November - Reviewing 'I Still Hide to Smoke' and MENA-Inspired Highlights

The month of November continues with the artistic and cultural high season, offering a wealth of choices to attend MENA-inspired events across London, including: theatre, films, exhibitions, music, book readings and comedy.

Below are just some of the highlights to give you an idea of what is happening. 

I also want to link you to my latest article, which is a review of the French-Algerian film 'I Still Hide to Smoke', that is being screened as part of the annual Film Africa Festival this week.

My article:

Goats - Top Choice for Theatre

In a small town in Syria, soldiers are celebrated as heroes and grieving families are nourished on propaganda. As the coffins pile up, the local party leader decides on a radical compensation scheme: a goat for each son martyred. Questioning what is true and what is not, Goats is a major new work by Syrian playwright and documentary filmmaker Liwaa Yazji that has been developed as part of the Royal Court’s long term project with writers from Syria and Lebanon. 


Film Africa - Top Choice for Films

Film Africa celebrates African cinema from the continent and diaspora. Hosted by the Royal African Society, it brings a high quality and wide-ranging film programme, accompanied by director Q+As, talks and discussions, professional workshops and master classes as well as school screenings and family activities. 

This year, there are four films from the North Africa region: 'I Still Hide to Smoke' (Algeria), 'Foreign Body' (Tunisia), 'Fatma 75' (Tunisia) and 'A Day for Women' (Egypt). 


Maya Youssef Album Launch - Top Choice for Music

Combining extraordinary talent and dexterity, Maya Youssef crafts an innovative approach to playing the qanun, the traditional Syrian 78 stringed plucked zither famed for its penetrating and illustrious sound. For Youssef, playing the instrument is a life and hope-affirming act that provides a space where harm and pain are not only hindered, but reversed. She will be launching her first album titled 'Syrian Dreams'. 


Hassan Hajjaj - Top Choice for Exhibitions 

La Caravane is the homecoming exhibition for the British-Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj, showcasing his vibrant fusion of contemporary cultures through new and celebrated works. Hajjaj's artworks reflect on his nomadic lifestyle and the relationships he has formed with a variety of characters along the way, from musicians to artists and athletes to street performers both in Morocco and the UK. 


​Full Listing - My Curious Inbox

As always, you can find the more comprehensive list of all MENA-connected events in London on My Curious Inbox page.


To be in the super-know, you can also follow me on Twitter @Nahlaink.

Best wishes to all!

Nahla AL-Ageli

Freelance Journalist + Blogger

London, November 2017