watch, EuroMed Rights, Amnesty International and Front Line Defenders condemned in the strongest terms Algeria’s discrimination against the Amazigh (Berber) minority and called for all charges against the detained activists to be dropped. .

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