The shortest month of the year has arrived, but it is still jam-packed with good stuff. Below are my selected highlights for February in terms of Arab-related themes on Nahla Ink and arts and culture events.
The Food - Fancy a Culinary Experience?
Firstly a subject that I have not covered much before: food! Yes, you can now read my review of a beautiful culinary book that every Arab needs to have in her or his kitchen library. With Sherine Ben Halim Jafar's instructions, you can be sure that any planned dinner party will now turn out to be a huge gastronomic success!
The Fashion - Lebanon and Egypt at the International Fashion Showcase (IFS) 2016
Another exciting topic for the style and fashion aficionados amongst you: fashion! This month sees the arrival of the 'International Fashion Showcase (IFS) 2016. Tied with London Fashion Week, it is a key part of the public-facing programme which celebrates the universal relevance of fashion in contemporary culture. Under the theme of 'Fashion Utopias' it will bring specially commissioned and curated fashion installations featuring emerging designers from 25 countries. From MENA, both Lebanon and Egypt will be participating, with the Lebanese team under the title of 'Blueprint Beirut' and the Egyptians under 'Contemporary Rebirth'. Taking place from 19-23 February at Somerset House on the Strand, this promises to be a great showcase.
For more: http://design.britishcouncil.org/projects/ifs/ifs-2016/
For more on 'Blueprint Beirut': http://www.arabbritishcentre.org.uk/media/arab-british-centre-represents...
The Visual Arts - 'Joha - The Journey' at Rich Mix
In terms of the visual arts, I have a scheduled interview coming up with the wonderful Palestinian artist Mohammed Joha, who will be exhibiting 'Joha - The Journey' at the Rich Mix venue. Joha's work explores the big burning issues of identity, home, diaspora and the overcoming of the physical and psychological boundaries created by conflict, specifically in his personal story of growing up in Palestine. This exhibition will open up an imaginary parallel space in which to consider the ideas of place and belonging. If you are super keen, the free opening night will be on 3 February, 2016 which will feature Joha's artwork as well as a musical performance by the 'Watan Trio' who will present muwashahat and maqamat.
The Music - Tarek Abdallah & Adel Shams El Din + Maya Youssef at the Royal Albert Hall
If you check My Curious Inbox, you will find that this month is going to be full of great musical performances, but my top pick has to be Tarek Abdallah and Adel Shams El Din at the Elgar Room at the Royal Albert Hall. These two fantastic acts from the Middle East have just released the album 'Wasla' in collaboration with Songlines. Originally from Alexandria, but currently based in France, the duo are fluent in the language of Egyptian classical tradition and are able to evoke the fascinating history of this music, whilst extending it with spirited and contemporary inspired compositions.Taking place on 15 February, they will be joined by the wonderful virtuoso Syrian kanun player Maya Youssef.
The Full Arab-London Events Listings: My Curious Inbox
As every week I keep receiving more and more events coming up far in advance, I advise that you keep checking My Curious Inbox for the most up-to-date Arab-London arts and culture listings and make sure to scroll down a couple of pages.
If you don't see a relevant event or if you have something to add, please feel free to contact me with the details.
For more: http://www.nahlaink.com/curious-inbox
Finally, I hope that you all enjoy this month and if you have any feedback or general ideas regarding Nahla Ink, please do get in touch.
Best wishes to all!