Friday, November 14, 2014

Nov 13 'Arabology' Podcast Spotlights Tania Saleh (ft Interview + New CD)

Tania Saleh's CD covers through the years

This special episode of 'Arabology' (aired Nov 13, 2014) spotlights the life and music of Lebanese singer Tania Saleh and features an exclusive interview with the artist about the launch of her new CD "A Few Images." Includes song excerpts.




Sunday, November 9, 2014

Nov 6 'Arabology' Podcast Highlights 'Songs from a Stolen Spring' + Arabian Shakespeare Festival

This Arabology episode (aired on Nov 6, 2014) highlights 'Songs from a Stolen Spring'--a new CD compilation by Valley Entertainment which focuses on the theme of freedom by fusing Western musicians with such Arab artists as Rim Banna, Dina El Wedidi, Massar Egbari, Eskenderella, Mounir Troudi, Ramy Essam, Lobna Noomene and Tania Saleh who also discusses her participation in this project in a pre-recorded interview.



This show also includes an interview with William J Brown III, Founder and Artistic Director of the Arabian Shakespeare Festival (taking place in San Francisco Nov 13-23, 2014).


ABOUT THE 'SONGS FROM A STOLEN SPRING CD اغاني من ربيع مسروق:


Reviewed by Ramzi Salti.  All tracks FCC safe
This is the second East/West fusion CD by Valley Entertainment Inc where the producers attempt to mix Western songs and artists with songs by various world artists.  Their previous CD was ‘Lullabies from the Axis of Evil’ in 2004. This new compilation  pairs Western singers and songs of ‘freedom’ with an impressive array of indie/independent Arab singers. 

1. Feedom/A New Beginning--features Blind Boys of Alabama singing Richie Havens’ ‘Freedom’ with Egypt’s Eskenderella singing ‘Safha Gedeeda.’ 5:24
2. Not a Word Was Spoken/ Dancing in the Streets--brings Lebanese singer Tania Saleh singing ‘Ma Elna Shi’ with American bluesman Terry Evans. 4:57
3. A Simple Song of Freedom/Once We Were True Rebels--combines Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel with Tunisia’s Mounir Troudi singing ‘Trop Tard’ in Arabic [lyrics by poet Fouad Al-Hamdi] 5:00
4. Beyond These Doors/Get Up, Stand Up--mixes Egypt’s Dina El Wedidi with Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze. 7:15
5. Ol’ Mother Earth/I Still Exist fuses Maria McKee with Massar Egbari, a popular Egyptian band that sings ‘Ana Mawgood.’ 5:48
6. Bread, Freedom/ If I Can Dream--combines Egyptian revolutionary singer Ramy Essam with bluesman Mighty Sam McClain. 4:45
7. Danger Zone--by Soozie Tyrell (E Street Band) in English.
8. Break Your Fears--by Palestinian singer Rim Banna continues the feel of the previous track, but in Arabic.
9. Once Upon a Time/Many Rivers to Cross—by Tunisia’s Lobna Noomene and film singer-songwriter Lisbeth Scott.

You can download this CD from iTunes and at THIS LINK.

ABOUT WILLIAM J BROWN III, FOUNDER/ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF 'ARABIAN SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL':


Dr Ramzi Salti (left) with William J Brown III at KZSU Studio

I was honored to interview William J Brown III for this show. William J. Brown III is the Founding Ars Director of the Arabian Shakespeare Festival.  As an actor he has performed from California to the United Arab Emirates. As a teacher he has taught theatre to students ages 6-18 and is a Resident Teaching Artist with the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival.  He earned his BA in Theatre, Dance and History from Santa Clara University, his MA in Theatre from San Jose State University, and has studied at the American Shakespeare Center and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

My interview with William who discusses the Arabian Shakespeare Festival begins at minute 33:35 in the podcast below:






To hear the entire Nov 6 Arabology podcast go to:






Tuesday, October 14, 2014

'Heritages' and 'Arwad' Film Screenings in Palo Alto on Oct 22, 2014

The Arab Film Festival presented TWO of its films in PALO ALTO on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014.  Schedule and tickets at http://aff2014.arabfilmfestival.org/schedule/

HERITAGES
Wednesday, October 22, 7:00pm
Aquarius Theatre

Heritages by Philippe Aractingi
Director Philippe Aractingi sees himself having to leave his motherland to settle elsewhere for the third time in his life. While he and his family are evacuated to France aboard a military ship, he realizes that his ancestors have also been fleeing from wars or massacres for five generations now. All of them have been exiled at least once. Gripped by the burning desire to tell his own children the past that is “not to be told,” Philippe sets out on a journey through History to understand and pass on its lessons. Here, his ancestors’ itinerary is confronted by that of Middle Eastern history: the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the French mandate, the creation of Israel, Pan-Arabism, the Lebanese civil war and beyond. His exploration leads him to the universal questions: Can one find peace in exile, and should unshackle ourselves from our heritage to be free?

Heritages trailer at http://youtu.be/WSGpAqDP8Ik


ARWAD
Wednesday, October 22, 9:15pm
Aquarius Theatre


A deep feeling of nostalgia takes hold of Ali following his mother’s death, causing him to slowly drift away from family life. Although Gabrielle senses her husband’s distress, she fails to console him. In an attempt to reconnect with his roots, Ali travels to Arwad, an island located off the Syrian coast. Leaving Montreal and his family behind, he is accompanied by Marie, his mistress, who is discovering the island for the first time. After an unexpected turn of events, a confrontation between Gabrielle and Marie becomes inevitable.

Arwad Trailer at http://youtu.be/5crQLPp4OwE


Many thanks to Serge Bakalian and the whole AFF team for making these screenings possible. You can get tickets at http://aff2014.arabfilmfestival.org/schedule/

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Arab Film Festival Begins Oct 10 in SF + Cherien Dabis in Person


THE ARAB FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES SPECIAL GUESTS AND FULL PROGRAM FOR AFF 2014, OCTOBER 10-23

Director/Writer/Actor Cherien Dabis will be in attendance at the 18th annual Arab Film Festival Opening Night and San Francisco Premiere of her film May in the Summer.


Cherien Dabis, Nadine Malouf, and Alia Shawkat in MAY IN THE SUMMER


SAN FRANCISCO, October 8 - The 18th annual Arab Film Festival (AFF) has announced special guests for its Opening Night on Friday, October 10, with the San Francisco premiere of May in the Summer. Director/Writer/Actor Cherien Dabis will be in attendance, and AJ+ Presenter/Producer Dena Takruri will host the evening, leading a Q&A with Dabis after the screening. Opening Night festivities include a pre-screening reception, 6:00pm, and an after party at the Churchill.

Cherien Dabis is an award-winning filmmaker, who received her MFA in Film from Columbia University. Her first short film, "Make a Wish," premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, and she has worked as a writer, story editor, and co-producer with the television series The L Word (2006 -2008). Dabis made her feature film debut with Amreeka, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival to critical appraise.

Dena Takruri is a Presenter and Producer at AJ+, the new digital channel from the Al Jazeera Media Network. Previously, Takruri was a host and producer at HuffPost Live as well as Al Jazeera Arabic, where she produced the flagship political talk show, "Min (From) Washington."

OPENING NIGHT: MAY IN THE SUMMER
San Francisco Premiere
Friday, October 10, 7:30 pm, Castro Theatre

May has it all - a celebrated book, a sophisticated New York life, and a terrific fiancé to match. But when she heads to Amman, Jordan, to arrange her wedding, she lands in a bedlam of family chaos she thought she'd transcended long before. Her headstrong, born-again Christian mother so disapproves of her marrying a Muslim that she threatens to boycott the wedding. Her younger sisters lean on her like children, and her estranged father suddenly comes out of the woodwork. Meanwhile, doubts about her marriage surface, and May's carefully structured life spins out of control. As with her debut feature, Amreeka (2009), Cherien Dabis breathes life into a world rarely depicted on screen, where tradition, burgeoning modernity, and Western imitation deliciously collide and prove that nothing is quite what it seems. Taking a star turn in the title role, Dabis expertly captures the knotty dynamics of a household of women, mining the inherent humor and pathos as her irresistible characters stumble through rocky familial and romantic terrain. The film also stars Alia Shawkat, Nadine Malouf, Hiam Abbas, and Alexander Siddig.



Cherien Dabis (left) and Dena Takruri at AFF Opening Night, Oct 10, 2014

Dr. Ramzi Salti with Cherien Dabis, Oct 10, 2014


FULL PROGRAM ANNOUNCED
As the largest showcase of Arab films and filmmakers, the AFF 2014 program features 55 films representing 25 countries. This year the schedule includes 28 US premieres and 19 films from women directors. Complete film and scheduling information is available online at aff2014.arabfilmfestival.org.

In addition to presenting new films from both established and emerging filmmakers, AFF will inaugurate its retrospective series, Arab Classics, with Youssef Chahine's legendary Cairo Station (1958). Chahine received international recognition when his masterpiece depicting the sexuality, repression, madness, and violence amongst society's marginalized was screened at the 1958 Berlin Film Festival and nominated for a Golden Bear.

ARAB CLASSICS: CAIRO STATION
Retrospective Series Inauguration
Monday, October 13, 7:00pm, Roxie Theatre
Special 50th Anniversary 35mm print

In Cairo Station, two populations briefly intersect: those passing through Cairo's grand urban train station and those who live and work there. Among the latter is Kinawai, a crippled newspaper man (played by Director Youssef Chahine) who becomes increasingly obsessed with Hunuma, a beautiful young woman who sells drinks and is engaged to one of the station's respected luggage-carriers. Mixing comedy, tragedy, and musical elements, Chahine's controversial tragicomedy is an examination of the latent desires and violence embedded in Egypt's social stratification.

GENERAL FESTIVAL INFORMATION
AFF 2014 will take place over 14 days from October 10-23 in the Bay Area: San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and Palo Alto. Films will be screened in San Francisco at the Castro Theatre (429 Castro Street), Roxie Theater (3117 16th Street), Opera Plaza Cinema (601 Van Ness Avenue), and Artists' Television Access (992 Valencia Street); in Oakland at The New Parkway (474 24th Street) and Grand Lake Theatre (3200 Grand Avenue); in Berkeley at Landmark Shattuck Cinemas (2230 Shattuck Avenue); and in Palo Alto at The Aquarius Theatre (430 Emerson Street). Abridged versions of the Festival will take place in Los Angeles from November 7-9 and in San Diego from November 20-22. AFF is supported in part by Wells Fargo and VISA.

FESTIVAL TICKET INFORMATION
Opening Night VIP film and party $60; film only $25. Advance Festival Pass VIP $175; general $150. 6 Flex Pass $60. Individual Tickets $12 for the general public; $10 for students/seniors. Opening Night, Advance Festival Passes, and 6 Flex Passes are available online now at arabfilmfestival.org/passes. Regular tickets are available online at aff2014.arabfilmfestival.org.

About the Arab Film Festival
The Arab Film Festival is the largest independent annual showcase of Arab films and filmmakers in the country. The festival has an international standing and is considered one of the most important Arab film festivals outside the Arab world. It strives to present the best contemporary films that provide insight into the beauty, complexity, and diversity of the Arab world alongside realistic perspectives on Arab people, culture, art, history, and politics. For more information, visit arabfilmfestival.org.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Roads of Arabia Exhibit at Asian Art Museum in SF (Oct 24-Jan 18)


The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco is bringing an exhibit titled "Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" to the bay area from October 24, 2014 to January 18, 2015

About Roads of Arabia (#RoadsofArabia)
Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the first major international exhibition of artworks and artifacts documenting the region’s early history. The museum serves as the only West Coast venue and final venue in its U.S. tour. The show features more than 200 artibfacts—some dating back one million years—tracing the impact of historic incense trade routes and pilgrimage roads. Objects in the exhibition, like colossal statues, Greco-Roman bronzes and pages from early Qur'ans, testify to a lively mercantile and cultural exchange among civilizations from antiquity through the early centuries of Islam. These and many other unique artworks provide a glimpse of the Arabian Peninsula’s fascinating history.

Roads of Arabia is organized by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution in association with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. ExxonMobil and Saudi Aramco are gratefully acknowledged as principal co-sponsors of the tour of Roads of Arabia in the United States. Sponsorship is also provided by The Olayan Group and Fluor Corporation. The Boeing Company, Khalid Al Turki Group, and Saudi Basic Industries Corporation SABIC granted additional support. Presentation at the Asian Art Museum is made possible with the generous support of Chevron Corporation, Saudi Aramco, The Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang Fund for Excellence in Exhibitions and Presentations, ExxonMobil, and ATEL Capital Group. Media sponsors: ABC7, Examiner, KQED, San Francisco magazine. Artwork: Funerary mask, 1st century CE. Saudi Arabia; Thaj city, Tell al-Zayer site. Gold. Courtesy of National Museum of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, 2061.

For more info see http://www.asianart.org/exhibitions_index/roads-of-arabia
Or contact: Asian Art Museum, Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art & Culture, 200 Larkin Street, SF, CA 94102 phone 415.581.3500

Arabology Season 7 Podcasts

Arabology Season 6 Podcasts

Arabology Season 5 Podcasts

Share it