Interviews

Reckoning with Darkness: Looking Back on Algeria’s Dark Decade

By 
Bobby Gulshan
The Algerian Civil War began in 1991 and ended in 2002. Known as the Dark Decade, the period began with a coup to nullify the imminent takeover of government by Islamists and was followed by 10 years of brutality, violence, and fear. With the emergence of Da’esh (or the Islamic State), we now witness contemporary scenes that feel all too familiar for those who remember the earlier terrors. As too often happens, the geopolitical lens obscures the human element, abstracting suffering into discussions about strategy and policy. Salem Brahimi’s film, “Let Them Come,”1 takes us back to the Dark Decade, with a vocabulary and tone  so reminiscent of our present moment, providing us with a poignant and at times chilling window into the lives of ordinary Algerians.
 

Q&A with Director and Writer Reine Mitri on Her Banned Film “In this Land Lay Graves of Mine”

By 
Angele Ellis

Angele Ellis, who reviews Reine Mitri’s “In this Land Lay Graves of Mine” in the forthcoming issue of Al Jadid, conducted a Q&A through e-mail with the film’s director. Ms. Mitri responded to questions about her changing attachment to and perceptions of Lebanon after making this personal documentary, the advantages (or disadvantages) of being a female filmmaker, and her artistic influences and inspirations. When asked about the effects of the ban the Lebanese government has imposed on this film, Ms. Mitri replied that censorship would not affect its reception, distribution, or inclusion in international film festivals. Perhaps her answer speaks volumes on how the world views Lebanon’s standards of censorship.

Etab Hreib on Conflict, Commercialism , and Sexism in Syria’s Current Art Movement

By 
Rebecca Joubin

In the this interview with the critically acclaimed Syrian watercolorist, Etab Hreib, she discusses the interrelated nature of the arts in the context of her own love for the theater and set design, and details various influences on her work.

Critically acclaimed Syrian watercolorist, Etab Hreib, a native of Der-Ez-Zor, graduated from the Graphic Arts Department of the University of Damascus. Since then, she has exhibited her work in various parts of the world. She was the recipient of the Al-Mahros Golden Award in Tunisia, a Golden Award from the Chinese Ministry of Culture, and an award from the Ministry of Culture in Algeria.

Words Behind Bars

By 
MOHAMMAD ALI ATASSI

It is hard to keep calm in the face of the events that Faraj Bairqadar describes in this interview. Born in 1951 in the city of Homs, he is only the second Syrian political prisoner to speak publicly about his experience, though it is an experience shared by numerous other prisoners.

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