The Markaz Review

The Markaz Review For 19 years we were LA's center for the Middle East & North Africa—a crossroads of culture, a place for film, music, art, literature, theatre & public conversations.
(21)

Now, as a venue we've closed, taking everything online and going global. A not-for-profit gathering place for Middle Eastern/North African arts and cultures in Los Angeles...

From Casablanca to Kabul, we include the creative work of Arabs and other ethnic/religious groups with Mideast origins who are living in the West.

Now, as a venue we've closed, taking everything online and going global. A not-for-profit gathering place for Middle Eastern/North African arts and cultures in Los Angeles...

From Casablanca to Kabul, we include the creative work of Arabs and other ethnic/religious groups with Mideast origins who are living in the West.

Operating as usual

Waking up to your land slowly being taken over by an occupier is by no means a happy state of mind. But sometimes it’s t...
06/11/2021
Maqloubeh Behind the Wall in Bethlehem — The Markaz Review

Waking up to your land slowly being taken over by an occupier is by no means a happy state of mind. But sometimes it’s the little things that help us make it through the day. The biggest of little things, as we all know, is food!

Franco-Palestinian chef and hotelier Fadi Kattan gives us a taste of what it’s like to wake up at dawn in occupied Bethlehem, as well as his extra special recipe for his renowned, authentically-Palestinian Aubergine Maqloubeh.

Chef Fadi Kattan, fed up with walls, Covid and strife with Israel, shares a classic Palestinian recipe.

The Markaz Bookgroup is reading Susan Abulhawa's celebrated novel "Against the Loveless World" about a Palestinian milit...
06/11/2021

The Markaz Bookgroup is reading Susan Abulhawa's celebrated novel "Against the Loveless World" about a Palestinian militant named Nahr, and will discuss the book together, via Zoom, on June 27th. To join in, send your email to [email protected].

The Markaz Bookgroup is reading Susan Abulhawa's celebrated novel "Against the Loveless World" about a Palestinian militant named Nahr, and will discuss the book together, via Zoom, on June 27th. To join in, send your email to [email protected].

“From Ramallah we see Jaffa, we see the sea!”(Photo credit: Jack Rabah)As students in high school in Ramallah and later ...
06/09/2021
Palestine in the World: “Palestine: A Socialist Introduction” — The Markaz Review

“From Ramallah we see Jaffa, we see the sea!”
(Photo credit: Jack Rabah)
As students in high school in Ramallah and later at Birzeit University in the early 1980s, our lives included anti-occupation demonstrations, strikes, recurrent interruptions of classes and campus closures, rock-throwing, barricade construction, tire-burning, and army attacks in which students were shot, beaten, arrested from the street or at home in the middle of the night, imprisoned, and tortured. We also engaged in collective chanting and singing, voluntary work, and smoke-filled hours of political debate. Even students who were not politically engaged experienced most of this directly, because “the Israeli occupation knocks on (or down) every door,” as we would say.
Before the First Intifada in 1987, there were many intifadas that lasted for weeks and months, and the Israelis had yet to bomb us from the sky. Political debates and voluntary, community work (to help till fields at risk of Israeli confiscation, for example) seemed like opposing activities, I figured at the time, and I chose to work in groups mainly engaged in the latter. Yet I came to understand that all these activities, from the presumably static to the hands-on, constituted vital operational modes in the face of a ruthless occupation...

Jenine Abboushi reviews the recent anthology of essays on socialism in the context of Palestinian resistance.

See Fady Joudah's poem in the Los Angeles Review of Books, and think about what it means to lose your home, your country...
06/08/2021
My Palestinian Poem that “The New Yorker” Wouldn’t Publish

See Fady Joudah's poem in the Los Angeles Review of Books, and think about what it means to lose your home, your country, your passport:

In May 2021 the poems I wrote came to me, and I received them — in Bergsonian durée, between ruptured continuity and continuous rupture, similar to the replication of two DNA strands running in opposite directions. I was reproducing life.”   ...

A true story about walls and home in which a Los Angeles writer and a homeless rabbi converge. "Soon after noticing Adam...
06/06/2021
The Bathing Partition — The Markaz Review

A true story about walls and home in which a Los Angeles writer and a homeless rabbi converge.

"Soon after noticing Adam at my AA meeting, I spotted him on the street in my neighborhood, shoeless, standing outside the Pico-Robertson Jewish Community Center. I circled the block, looking for a parking place. I felt compelled to stop and talk to him, not that I was consciously making any decisions; it was more visceral and instinctive, like lunging for a falling object," writes Sheana Ochoa.

In this creative exploration of identity and homelessness, Sheana Ochoa faces her own inner walls and travels to Auschwitz.

Haifa Subay, a Yemeni millennial artist exposing the human face and cost of her country's ongoing civil war through evoc...
06/05/2021
The Murals of Yemen’s Haifa Subay — The Markaz Review

Haifa Subay, a Yemeni millennial artist exposing the human face and cost of her country's ongoing civil war through evocative, socially-conscious graffiti art and street murals, sits for a exlusive chat with Farah Abdelssamad, revealing the implications of the war on her daily life and artistic output.

Yemen street artist, activist and mother Haifa Subay speaks to Farah Abdessamad about the state of the country and her work.

A LAND LIKE YOU by Tobie Nathan and translated by Joyce Zonana was the May 2021 selection of the Markaz book group. The ...
06/05/2021
Tobie Nathan’s “A Land Like You”

A LAND LIKE YOU by Tobie Nathan and translated by Joyce Zonana was the May 2021 selection of the Markaz book group. The discussion around this title was lengthy and passionate.

“Egypt is my mother, the womb of all my thoughts,” claims the narrator of Tobie Nathan’s A Land Like You, a novel that explores the lives of Egypt’s Jews in the first half of the twentieth century.

"Jumaa, a high school teacher of Arabic, is now jobless and forced to live under horrific conditions in which running da...
06/03/2021
The Maps of Our Destruction: Two Novels on Syria — The Markaz Review

"Jumaa, a high school teacher of Arabic, is now jobless and forced to live under horrific conditions in which running daily errands has become a life-threatening task. Readers meet Jumaa on the morning he has woken up to discover that his head, which had always been round, has turned egg-shaped “with two tiny bumps bulging out in arousal,” making him “appear as some kind of sexual deviant.”

Read our reviews of 'Roundabout of Death' by Faysal Khartash and
'The Map of Salt and Stars' by Zeyn Joukhadar.

Rana Asfour reviews Faysal Khartash’s Roundabout of Death and Zeyn Joukhadar’s The Map of Salt and Stars.

This is a fascinating novel, a kind of fictional memoir of life in Egypt, which was the subject of our TMR bookgroup in ...
06/03/2021
A Land Like You

This is a fascinating novel, a kind of fictional memoir of life in Egypt, which was the subject of our TMR bookgroup in May (and reviewed by Ella Shohat in TMR):

In his latest novel, A Land Like You (short-listed for the Prix Goncourt in 2015), Tobie Nathan has written a beautiful and immersive novel, plunging readers headlong into Egypt's

We never stop thinking about human rights and writers, with free speech endangered in too many countries, especially #Sy...
06/03/2021
Review: Readings in Syrian Prison Literature

We never stop thinking about human rights and writers, with free speech endangered in too many countries, especially #Syria :

In 'Readings in Syrian Prison Literature: The Poetics of Human Rights', Iranian-American academic Shareah Taleghani asks the international community to rethink human rights through the writings of Syrian prisoners

The biggest repressive structure in the history of mankind cuts through Western Sahara, a daunting 2,700-kilometer milit...
06/02/2021
The Wall We Can’t Tell You About — The Markaz Review

The biggest repressive structure in the history of mankind cuts through Western Sahara, a daunting 2,700-kilometer military berm strewn with over three million land mines, and subject of 'Building Oblivion,' a documentary by Jean Lamour which was heralded at the third Naples Human Rights Film Festival.

There are some walls we can’t discuss freely and openly without inviting censure. This is one of them.

Rana Asfour of BookFabulous reviews Faysal Khartash’s "Roundabout of Death" and Zeyn Joukhadar’s "The Map of Salt and St...
05/31/2021
The Maps of Our Destruction: Two Novels on Syria — The Markaz Review

Rana Asfour of BookFabulous reviews Faysal Khartash’s "Roundabout of Death" and Zeyn Joukhadar’s "The Map of Salt and Stars" both novels of which take place in Syria:

Rana Asfour reviews Faysal Khartash’s Roundabout of Death and Zeyn Joukhadar’s The Map of Salt and Stars.

Sex, love and lust! Malu Halasa reviews a new anthology of Arab women writers, including “the leading lights of modern A...
05/31/2021
Arab Women and The Thousand and One Nights — The Markaz Review

Sex, love and lust! Malu Halasa reviews a new anthology of Arab women writers, including “the leading lights of modern Arab fiction: Hanan al-Shaykh, Adhaf Soueif, Leila Slimani and Adania Shibli.”

Malu Halasa reviews a new anthology of Arab women writers on sex, love and lust, including “the leading lights of modern Arab fiction: Hanan al-Shaykh, Adhaf Soueif, Leila Slimani and Adania Shibli.”

Between 2015 and 2017, Education Is Not A Crime, a mural-painting campaign dedicated to fighting back against Iran's opp...
05/25/2021
The Murals of “Education is Not a Crime” — The Markaz Review

Between 2015 and 2017, Education Is Not A Crime, a mural-painting campaign dedicated to fighting back against Iran's oppressive educational policies towards its Baha'i minority, produced more than 40 murals in New York, Detroit, Atlanta, Los Angeles, London, Sao Paulo, Cape Town, Delhi and Sydney, celebrating education and drawing attention to the denial of this right to the Baha'is.

Saleem Vaillancourt describes the worldwide mural campaign spearheaded by Maziar Bahari on behalf the Baha’i community to speak out about Iran’s persecution of its largest religious minority.

Pour les francophones, vous pouvez dès maintenant nous rejoindre pour créer un monde meilleur ! Merci de rejoindre l'ass...
05/24/2021
Adhésion Annuelle à la Markaz & The Markaz Review

Pour les francophones, vous pouvez dès maintenant nous rejoindre pour créer un monde meilleur ! Merci de rejoindre l'association Markaz, éditrice de The Markaz Review. Nous existons pour "briser les murs de l'ignorance entre l'Est et l'Ouest", pour contourner les frontières et les barrières et les échanger contre des mots et des idées qui nous interpellent, alors que nous adoptons une approche plus intelligente ... Créons des relations constructives, ensemble.

Conformément au Règlement Général sur la Protection des Données (RGPD) entré en application le 25 mai 2018, les données à caractère personnel recueillies dans le cadre du présent formulaire peuvent faire l’objet d’un traitement informatisé par notre société. Le responsable du traite...

Algeria and France haven't cleared their demons; they have an upcoming truth commission to talk about Algeria's war for ...
05/24/2021
“I was a French Muslim: Memories of an Algerian Freedom Fighter” — The Markaz Review

Algeria and France haven't cleared their demons; they have an upcoming truth commission to talk about Algeria's war for independence and France's 125-year colonization. Mischa Geracoulis reviews the forthcoming memoir from Algerian freedom fighter Mokhtar Mokhtefi. @TheMarkazReview

Mischa Geracoulis reviews the forthcoming memoir from Algerian freedom fighter Mokhtar Mokhtefi.

Many war diaries exist for Beirut. And there will certainly be more for Gaza. Arie Amaya-Akkermans writes about "Agenda ...
05/24/2021
War Diary: The End of Innocence — The Markaz Review

Many war diaries exist for Beirut. And there will certainly be more for Gaza. Arie Amaya-Akkermans writes about "Agenda 1979" and Beirut in this luxurious essay, just published. @TheMarkazReview

Arie Amaya-Akkermans investigates Agenda 1979 : Imagine sitting at home in the presence of a handbook for destroying, bombing, maiming and injuring. The poet Etel Adnan features prominently.

Check out our new World Picks, many of which you can enjoy online from anywhere!
05/21/2021
World Picks: May - June 2021 — The Markaz Review

Check out our new World Picks, many of which you can enjoy online from anywhere!

Travel the world, meet people, see great places, without ever leaving the comfort of your screen…welcome to the pandemic!

This month’s centerpiece features the art and words of Tom Young Art and critic Ziad Suidan, as they describe the reviva...
05/21/2021
The Labyrinth of Memory — The Markaz Review

This month’s centerpiece features the art and words of Tom Young Art and critic Ziad Suidan, as they describe the revival project of Saida, Lebanon’s Hammam Al Jadid, “a place where the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities would gather to cleanse and attend one another’s ritual wedding ceremonies before it closed in 1949.”

Critic Ziad Suidan meditates on the meaning of the labyrinth and the walls that can separate us but also remind us of our shared history inside the hammam.

Check out our new World Picks, by author Lawrence Joffe: (and art by Doris Bittar):
05/20/2021
World Picks: May - June 2021 — The Markaz Review

Check out our new World Picks, by author Lawrence Joffe: (and art by Doris Bittar):

Travel the world, meet people, see great places, without ever leaving the comfort of your screen…welcome to the pandemic!

In the ninth issue of The Markaz Review, entitled WALLS, we asked artists, writers and photographers to consider the mat...
05/20/2021
Why WALLS? — The Markaz Review

In the ninth issue of The Markaz Review, entitled WALLS, we asked artists, writers and photographers to consider the matter of walls and borders, internal and external, literal and figurative... Stay tuned 🧱🧱🔜

“I would like to break the walls of ignorance between East and West.” Walls and barriers are what we erect when we have no words.

Novelist Selma Dabbagh reviews the story of Egypt’s pioneering women performers and feminists, including Oum Khoulthum a...
05/16/2021
Midnight in Cairo: The Divas of Egypt’s Roaring 20s — The Markaz Review

Novelist Selma Dabbagh reviews the story of Egypt’s pioneering women performers and feminists, including Oum Khoulthum and Munira al-Maydiyya. Find more reviews and essays in TMR!

Selma Dabbagh reviews the story of Egypt’s pioneering women performers and feminists, including Oum Khoulthum and Munira al-Maydiyya.

Have you heard it?
04/28/2021

Have you heard it?

What a fantastic album this is and one I'd like to have the cd of! My dear friend Mustafa Said composed the music and not only that he is the main oud player and singer in the whole piece. This music moves me greatly.. It has a certain theatrical aspect that I like a lot and I think should always be present in a good performance, up to a certain degree ofcourse, and obviously some styles can have more theatricality then others...
https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kAqqkXvLh06guf8zH4AClIeguzC8qMjHg

Travel beyond your horizon to Marseille in the pages of The Markaz Review, and hear directly from the writers and artist...
04/26/2021
Events — The Markaz Review

Travel beyond your horizon to Marseille in the pages of The Markaz Review, and hear directly from the writers and artists this Thursday during our Zoominar: https://themarkaz.org/events

Marseille table ronde/roundtable.Residents and contributors to the April MARSEILLE issue of The Markaz Review will hold a bilingual (French/English) roundtable discussion about the city and their work, on Thursday evening, 29 April, at 20:00 Central European Time (CET). All are welcome. RSVPLes rés...

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#Electronic_Rosary The best electronic speaking rosary app with the counter for more than a million tasbeehs, 15 tasbeeh cards with an area of 11 MB only! Now available for free on the store:
NAVEL is looking for more Palestinian-Americans to open their homes for a dinner series that will follow the screening of the movie Soufra at our space in downtown Los Angeles. Learn more here: https://navel.la/events/soufra/ If you are interested to host a dinner in your home (in the USA), get in touch with [email protected] before September 25.
This is the book I'm reading now, which is largely about our relationship with the Middle East (Turkey especially). Don't let negative critiques fool you; the writer is looking deep and writes honestly. Americans, we have too much myopia; living abroad helps you to see. Just ask James Baldwin, about whom Suzy Hansen also writes in this compelling book:
If you needed proof that US government corruption and corporate collusion at the highest levels is causing wanton death and destruction in Yemen, for the all-mighty American profit motive...Can you spell RAYTHEON?
WRAPPED IN THE FLAG OF ISRAEL 2ND PAPERBACK EDITION IS FINALLY OUT AND AVAILABLE FOR $15!!! Dear colleagues and friends, Wrapped in the Flag of Israel 2nd paperback edition, with a new, long afterword about the relationship between Israel’s 2014 war on Gaza and Mizrahi feminism is finally out, available online and on the shelves!!! The first, hardcover edition of Wrapped in the Flag was published in April 2014, sold out three prints, and has been out of print since August 1, 2015. The first edition has been reviewed in many leading periodicals in the book’s respective fields -- Anthropology, Women’s Studies, Cultural Studies and Middle Eastern Studies. All of the scholarly reviews but one have been published after the book went out of print. I’m therefore thrilled that the book has found an exquisite home in the trailblazing new series, Expanding Frontiers: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studies of Women, Gender and S*xuality published by the University of Nebraska Press. Reviews from leading periodicals in the book’s respective fields can be found at my Academia.Edu homepage: https://berkeley.academia.edu/SmadarLavie. **HOW TO ORDER WRAPPED IN THE FLAG OF ISRAEL 2ND EDITION FOR $15 PLUS SHIPPING Here is a coupon for 50% off the cover price if you order the book directly from the University of Nebraska Press. The coupon is valid until November 1st, 2018, and the discount is granted to individual orders. **HOW TO RECEIVE YOUR FREE CLASSROOM EXAM COPY In order to receive your free classroom exam copy please Download our Exam Copy Request Form . If you adopt the book for your course, the examination copy will become your desk copy. Send your filled out form to [email protected] if you’re in N. America, to [email protected] if you are in Europe, or to [email protected] if you are in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. **IF YOU ORDERED YOUR PAPERBACK OF WRAPPED IN 2016 AND HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR REFUND The paperback edition was originally to be issued by PM Press (PMP) and available in August 2016. Between January-July 2016 I posted a 50% discount coupon for pre-ordering the book from PMP for $10 plus shipping. Some of you pre-ordered the book in the hope of receiving it in August 2016, when it was due to appear in print and electronic formats. Because of the irreconcilable differences around sensationalization of my careful prose and the deployment of inflammatory graphics, I had to pull plague on PMP, who agreed to issue refunds to each of you who pre-ordered copies. In case you have not received the refund, please let me know. I will compile a list and request PMP to issue each of you you a refund. I deeply apologize for the inconvenience. I have learned my lesson from the PMP debacle, and this time around, I have not circulated any 50% pre-order forms for Wrapped’s 2nd edition with the University of Nebraska Press before the book is out on the shelves and available in e-format. I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to y’all for keeping up to date with the book’s difficult journey, and for your support and solidarity. – Smadar Lavie