"We hebben net 50 jaar migratie gevierd en het is schrikwekkend hoe onwetend de inheemse bevolking is over een religie waarmee ze dagelijks geconfronteerd worden. De huis-, tuin- en keukenBelg durft nog niet met het monster in de kast geconfronteerd te worden. Het is soms moeilijk om uit eigen comfort zone te treden en eens zonder angst een vraag te stellen aan deze nieuwe Belgen met de middeleeuwse godsdienst. Gisteren stelde een dame al bibberend de vraag wat het verschil is tussen halal en niet-halal vlees. Zo bang om de moslim te beledigen. Je mag vragen stellen, zoveel mogelijk. Zo leren we dan elkaar echt kennen."
Ik heb geschreven. Ik schrijf en ik zal schrijven over Palestina. Het is namelijk echt niet aangenaam uw vasten te verbreken onder lichtflitsen, zonder natuurlijk gedonder en onder gedonder, zonder bliksem, u te onthouden van een innerlijke oorlog, vast te houden aan een innerlijke vrede, terwijl boven u een veldslag uit elkaar spat en daalt over de mensen, voor wie je liefde voelt als een helse pijn, en alles wat je had verdwijnt en je niet zou vloeken, hoewel je wil vloeken in alle talen. Boven u. Boven de vechtende dampkring. Boven de gewapende hemellichamen is Allah, die u belooft nabij te zijn. Voor u is hij dichterbij, zou ik denken.
In Irak is er weer een vuur opgelaaid, waarin de ideologie, het lichaam en de geest van ieder die anders denkt, wordt afgenomen. Zouden de mannen van ISIS willen sterven in een heilige oorlog, voor de zaak van Allah, maar vonden ze geen manier waarop? Kozen zij daarom tegenstanders die meer op hen lijken dan dat ze van hen verschillen? Schreeuwende mannen in jeeps, moordende hooligans, zwaarbewapend. Echte mannen vechten met hun vuisten. Echte mannen vechten niet. Stop met krijsen dat Allah groots is, jullie zijn klein.
(Cartoon shows Moroccan atheist telling and then shouting to someone who fasts during ramadan: “I’m not fasting.. I’m not going to fast.. I told you I’m not fasting, don’t you understand me?!”)
More in English below
Mariam Elmaslouhi schrijft als een van onze ramadanbloggers:
Ik ken Marokkanen in Nederland als leden van een gemeenschap die betrokken is. En misschien is dat wel ons probleem: die enorme betrokkenheid. We doen mee, willen erbij horen en het liefst ook geprezen worden door autochtonen. Maar ik vind het juist belangrijker is dat wij als Marokkaanse gemeenschap in Nederland elkaar steunen.
Waarom keren we niet-vastende Marokkanen de rug toe, terwijl we wel autochtonen en zelfs racisten uitnodigen voor iftars en ze hartelijk koekjes meegeven? Ik vind het ook erg dat wij ook de PVV napraten en over onze jongens spreken als ‘tuig’. Ik hoorde eens een Marokkaanse praten over onze jongeren alsof het honden zijn. “Je weet toch hna lmgharba (wij Marokkanen)” wordt er dan gezegd, “wij zoeken altijd problemen”.
Lees verder hier: Waarom keren we niet-vastende Marokkanen de rug toe?
Zie hier een overzicht van de andere teksten bij onze ramadanblogreeks.
Short translation of this latest text on our website:
Dutch-Moroccan Mariam Elmaslouhi writes as one of our ramadanbloggers about how Moroccans treat Moroccans who don’t fast. She asks why Moroccans in the Netherlands put so much energy in seeking support and approval of the White Autochtoon Dutch community while they turn their backs on people of their own community.
She asks why Moroccans who don’t fast are not accepted while Moroccan Muslims invite White Autochtoon Dutch people and even racists for iftars. Elmaslouhi hopes for a stronger Moroccan community to fight racism toghether and to defend the freedoms of all Moroccans.
(Autochtonen is what the white Dutch and Belgians call themselves, while immigrants, and especially Muslims, are labeled Allochtonen which means being ‘alien to this land’.)
Pictures by Douraïd Souissi
Douraïd is a very deep person with a high awareness and a personal reflexion on life. His sensitivity, meditation and subtlety can be read through his photographs. Anouar Brahem, the Tunisian oud player and composer, is a great source of inspiration for him.
The professional artist has a focus on his country Tunisia, its landscapes and people. His last exhibition was on the town El Kef located in Northwestern Tunisia and he will take part in the exhibition Views of Tunisia, coming September in Tunis.
See more here.
#farah de haan
Pictures by Leila Alaoui
Alaoui’s photos show that in Morocco traveling from region to region seems more like traveling from country to country. The country’s cultural diversity is manifested in all aspects of life: the language, the clothing, the cuisine, but most of all in the people. With her collection Alaoui tries to capture Morocco’s different cultural identities, especially since nowadays a lot of traditions are disappearing. “One thing that is interesting for example, is that in the Berber villages all the older women have tattoos on their chins. These tattoos are marked at birth, so people know which tribe the woman belongs to, but you don’t see any young women with those tattoos anymore, it’s only the older generation. So these things are part of the disappearing traditions.”
More in our article Capturing Morocco’s Fading Traditions
From project Lost Walls of eL Seed
“What I would like from ‘Lost Walls’ is to give another image of Tunisia. After the revolution people now only link the country to politics. There has been governmental change of course, but the culture is still there, the history is still there and the focus should be on all of this beauty instead. I want to bring people back to Tunisia to discover the heritage that is left and lost there, just like the ‘Lost Walls’.”
Read and see more on our website.
#local not local
LOCAL / NOT LOCAL: Arabic & Iranian Typography is an exhibition in California, USA. The show is about showcasing foreign or Non-Latin typography, by designers living in the US paying homage to their cultural roots through their design practice. In this case Local Not Local is an exhibition that showcases the works of Arabic and Iranian designers based in California. This connection is reflected in their work in the form of on-going client work from the Middle East, self initiated projects, or locally based client work.
“The point of this exhibit is to break the notion that Arabic and Iranian typography is only practised in the Middle East. Locally based Middle Eastern designers reveal through their design practice that Arabic and Iranian typography has a place in California through community based projects, collaborations, and client work from abroad done locally,” says the co-curator of the exhibit Maece Seirafi.
A series of Arab and Iranian designers based in California will be participating in the show: Yusef Alahmad, Sam Anvari, Milka Broukhim, Kourosh Beigpour, Reem Hammad, Pouya Jahanshahi, Paymon Pojhan, Ebrahim Poustinchi, Maece Seirafi, and Shilla Shakoori.
June 26 – Aug 29, 2014
Opening Night Thursday June 26 | 6:00 P.M.
Levantine Cultural Center
5998 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, California
Wash the blood from your feet
#Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Where should we go and what should we do
When every road is scattered
With the thorns of our fallen loves?
When the friendships of centuries
Have broken, one by one?
Whatever path we take, whatever direction we choose
Our feet come away bathed in blood.
And the onlookers say:
What is this ritual you have devised?
Why have you tattooed yourself with these wounds?
Who are you to question
The barrenness of faith?
Wash the blood from your feet.
When the night has passed
A hundred new roads will blossom.
You must steady your heart,
For it has to break many, many times.
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
#Reda Abdel Rahman
© Reda Abdel Rahman
If you had asked the young Reda Abdel Rahman what he desired to become when he grew up, his answer would not have been ‘doctor’ or ‘engineer’. “An artist!”, he would say – and many years later this is an accomplished fact. ‘Legend’ is the name of the exhibition that showcased some of his work at Gallery Misr.
Born in the ‘City of Beauty and Enchantment’ on the west bank of the Suez Canal, Reda Abdel Rahman was bound to be fond of nature. Even in Cairo he picked one of the greenest areas to reside and work in: Dahab Island, in the Nile: “I live close to nature. It makes me feel close to the environment Ancient Egyptians were working in. On Dahab Island there are Muslims and Christians, churches and mosques. They don’t have any problems at all with each other – so far.”
The Minya born painter graduated from Minya University’s College of Fine Arts, a faculty amidst greenery, surrounded by Ancient Egyptian cultural heritage. Reda Abdel Rahman grabbed this opportunity with both hands. He benefited from his five-year student career to visit places like the Bani Hassan tombs, the ancient city of Abydos, and Sohag more than regularly and let Ancient Egypt touch his soul.
Made by an Egyptian
Ancient Egypt does not only constitute an inspiration source for the artist. Incorporating some of its artistic elements is Reda Abdel Rahman’s way to make clear that his paintings are by the hand of an Egyptian. “This is not the only way to portray my Egyptian identity,” he adds. “I also insert Coptic elements, such as halos, and the use a certain type of side view.” The painter is not able to pinpoint who exactly had an influence on his work: “I learn from everyone. I can even learn from my students. I don’t think that there are wrongs or rights when it comes to art. I do what I do, and that’s my message.”
More about Reda Abdel Rahman can be read and seen here on our website.
In Nederlands hier.
#Aya Johanna Daniëlle Durst Britt
© Stefan Turk
Stefan Turk (1974, Trieste) is a Slovenian artist and art historian living in the far northeast of Italy who currently works as a supervisor and educator in various art workshops and summer camps for children organised by local cultural organisations and schools.
Working in various styles and applying differing techniques, Stefan Turk’s kaleidoscopic artwork has a charming, inspiring and often multi-layered nature both literally and metaphorically. Comprising a multitude of expressions ranging from children stories’ illustrations, landscapes, figurative art and abstract images, a significant part of his work is unmistakably reminiscent of the Maghreb and Orient. Some pieces incorporate Berber symbols and Arab geometric patterns, whereas others employ themes derived from popular medieval Sufi stories related to Attar, Rumi and the exemplary Mullah Nasruddin.
Read more in our interview with Stefan Turk.
In Nederlands hier.
#Aux origines de la guerre d'Algérie
Fighting African people on behalf of the Europeans doesn’t mean that I’m not proud of being black. I’m very proud of being black. But what I want to make clear is that I had no choice. As a French soldier, I had to obey the orders. I fought my African brothers, simply because I didn’t have a choice.
I was under the orders of the French army. When we first arrived in Algeria, the Algerians didn’t want to shoot us, because we were black people - we were their brothers. But when they realised that we were obliged to fight them, they didn’t hesitate to shoot at us.
I lost many of my friends and relatives in Algeria. And even now sometimes, when I sleep at night, I can see them in my nightmares - just the way I’m seeing you. This is a very painful situation. I an old man here in Dakar who walks the streets saying, “I’m going mad, I’m going mad”, because it’s still a nightmare. In 1956, the French were also fighting the Vietnamese; people who fought that battle, even now are still having nightmares. Even when they are not sleeping, they too feel they are going mad. So it is a very painful experience.
I regret a lot of things of course, because I lost many of my friends and relatives in the war, and because I had to kill many people. One of my friends and I were going on patrol and he was shot down by an Algerian and he was killed. That shocked me. We were recruited on the same day. We went into the field for training together. After that, we came back here to Dakar then went on to France, to Marseilles. After Marseilles we went to Strasbourg, and from Strasbourg we left for Algeria. And when we arrived in Algeria, we were in the same company and his bed was over mine. I was sleeping under him. And he was killed when we were patrolling together.
When I just returned from Algeria, I used to see the fighting quite often in my dreams. I used to have nightmares. And even when I look at my photos, those sad memories come back to my mind and I’m sad. But since I’ve been a civilian for a long time, I’m used to thinking of those sad images without being affected by them