In 1980, Syrian filmmaker Mohammad Malas traveled to Lebanon to film a documentary of interviews with Palestinians of the refugee camps around Beirut about their dreams. The Dream: A Diary of the Film is Malas’s haunting chronicle of his immersion in the life of the camps, including Shatila, Burj al-Barajneh, Nahr al-Bared, and Ein al-Helweh. It also describes the filmmaking process, from the research stage to the film’s unofficial release, in Shatila Camp, before it reached a global audience. In vivid and poetic detail, Malas provides a snapshot of Palestinian refugees at a critical juncture of Lebanon’s bloody civil war, and at the height of the PLO’s power in Lebanon before the 1982 Israeli invasion and the PLO’s subsequent expulsion. Malas probes his subjects’ dreams and existential fears with an artist’s acute sensitivity, revealing the extent to which the wounds and contingencies of Palestinian statelessness are woven into the tapestry of a fragmented Arab nationalism. Although he halted his work on the film in 1982, following the massacres of Sabra and Shatila, he completed it in 1987, turning 400 interviews into 23 dreams and 45 minutes of screen time. Both diary and film present these people somewhere between present and past tense, but they are preserved forever in the word, magnetic tape, and now in digital code. The Dream is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the Palestinians in the modern Middle East, and for students and scholars of Arab filmmaking, politics, and literature.
A Diary of the Film
Introduced bySamirah Alkassim
3 December 2016
For sale worldwide
His Lost City and Great Mosque
Tarek Swelim 39.95
His Lost City and Great MosqueTarek Swelim
Ahmad Ibn Tulun (835–84), the son of a Turkic slave in the Abbasid court of Baghdad, became the founder of the first independent state in Egypt since antiquity, and builder of Egypt’s short-lived third capital of the Islamic era, al-Qata’i‘ and its great congregational mosque. After recounting the story of Ibn Tulun and his successors, architectural historian Tarek Swelim presents a topographic survey of al-Qata’i‘, a city lost since its complete destruction in 905. He then provides a detailed architectural analysis of the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, which was spared the destruction and is now the oldest surviving mosque in Egypt and Africa, from the time of its completion until today. Rare archival illustrations and early photographs document the changing appearance and uses of the mosque in modern times, while extraordinary 3D computer renderings take us back in time to recreate its architectural development through its early centuries. Plans, drawings, and maps complement the history, while striking modern color photographs showcase the elegant simplicity of the building’s architecture and decoration. This definitive and generously illustrated book will appeal to scholars and students of Islamic art history, as well as to anyone interested in or inspired by the beauty of early mosque architecture....read more
29 November 2015
120 illus., including color photos, computer drawings, archival prints
Messages of Love and Politics
Mia Gröndahl 16.95
Messages of Love and PoliticsMia Gröndahl
Graffiti began in Gaza in 1987, during the first Intifada, when there was no Palestinian television or radio in the Gaza Strip, and no newspapers: the messages that spread along the walls became an important means of communication. Over the years, all political groups have had their own graffiti artists. Scrawl is not tolerated—it has to look good. Hamas even offers evening classes in graffiti. Documenting the writings on the walls of Gaza over a period of seven years, celebrated Swedish photojournalist Mia Gröndahl lays before us the many roles that they perform, the colorful and surprising range of their artistic expression, and their reflection of the changing political situation. And apart from political slogans, the walls bear witness too to joy and sadness: the wedding celebrations, the many victims of the conflict, and the ever present hope of peace and freedom. For us on the outside, Mia Gröndahl’s photographs offer an exciting and unexpected view of life in Gaza....read more
150 color illus.
Architecture for the Poor
An Experiment in Rural Egypt
Hassan Fathy 18.95
An Experiment in Rural EgyptHassan Fathy
In this now classic work, Hassan Fathy, Egypt’s greatest twentieth-century architect, describes in detail his plan for building the village of New Gourna on the west bank of the Nile at Luxor, employing both the traditional building material, mud brick, and such traditional Egyptian architectural features as enclosed courtyards and domed and vaulted roofing. Fathy worked closely with the people to tailor his designs to their needs; he taught them how to work with the mud bricks, supervised the erection of the buildings, and encouraged the revival of ancient techniques, such as the use of claustra (mud-brick latticework) to adorn the buildings. Although bureaucratic red tape and other problems prevented the completion of New Gourna, Fathy’s ideas have since commanded widespread attention both inside and outside Egypt, and Architecture for the Poor remains a testament to his vision as an architect of conscience. “Fathy demonstrates very powerfully that it is possible to build for the poor … cheaply and humanly by the use of earth for building and by teaching people to build for themselves. There is no other book quite like this.” —Choice...read more
8 December 2016
132 b/w illus.
Film in the Middle East and North Africa
Edited by Josef Gugler 29.95
Creative DissidenceEdited by Josef Gugler
Nine essays presenting the major national cinemas, from Iran to Morocco, are complemented by in-depth discussions of eighteen films that have been selected for both their excellence and their critical engagement with pressing current issues. The introduction provides a comprehensive overview of filmmaking throughout the region, including important films produced outside the national cinemas. The long history of Iranian cinema, its international renown, and the politics of directors confronting the state, earns it a special place in this volume. The other major emphasis is on the Israel/Palestine conflict, featuring films by Palestinian directors, Israelis, and an Egyptian working in Syria. Twenty contributors, from film and literary scholars to film directors and a novelist, bring to this unique volume differences in disciplinary orientation and variation in the perspectives that inform their writing. Together they offer an illuminating range of approaches to the cinemas of the region....read more
55 b/w illus.