Morocco's Cinema City
A faux-Pharaonic entrance sets the tone for cla Studios, which, with its partner Atlas, offers interior and exterior film sets that can take filmmakers from ancient Egypt to fairytale kingdoms—and almost anywhere in between. Used for countless Arab film and television productions since its founding in 1983, it has also hosted world-famous directors such as Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott and Oliver Stone. “Walk past ancient Egypt and then turn left at Tibet,” says Amine Tazi, general manager of Africa’s largest film and studio complex. “That’s where we filmed the Saudi tv series Omar,” about the second caliph of Islam, Omar ibn al-Khattab. If the desert...
French-Tunisian eL Seed takes Arabic calligraffiti global
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“It’s important that each message speaks to the local community but also has a universal significance,” says eL Seed, who last year on a facade of the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston, Texas, translated into Arabic and rendered into calligraffiti a quote from city founder Sam Houston: “Knowledge is the food of genius, and my son, let no opportunity escape you to treasure up knowledge.” EL SEED SPOKE BY PHONE FROM HIS DUBAI STUDIO. An interview by Johnny Hanson, originally appeared in the July/August 2017 AramcoWorld magazine. Let’s start with “calligraffiti.” There are quite a...
What's happening in the Rif? (Northern Morocco)
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The long history of the Rif's rebellious spirit. The Rif, the northern mountain region of Morocco with a long history of rebellion, has been the center of a protest movement for eight months. It has exposed divides: between developed coastal cities and a neglected, resentful interior; between young people eager to challenge authority and an older generation fearful of change; and between an all-powerful monarchy and a street movement with no traditional leaders. Learn more about this fascinating region and its people. Explore the Rif through the books... Intifadat al rif 58 / 59 | Testimony on the Rif uprising of...
Ketabook featured on Al-Fanar Media
Ketabook, the first Maghreb online bookstore has been featured on Al-Fanar Media, the leading independent new platform for higher education in the Arab world. Read the full story here.
America’s (North African inspired) Zouaves
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In the months leading up to the Civil War in 1861, Americans were going nuts over a new kind of fighting force: Zouaves, Algerian-style fighters introduced to the Western world by the French during the Crimean War. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Members of the 114th Pennsylvania regiment wore Zouave outfits, including turbans, for this photo taken in August 1864 during the siege of Petersburg, Virginia. “A fellow with a red bag … for a coat; with two red bags … for trousers, with an embroidered and braided bag for a vest, with a cap like a red woolen saucepan; with...