Khabar Keslan خبر كسلان

Khabar Keslan خبر كسلان A curated feed of media on the Middle East and North Africa that doesn't make you want to bang your head against a wall. KHABAR KESLAN is an independently run, volunteer-based, primarily English-language online review featuring art and critique from the Middle East, North Africa, and South (East) Asia (MENASEA).

This is a dedicated platform for dissidents, artists, critics, and those on the margins to express themselves. We are deeply unimpressed by the state of journalism surrounding the region; hence our name, “Khabar Keslan,” or lazy news. Coverage of the Middle East and North Africa tends to emphasize violence, chaos, and corruption. But the region is also complex, beautiful, and wrought with passiona

This is a dedicated platform for dissidents, artists, critics, and those on the margins to express themselves. We are deeply unimpressed by the state of journalism surrounding the region; hence our name, “Khabar Keslan,” or lazy news. Coverage of the Middle East and North Africa tends to emphasize violence, chaos, and corruption. But the region is also complex, beautiful, and wrought with passiona

As the most violent forces of nationalism and colonialism bombard Palestine, Khabar Keslan presents Panos Aprahamian 's ...
05/21/2021
Not, Not Nation — Khabar Keslan

As the most violent forces of nationalism and colonialism bombard Palestine, Khabar Keslan presents Panos Aprahamian 's timely and invaluable critique of nationalism, "Not, Not Nation." Borrowing from the discursive framework of Walid Saadek's essay "Not, not Arab," Aprahamian takes the reader on a journey through Lebanon's 'graveyard of lost futures' to examine the reactionary myth-making each required and the contradictions inherent in their visions of past and future. The essay deconstructs the failures and inconsistencies of nationalism in Lebanon to argue for a radical re-envisioning of how anti-capitalist political projects should conceive of time and place.

To be featured in Issue 5. Contradiction.
https://www.khabarkeslan.com/articles/2021/5/18/not-not-nation

by Panos Aprahamian A radical re-envisioning of how anti-capitalist political projects should conceive of time and place.

As the most violent forces of nationalism and colonialism bombard Palestine, Khabar Keslan presents Panos Aprahamian's  ...
05/21/2021
Not, Not Nation — Khabar Keslan

As the most violent forces of nationalism and colonialism bombard Palestine, Khabar Keslan presents Panos Aprahamian's timely and invaluable critique of nationalism, "Not, Not Nation." Borrowing from the discursive framework of Walid Saadek's essay "Not, not Arab," Aprahamian takes the reader on a journey through Lebanon's 'graveyard of lost futures' to examine the reactionary myth-making each required and the contradictions inherent in their visions of past and future. The essay deconstructs the failures and inconsistencies of nationalism in Lebanon to argue for a radical re-envisioning of how anti-capitalist political projects should conceive of time and place.

To be featured in Issue 5. Contradiction.

https://www.khabarkeslan.com/articles/2021/5/18/not-not-nation

by Panos Aprahamian A radical re-envisioning of how anti-capitalist political projects should conceive of time and place.

10/31/2020

Khabar Keslan and Falgoush (@falgoush) came together this Halloween to bring you a spooky tribute to the legendary Iranian-Armenian filmmaker Samuel Khachikian. Born in Tabriz in 1923, Khachikian's family had arrived there after first surviving the Armenian Genocide and fleeing to Russian Armenia before moving south to Tabriz and eventually to Tehran.

Known for his horror and crime-drama films, Khachikian made a name for himself by employing innovative film techniques over the course of four decades of filmmaking. Khachikian detested the formulaic style of Iranian films in the 1950s and considered it his goal to develop new ways of visual storytelling to add action, suspense, and intensity to any scene. He explicitly stated that he did not believe the subject matter of his films--crime, drugs, romance, and murder--was important, but that the way in which the films were shot was important.

Khachikian's film Shabneshini Dar Jahanam (Party in Hell;1957) follows the tale of a greedy wealth-hoarder who is condemned to spend a night in hell. The film's long expansive shots, dramatic use of shadows, and elaborate costumes and sets depicting the bowels of hell signalled a new era of more detailed sets and stylistic production in Iranian film.

Even in his own time, many referred to Khachikian as "Iran's Hitchcock." He denied this comparison stating that Hitchcock had no influence on his work. Khachikian maintained that the inspiration for his nightmarish horror all came from his father's stories of the Armenian Genocide.

Films from this edit can all be found on youtube:
Shabneshini Dar Jahanam or Party in Hell (1957)
Faryad-e Nimeh Shab or Cry at Midnight (1960)
Sarsaam or Delirium (1964)
Ba Eshq Hargez or Never with Love (1965)

Music is mix of Metallica and Koroush Yaghmai

In sweeping, lyrical prose, Angela Brussel weaves together the streets of Beirut and New York City as she reflects on he...
10/22/2020
The Liminal Space Between Party & Protest — Khabar Keslan

In sweeping, lyrical prose, Angela Brussel weaves together the streets of Beirut and New York City as she reflects on her participation in the Lebanese revolution and Black Lives Matter protests. As she describes the past year of uprisings, she oscillates between euphoria and despair, disillusionment and radical hope; all while evaluating the merits and pitfalls of the liminal space between party and protest.

"Yes, this was it. It was a life outside officialdom. The process taking precedence over the product. An eddying, swirling microcosm of the world. But all along the thought haunted me that this was not a world in which I wanted to take part. Because while the people’s library and the action station and laundry land were all lofty, benevolent pursuits, the violinists posing in front of white backdrops for photographs, the protesters marching in hamster balls, and the people getting catatonically high detracted from what I thought was an otherwise righteous cause. And I feared that it delegitimized the movement entirely. That all the work grassroots organizations such as Warriors in the Garden and Street Riders were putting into the movement would be for naught.

The liminal space between party and protest, we lived in it in Lebanon. There was, in fact, major discord regarding the parameters of insurrection. Were fireworks appropriate? How about dabke? Drum circles? Drugs? The litany goes on. What would bolster the cause? What would stifle it? When I broached this with a friend, concerned that the rage was subsiding and the carnivalesque coming too much to the fore, he summarized it well, telling me that the people will sing and dance even when they are being persecuted and beat down. Even when they are enraged by the powers that be."
https://www.khabarkeslan.com/articles/2020/10/21/the-liminal-space-between-party-amp-protest?fbclid=IwAR1qQrtB2m04T1u3HF-0K9J39Mj0Bs4wvsKv6719lNWUA7qsNeuT9xIBYaU

by Angela Brussel

In 'Namedropping,' Samuel Tafreshi explains how the achievements of Khurasan, an intellectual hub in the Islamic golden ...
10/19/2020
Namedropping — Khabar Keslan

In 'Namedropping,' Samuel Tafreshi explains how the achievements of Khurasan, an intellectual hub in the Islamic golden age, were appropriated by emerging powers over time. Tafreshi shows how the legacies of figures like Rumi and Ibn Sina were used to serve nationalist agendas.

"When examining a one tenge banknote, the currency of Kazakhstan, one will find the renowned intellectual al-Farabi staring back. While walking the streets of Tehran, it would not be surprising to encounter Ferdowsi Street, Ferdowsi Metro Station, or Ferdowsi Park along a route. Whether in statues or signs, speeches or stamps, references to influential figures from the Islamic Golden Age (786–1258 CE) permeate the modern states of the Middle East and Central Asia. "

https://www.khabarkeslan.com/articles/namedropping

by Samuel Tafreshi, What had been its own ‘center’ of intellectual and cultural production became an overlapping periphery beholden to the interests of emerging ‘centers’ in the region .

10/19/2020

!Today on @radioalhara! Tune in to the fourth episode of Jun va Jan at 6pm (Palestine time) to hear the hottest jazz and funk tunes from the Soviet Caucasus. The show will take listeners through a brief history of Soviet Jazz while showcasing killer tracks from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Broadcast by Radio al Hara (@radioalhara) and brought to you by Jackson Allers (@jacksonallers) from the Beirut Groove Collective (@beirutgroovecollective) and Samuel Tafreshi from Khabar Keslan (@khabarkeslan).

! ! ! Khabar Keslan's latest article is up ! ! ! In Khabar Keslan's latest piece, Radical Imprint, Sam Tafreshi showcase...
09/23/2020
Radical Imprint — Khabar Keslan

! ! ! Khabar Keslan's latest article is up ! ! !

In Khabar Keslan's latest piece, Radical Imprint, Sam Tafreshi showcases the incredible magazine and newspaper design of revolutionary Iran during the brief golden age of print culture that existed in early days of the revolution.

"The fall of the Pahlavi regime was accompanied by the unshackling of the press and, overnight, Iran witnessed the establishment of dozens of newspapers, magazines, and intellectual journals run by the likes of communists, Islamists, and formerly imprisoned journalists. New publications were born, long-banned newspapers revived, and Pahlavi-controlled news outlets were closed down or transformed by new editors.

Comics depicted revolutionaries kicking out the British and Americans, intellectuals debated the direction of the revolution, communiques and manifestos were issued, and political satires critiqued leaders and traitors to the revolution alike. These were the pages that fluttered through the streets of Tehran in 1979.

Radical in its content, striking in its aesthetics, and representative of the vast and shifting landscape of revolutionary thought, this was the print culture of Iran at the moment of liberation."

Radical in its content, striking in its aesthetics, and representative of the vast and shifting landscape of revolutionary thought, this was the print culture of Iran at the moment of liberation.

09/13/2020

!!Today on @radioalhara!! Tune in to the third episode of Jun va Jan at 5pm (Palestine time) to hear pop and folk music from 1960s and 70s Afghanistan. This month's show will take its listeners on a journey through Afghanistan to showcase the talented musicians and classic pop stars of a music scene that was forced to move abroad as a result of decades of war and political censorship. We'll be playing Ahmad Zahir, Nashenas, Naghma, Rokhshana and many other iconic Afghan singers

Broadcast by Radio al Hara (@radioalhara) and brought to you by Jackson Allers (@jacksonallers) from the Beirut Groove Collective (@beirutgroovecollective) and Samuel Tafreshi from Khabar Keslan (@khabarkeslan).

Singer: Nagham (on Radio Television Afghanistan)

08/23/2020

Today!!! Tune in to Radio Alhara at 5pm Palestine time for the second episode of Jun va Jan and hear some funky tracks from 1960s and 70s Pakistan.

This monthly show takes its listeners on a journey from Iran and the South Caucasus through Afghanistan and into Pakistan to show its listeners the hottest songs from the region’s classic pop stars, one hit wonders, and playback singers. Broadcast by Radio al Hara (@radioalhara) and brought to you by Jackson Allers from Beirut Groove Collective and Samuel Tafreshi from Khabar Keslan.

I Am Very Sorry by Noor Jehan
From the 1976 film, Warrant (Music by Kamal Ahmed)

Tune in to Radio Alhara راديو الحارة at 5pm Palestine to join Jackson Allers of the Beirut Groove Collective and Sam Taf...
08/23/2020

Tune in to Radio Alhara راديو الحارة at 5pm Palestine to join Jackson Allers of the Beirut Groove Collective and Sam Tafreshi of Khabar Keslan as they host episode 2 of of the monthly series (every second Sunday) called Jun va Jan - exploring record culture from from the 1960s through to the early 1980s coming from the South Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This month's focus is on Pakistani playback music and a short dive into the influences of some of the playback singers.

Khabar Keslan's latest article by is up! The first piece in a series of articles by Samuel Tafreshi tracing the exile an...
07/28/2020
The Body of a King: Four Shahs in Exile — Khabar Keslan

Khabar Keslan's latest article by is up! The first piece in a series of articles by Samuel Tafreshi tracing the exile and death of Mohammad Reza Shah.

"What is to be done with the body of a king? When all of the meaning and majesty imbued in his person shrivels and fades before the world, what does he become?

On the fortieth anniversary of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi’s death in Egypt, Khabar Keslan launches a series of articles exploring the journeys in exile of the last four Shahs. The first instalment of the series will trace the movements of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi as he's shuttled from country to country and hospital to hospital seeking medical care and asylum."

The article will take you from Sadat's Egypt through the Bahamas, Mexico, the U.S., Panama and back again to Cairo. All of this taking place against the backdrop of revolutionary Iran.

https://www.khabarkeslan.com/articles/2020/7/28/the-body-of-a-king?fbclid=IwAR0blZXmhUkEVIiy6wHNH6aavN5v_T_rDiXRblKE4R0cmaIOB_8aIXGSYnY

What is to be done with the body of a king? When all of the meaning and majesty imbued in his person shrivels and fades before the world, what does he become?

Tune in at 17:00 Palestine time for some hot and funky Iranian music on Radio al Hara ! ! !
07/26/2020

Tune in at 17:00 Palestine time for some hot and funky Iranian music on Radio al Hara ! ! !

good morning all
here is our program of the day
have a chilled and relaxing sunday!

07/26/2020

Today!!! Tune in to the first episode of Joon va Jan at 5pm Palestine time to hear some funky tracks from 1960s and 70s Iran. This monthly show will take its listeners on a journey from Iran and the South Caucasus through Afghanistan and into Pakistan to show its listeners the hottest songs from the region’s classic pop stars, one hit wonders, and playback singers. Broadcast by Radio al Hara (@radioalhara) and brought to you by Jackson Allers (@jacksonallers) from the Beirut Groove Collective (@beirutgroovecollective) and Samuel Tafreshi from Khabar Keslan.
——————————
Also we owe a huge thank you to Ballroom Blitz (@ballroomblitzbeirut) for lending us their space and equipment to record the show and another shout out to Mads Nimann Jensen (@madsnimann) for digitising so many of these incredible records!
——————————
Song credit: Khalvat by Googoosh

We've been pretty quiet during the protests in the US. During this time, we’ve looked internally and asked how we can ra...
06/19/2020
The Question of Solidarity: #BlackOutTuesday and Radio Alhara — Khabar Keslan

We've been pretty quiet during the protests in the US. During this time, we’ve looked internally and asked how we can radically change our content and structure to confront anti-Blackness. Racism and discrimination towards Black people and communities is rampant and normalized in the Middle East. Showing true solidarity with Black liberation movements means that we must hold a critical and reflexive lens to our own communities.

This is an ongoing process, and as we explore, we hope this will be reflected in the content we produce and the decisions we make as a platform. In our latest piece, we interviewed Radio Alhara راديو الحارة, a radio station based in Palestine, who, themselves, were evaluating many similar issues.

"How do you connect solidarities together in a way that makes it organic, that makes it contextualized, and also makes it true?” These are the questions the hosts of Radio Alhara asked as they debated whether or not to broadcast on #BlackOutTuesday. In this interview, the Palestinian radio station spoke to us on how they chose to show solidarity with the ongoing struggle for Black liberation happening in the wake of the brutal police murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in the United States."

https://www.khabarkeslan.com/articles/2020/6/18/the-question-of-solidarity-blackouttuesday-and-radio-alhara?rq=samuel%20tafreshi

by Samuel Tafreshi

"Do black lives matter in Lebanon? More than two domestic workers die every week. All Black and disposable. Faustina: “I...
06/02/2020

"Do black lives matter in Lebanon? More than two domestic workers die every week. All Black and disposable. Faustina: “I feel so weak. My body is swollen, I can barely stand for five minutes. I don't want to die.”
https://thisislebanon.info/…/the-tragic-death-of-faustina-…/
#abolishkafala
#sendushome

"Under the ‘kafala’ (sponsorship) system, employers of migrant domestic workers can imprison and abuse their subjects behind closed doors and enjoy complete impunity for their crimes. There are very few places abused workers can go for help - except to our page. We fight to have them paid and sent home, and if their abusers aren't willing to do the bare minimum, we expose them and bring their crimes into the light. Two domestic workers are dying every week in Lebanon. Donate to help these women now. This can’t wait. You can make a difference."

Donate here to help fund this vital organisation: https://thisislebanon.info/donate/?fbclid=IwAR23EWK4eXjOA7BGI9EVDJmk3ESoMJQJJrCVoipYjk-wrALUmPu7EO_Sw-w

Do black lives matter in Lebanon? More than two domestic workers die every week. All Black and disposable. Faustina: “I feel so weak. My body is swollen, I can barely stand for five minutes. I don't want to die.”
https://thisislebanon.info/case-of-kafala-abuse/the-tragic-death-of-faustina-tay-chronicles-of-hussein-dia-and-family/
#abolishkafala
#sendushome

Chef Mahdi Ali recounts his involvement with OPENISM's community iftar event in 2018, based on “MesoArabia,” an imagined...
04/30/2020
Iftar — Khabar Keslan

Chef Mahdi Ali recounts his involvement with OPENISM's community iftar event in 2018, based on “MesoArabia,” an imagined utopia free of borders and nations but rich with language, art, culture, heritage, and food celebrating cultural hybridity and cosmopolitanism.

"When Ibrahim Mimou—of OPENISM and Salafi Cowboy—articulated his vision to me for a community iftar event, he made it clear that the goal was to bring together adjacent communities. Muslims, non-Muslims, artists, entrepreneurs, doctors, gay, straight; they were all invited to celebrate and break bread. His sentiments frothed a rich nostalgia inside of me. For the first time in years, I felt pride emanating from the faith that I left on ice years before.

The theme and cuisine of the event would be based on “MesoArabia,” an imagined utopia in Salafi Cowboy’s cartoon universe free of borders and nations but rich with cognates of language, art, culture, heritage, and food—a liminal space celebrating cultural hybridity and cosmopolitanism. As a community chef working at a French-Mexican restaurant called Trois Familia at the time, I would be tasked with chaffing up an experimental menu filled with a fusion of Arab and Hispanic cuisine. "

https://www.khabarkeslan.com/articles/iftar

by Mahdi Ali, “Every human is a conglomerate, a cloud of ideas and moods that habitually contradict.”

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