Curious Inbox

  • Astrolab - Artist Anissa Berkane -

Curious Inbox

Below are entries of current Arab-British related events taking place in London that you might wish to attend, festivals and exhibitions that are happening and other entries I receive in my Nahla Ink Inbox. Please contact me if you would like to be listed.

Banipal Book Club Meeting: For the last Book Club meeting of the year, the group will consider 'In the Spider's Room' by Muhammad Abdelnabi and translated by Jonathan Wright, who will be present and joining in the discussion. The book is about Hani, a young man in Egypt, who endures a seven-month nightmare as he was swept up, along with fifty other men, in the infamous Queen Boat affair that targeted Egypt’s gay community. Finally free, but traumatized into speechlessness, he writes down the events of his life—his first sexual desires, his relationship with his mother, his marriage of convenience, and his passion for Abdel Aziz, the only man he ever truly loved. Please note that the Book Club meetings are free to attend but please RSVP by messaging our Facebook page or email Taking place 12 December, 2018 at the Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE.

Arab British Centre Open Evening: A festive opportunity to buy some gifts, get your holiday reading sorted, and explore all that the Arab British Centre (ABC) has to offer in 2019. With stalls from Palestinian fair trade food organisation Zaytoun and contemporary calligrapher Joumana Medlej, you can bring the flavours and artistry of the Arab world to your friends this Christmas. Zaytoun’s mouth-watering dates, zesty za’atar and rich olive oil all hail from Palestinian farmers, and will be sold at a special, below RRP rate; and Joumana Medlej’s striking art pieces, prints, and handmade cards and stationery will also be available to buy. Also open to visitors will be BALBMAL (the Banipal-ABC Library of Modern Arab Literature) from which you can borrow books and learn more from the Banipal team about Arabic literature in translation. If you are interested in Arabic language, contemporary calligraphy, art history, or musical instruments like the oud and darbuka, this is also an opportunity to find out more about the ABC courses. Taking place 10 December, 2018 at the ABC, 1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE.

Are You Glad I'm Here: Screening as part of London Film Week, this will be a European premiere of the feature that has been touring the US and Lebanon. Directed by Noor Gharzeddine, a millennial American girl befriends a Lebanese housewife and disrupts her ordered life, leading them both to become accidental partners-in-crime. This is a story that explores the nature of happiness and self-actualization through the multicultural lens of the Lebanese-American filmmaker. Taking place 8 December, 2018 at Regent Street Cinema, 307 Regent St, Marylebone, London W1B 2HW.

Rachid Gholam: The second of a two-part concert series, MARSM is showcasing the enduring legacy of spiritual performance culture, partnering with iconic Moroccan singer Rachid Gholam and his full ensemble to showcase the worldwide premiere of ‘Spirit of Tarab’. A spiritual and colorful performance and journey, Gholam’s captivating voice invites masterful renditions of legendary Sufi figures - such as Maulana Rumi and Sheikh Ibn Arabi - and explores the expansive history of Sufi music and philosophy. Ranging geographiically from the Persian Mountains to the Andalusian coast, Gholam covers the reach of Sufism art and theory, uncovering the Iraqi Maqam, Aleppo Qadud and the Andulsian Muwashahat on its journey through time. Taking place 7 December, 2018 at Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG.

The Distance Is Always Other: The Arab British Centre (ABC) and Dongola Limited Editions will host the UK book launch and photograph display of 'The Distance is Always Other', a collaborative photography artist book by British photographer Chris Coekin and Lebanese photographer Noel Nasr (with text in English and Arabic by Lebanese author and poet Fadi Tofeili). The book, published by Dongola, Beirut and designed by renowned Iranian graphic designer Reza Abedini, is an artistic exploration, grounded in archival documentation, highlighting socio-geographical transformations in Lebanon over the past forty years. Open for three days, this free event showcases the publication alongside a selection of photographs of Lebanon from the present day and from the 1970s, in both two and ‘three-dimensions’. Taking place 5-7 December, 2018 at the ABC, 1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE.

This Is Yemen: A one night mini-festival celebrating the Yemeni filmmaking collective Comra Films. Premiering groundbreaking shorts produced during the British Council and #SupportYemen’s filmmaking camp in Sana’a, this will introduce audiences in the UK to fresh perspectives from the heart of Yemen. Comra is the Arabic term for a photographic dark room, named by scientist Ibn Al Haytham who discovered that he could develop photos using a tiny hole in a darkened space. The collective takes its name from the situation in Yemen, which in its present state resembles a dark room. Comra Films is made up of Yemen’s most established, award-winning filmmakers - from experienced fixers to Oscar nominated directors. Their dream is “to foster Yemen's culture in the most challenging of times and preserve the essence of its past and present through film”. Taking place 5 December, 2018 at Redon, The Railway Arches, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9HA. 

London Migration Film Festival 2018: A unique film festival that portrays the diversity, nuance and subjective experience within migration - including and beyond the refugee experience - in order to restore the dignity and humanity inherent within it. It also challenges the rhetoric that overwhelmingly reduces migrants to simplistic categories: active enemies or passive victims. Founded in April 2016 by a group of dynamic and creative women based in London - each holding academic interest in and personal experiences of migration - their unique projects, events and activities tackle the intersection of art, academia and action in order to challenge the mainstream rhetoric on migration. Underpinning the work is also the idea that human rights are relational and therefore must be participated in and shared to be realised. It also means that the focus is on inclusion - what is shared between rather than what separates people - and a new rights-based approach to migration. Taking place 29 November-5 December, 2018 at various London venues.

Reem Kelani 'Palestine In Song': Internationally acclaimed singer, musician and broadcaster Reem Kelani is recognised as one of the most enthralling and innovative performers of Palestinian and Arabic music. For this 'Palestine in Song' concert, Kelani will take the audience on a journey through the history and music of her homeland and beyond. Earlier this year, she explored the traditional music of Palestine from before and after 1948 on BBC Radio 3’s Music Planet. She will be accompanied by masterful UK-based musicians: Bruno Heinen on piano, Ryan Trebilcock on double bass and Riccardo Chiaberta on percussion. Produced by Arts Canteen in association with The Miktab Limited, this event takes place 30 November, 2018 at St Johns Church, 73 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8T.

The Sorrowful Muslim's Guide: Celebrating the launch of this newly published work of the late Egyptian Hussein Ahmad Amin, there will be a panel discussion that will critically engage with the sources and explore many of the book’s important and controversial questions with the tranlators Nesrin Amin and Yasmin Amin. Both the resurgence of Islamist politics and the political, social and intellectual upheaval which accompanied the Arab Spring emphasise the important and timely nature of this book which explores the interaction between the pre-modern Islamic tradition and modern supporters of continuity, reform, and change in Muslim societies. The panel will discuss some the many controversial questions that the book raises, including the historical and ideological influences on Islamic thought, the veracity of the Prophet’s biography and his sayings, and the development of Sufism. Taking place 29 November, 2018 at the Aga Khan Centre, 10 Handyside Street, London N1C 4DN. 

Create Your Own Comic With Mehdi Annassi: Join the Khidr Collective and Shubbak Festival for a comics workshop with award-winning Skefkef artist Mehdi Annassi. The Casablanca-based multidisciplinary artist will be in London for the first time to guide you through making your own comic. Annassi is known for his contribution and involvement with comic art, as a founding member of Skefkef, the first Moroccan independent comics magazine written in darija. He is currently working on his first graphic novel. Participants will receive a complimentary copy of 'The Adventures of Iddy Ali', a mini-comic by Zain Dada & Kumail Rizvi commissioned by Khidr Collective. All levels are welcome, from aspiring comics to those intrigued by the form. Taking place 28 November, 2018 at the Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Rd, Shepherd's Bush, London W12 8LJ.


Below are entries of current Arab-British related events taking place in London that you might wish to attend, festivals and exhibitions that are happening and other entries I receive in my Nahla Ink Inbox. Please contact me if you would like to be listed.