Iskandar Abdalla

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Born in Alexandria, Egypt. Studied history, film and Middle Eastern Studies. Currently a doctoral fellow at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies. In his current research he focuses on the affective underpinnings of debating Islam and migration in Germany. His research interests encompass furthermore queerness, film and cultural history in the Arab world. >> mehr

Mounia Akl

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Mounia Akl is a Lebanese Director and Writer living between Beirut and New York. She is currently in post production on her feature film COSTA BRAVA LEBANON, co-written with Clara Roquet and produced by Abbout Productions. With this project, she was selected to participate in the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs, the Cannes Cinefondation Residency, the Tribeca Film Institute and the Torino Film Lab. Her short film, Submarine, was in the Official Selection of the 69th Cannes Film Festival (Cinéfondation), had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and its MENA Premiere at the Dubai International Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize. After Submarine, Mounia was chosen by the Directors' Fortnight to represent Lebanon at the 70th Cannes Film festival as part of Lebanon factory. She co-wrote and co-directed with Costa Rican director Neto Villalobos and their film "El Gran Libano" opened the Directors' Fortnight on May 18, 2017 then went on to screen at the BFI and the Sarajevo Film Festival. >> mehr

Dr. Amro Ali

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Amro Ali is a writer and sociologist at the American University in Cairo, a member of the Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities, visiting fellow at Forum Transregionale Studien and the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies at Freie Universität Berlin. Ali received his PhD in political sociology and political philosophy from the University of Sydney. His work can be found at www.amroali.com >> mehr

Udi Aloni

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Udi Aloni (b. 1959 in Israel) is a filmmaker, writer, and artist whose work focuses on the interrelations between art, politics and theology in Israeli-Palestinian history and German-Jewish philosophy. He began his career as a painter, establishing the radical Bugrashov gallery in Tel Aviv. His movies and visual art projects have been presented in various leading museums, galleries, and film festivals around the world, among them the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and the Berlin, Toronto, Tokyo, Locarno, Tribeca, and Buenos Aires film festivals. In all his activities, including university lectures, conferences and demonstrations, Aloni is a strong voice in promoting justice, peace, and solidarity between cultures. >> mehr

Hila Amit

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(curator) is a writer whose fiction appeared in Lilith, Jalta, Emrys Journal & The Washington Square Review. Her story, 'The Kinneret', was selected for the Sue Lile Inman Fiction Prize. She received fellowships from The Vermont Studio Center and the McDowell Colony. Her short stories collection, Moving On From Bliss (Tel-Aviv: Am Oved, 2016), was awarded the Israeli Ministry of Culture Prize for Debut Authors. Her non fiction book, A Queer Way Out (Albany: SUNY, 2018) was awarded the AMEWS (Association of Middle East Women's Studies) Book Award. >> mehr

Sami Awad

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Sami Awad is the Founder and Programs Director of Holy Land Trust. His parents are both Palestinians; his father became a refugee at age nine after his father was killed in the 1948. Sami’s mother is from the Gaza Strip. At a young age Sami was influenced by the teaching of his uncle Mubarak Awad, the Palestinian activist who promoted nonviolent resistance to the occupation during the first Intifadah. Through this, Sami was introduced to great leaders and visionaries of the global nonviolence movement; from Jesus to Gandhi to King.   Sami holds a Doctoral Degree in Divinity from the Chicago Theological Seminary, a Masters Degree in International Relations from the American University in Washington D.C. and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Kansas. Sami has engaged himself locally, through promoting and engaging in nonviolence, healing and transformation work and globally through visiting and speaking in different countries, communities, political and religious organizations. >> mehr

Ahmad Awadalla

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Ahmad Awadalla is a writer, sex educator, psychosocial worker, and a recovering workaholic based in Berlin. He works at the Berliner Aids-Hilfe, among other things in counseling and prevention work for migrants.
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Monia Ayachi

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Monia Ayachi is a multilingual Belgian-Tunisian actress, director, VO artist, producer, singer and writer. On screen, she can be seen on General Hospital, Days of our lives and many independent films. She works consistently in the voice-over world as a voice director and producer, and as a VO actor. She directed the English Dub of Unit 42 on Netflix, and worked on other very exciting projects that will be out soon. She produced and was a host for E!News International for NBC for years. Monia is part of the programming committee of Women Creating Change. >> mehr

Eyad Barghuthy

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Eyad Barghuthy was born in Nazareth in 1980 and lives in Acre. He is a writer, translator, and editor. He is the deputy editor of the Maktoob series of translations from Arabic literature into Hebrew. A collection of his short stories titled Bayn Albuyut was published in 2011 by Dar Malamih, Cairo. His first novel, Bardakana, was published in 2014 by Dar Al Adab, Beirut, and in 2021 it was published in Hebrew, titled An Acre-esque Tale. Barghuthy has written, translated, and edited children’s books. >> mehr

Orit Bashkin

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Orit Bashkin is a historian who works on the intellectual, social and cultural history of the modern Middle East. She got my Ph.D. from Princeton University (2004), writing a thesis on Iraqi intellectual history under the supervision of Professors Robert Tignor and Samah Selim, and my BA (1995) and MA (1999) from Tel Aviv University. She is professor of modern Middle Eastern history in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Her publications, including 40 articles and book chapters, deal with Iraqi history, the history of Iraqi Jews, the Arab cultural revival movement (the nahda) in the late 19th century, and the connections between modern Arab history and Arabic literature. She is the author of the following books: Impossible Exodus: Iraqi Jews in Israel, Stanford University Press, 2017; New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq, Stanford University Press, 2012; The Other Iraq – Pluralism and Culture in Hashemite Iraq, Stanford University Press, 2009. >> mehr

Dr. Rawya Jarjoura Burbara

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Dr. Rawya Jarjoura Burbara was born in Nazareth (1969). Dr. Burbara serves as Chief Inspector Director of Arabic (for native speakers of Arabic) at the Ministry of Education, and a lecturer at the Language Department, Oranim College. She is also a writer, and her 10th book was published in 2021 (collection of short stories titled "I do not want to get use to you"). Her Arabic novel, titled "On the shores of wandering" was translated to Hebrew and published by Pardes (2020). Dr. Burbara is an editorial member at Maktoob series and member of The Translators Forum at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. She is also a member of the Mahmoud Darwish Association. >> mehr

Asaf Dvori

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Asaf Dvori is a poet and editor. writing was featured in the German anthology “Was es bedeuten soll – Neue hebräische Dichtung in Deutschland”. He is the Author of  “Blueprints for a family” (Israel, December 2019).

Was es bedeuten soll. Neue hebräische Dichtung in Deutschland, 2019, Parasitenpresse, Köln.

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Nael Eltoukhy

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Nael Eltoukhy is an Egyptian novelist, essayist, journalist and translator of Hebrew literature into Arabic, who is based in Cairo. He has published two novellas and three novels in Arabic. His most recent novel, Out of the Gutter, was published in Arabic in 2018. >> mehr

Graham Hains

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(photographer) is an Australian artist who specializes in photographic portraits. For stadtsprachen magazin he creates portraits of Berlins international authors since 2016 and will also take the pictures of the guests and events of our festival. >> mehr

Dr. Iris Hefets

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Dipl.-Psych. Iris Hefets, 56, born in Israel. She edited the "Kedma" portal, a stage for Misrachi discourse in Hebrew. In 2002 she left Israel for political reasons and has since lived in Berlin, where she works as a psychoanalyst in Neukölln. She is currently on the board of the Jewish Voice for Just Peace in the Middle East (EJJP). >> mehr

Martin Jankowski

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(project director) born in Greifswald in 1965, is a Berlin writer who belonged to the oppositional Leipzig scene in the 80s as a singer and songwriter and was subjected to "decomposition measures" by the Stasi. Although his lyrics were banned, his songs and poems became popular during the time of the Monday demonstrations. After 1989, he published numerous songs, four volumes of poetry, short stories, essay collections, literary criticism, art-related nonfiction, and a novel. >> mehr

Liad Hussein Kantorowicz

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Liad Hussein Kantorowicz is a performance artist, musician, activist, perpetual migrant, and master of the margins. Her performances de-exotify and de-mystify the positions of so-called sexual or political deviants. In them, the body as a tool of resistance, a platform to display vulnerabilies, and means of transgressing the boundaries of the public space. Her pre-corona performances has been presented at the Impulstanz Festival, the 10th Berlin Biennale, Schwules Museum Berlin, Athens Museum of Queer Arts AMOQA, Kampnagel Hamburg, Transmediale festival Berlin, Ljubljana's City of Women, Berliner Festspiele, Arcola Theatre London, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, Kabareet in Haifa/Palestine and more, and in streets, alleyways, social centers and queer bars in Europe and Palestine-Israel. Her first short film NO DEMOCRACY HERE premiered at CPH:DOX and has been shown in over 30 festivals worldwide. Her performance-film MYTHICAL CREATURES will be featured at at the ICI London as a part of the Decriminalised Futures exhibition in 2022. Her single QUEER HEAVEN is out in August 19th and is released of her upcoming debut album NOTHING TO DECLARE. Liad is a spokesperson for sex workers' rights and a founder of a Berlin's peer project for migrant sex workers at Hydra e.V.

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Rina Kedem

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Rina is an environmental peace entrepreneur. She works and teaches in the fields of international development, conflict and environment. She has co-developed and directed organizations and projects with Palestinians, Jordanians and Israelis for the past 19 years. Rina co-directs the Jordan-Israel center for environmental cooperation  at the Arava Institute for environmental studies and the Dead Sea and Arava Science Center, teaches at the Hebrew University and directs regional relations on behalf of the Eilot regional Council. Her work is guided by a wholesome perspective on relationships to self, each other and the environment. >> mehr

Maryam Abu Khaled

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Maryam Abu Khaled started acting when she was 15. She completed a training programme at the Freedom Theatre in the Palestinian refugee camp of Jenin. She has performed around Palestine, Europe, and the US. One of her recent projects is the documentary Art/Violence, inspired by the actor Juliano Mer-Khamis who was killed in 2011. She performed in The Situation, which was invited to the Theatertreffen 2016. The Piece was elected as play of the year (Stück des Jahres) 2016. Additionally she performs in Skelett eines Elefanten in der Wüste, Die Hamletmaschine and Elizaveta Bam. She worked with Ayham Majid Agha, Sebastian Nübling, Christian Weise and Suna Gürler. >> mehr

Georges Khalil

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Georges Khalil is the Academic Coordinator of the Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien and of its research programme Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe (EUME), that seeks to rethink key concepts and premises that link and divide Europe and the Middle East.  He co-edited Di/Visions. Kultur und Politik des Nahen Ostens (2009), Islamic Art and the Museum. Approaches to Art and Archeology of the Muslim World in the Twenty-First Century (2012) and Commitment and Beyond: Reflections on/of the Political in Arabic Literature since the 1940s (2015). >> mehr

Na’ama Landau

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Na’ama Landau is a photographer and a filmmaker living and creating in Berlin. She is a strong believer in the power of stories to connect people and reveal new realities and her work often engages in themes involving language, identity, gender,  sexuality, politics, exile and the city. Her film “Hyacinthus Lullaby” competed in film festivals around the world, including Reeling in Chicago and the Rose Filmdagen in Amsterdam. She has worked since as a director and cinematographer on a number of exploratory video art projects, music videos, and concept films. In 2019 she had a solo photo exhibition in ‘Gvul’ gallery  (Israel) titled “Interdependece/הדדית-תלות ,“which explored the intersection between architecture and the human body. >> mehr

Assaf Levitin

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The Israeli-born bass-baritone Assaf Levitin is active as a concert and opera singer as well as a composer, arranger, choir director, teacher and cantor. After graduating with a diploma from HMT Saarbrücken, engagements took him to Zurich, Basel and Bonn, to the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, to Mannheim and Dortmund (ensemble member 2002 - 2005) with opera roles such as Mozart's Figaro, Colline, Gremin and Masetto. In 2016, he completed the cantorial seminar at the Abraham Geiger College at the University of Potsdam. >> mehr

Amina Maher

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Amina Maher (b. Tehran, 1992) is an Iranian queer filmmaker whose works deal with themes of social taboos and gender-identity in relation to violence and power structure. She began her cinematic activity as the main protagonist in Abbas Kiarostami's "Ten” which featured the real-life relationship between Amina and her mother. Her first short film was Sweet Gin and Cold Wine, followed by Orange. Her multi-awarded short film, Letter to my mother, was part of the competition at numerous international film festivals such as 38th Frauen Film Festival, Feminale, 36th Kasseler Dokfest, 35th Lovers Film Festival, 34th Mix Milano Film Festival and 26th Cheries Cheris, LGBTQIA+ Film Festival, Paris. Among numerous reviews, the film was described as a means for survival, a way to stand up and to understand – a fearless and strong examination that touches upon the centre of the pain and dares to look precisely. Amina currently studies her MA in directing at Babelsberg University Konrad Wolf. >> mehr

Mazen Mohsen

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There he studied music and singing and worked afterwards as a music teacher, he is in Germany since 2015, plays guitar and lute (oud), sings Arabic songs, many of them are known not only in Arabic, but also in the large Middle Eastern region. Mohsen traveled all over Germany for performances and concerts (i.e. to Stuttgart, Marbach, Freiburg, Munich, Berlin, Magdeburg among many other cities). >> mehr

Abdulkadir Musa

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Abdulkadir Musa is a poet , translator and and migration expert. He studied French Language and Literature at the University of Aleppo, and Social Work at ASH Berlin. 2020 he was co-lead in the project Û∞ - Berlîn. A Creative Anarchist Urban Refugee Chronicle. The literary-artistic project was supported by the Bezirkskulturfonds Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain, the Bezirkskulturfonds Neukölln, Dezentrale Kulturarbeit Reinickendorf and the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. In 2019, his poetry collection خارج الحدیقة داخل السور Außerhalb des Garden inside the fence" (Aldarawesh, Plovdiv - Bulgaria) published in Arabic. 2018 he was a fellow of the program for authors of non-German literature of the Senate Administration for Culture and Europe in Berlin. In 2017, his Kurdish-English poetry Anthology "Kurdish Voices from Rojava" (Inner Child Press, Ltd. USA), in collaboration with Katarzyna Sala, was published. >> mehr

Rasha Nahas

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Palestinian singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Rasha Nahas was born and raised in Haifa, and currently lives and works in Berlin. A classical guitarist since the age of 10, Rasha has long been crafting a sound that moves seamlessly between the resonances of early rock ‘n’ roll and the reckless echoes of free jazz, complemented by her distinctive approach to songwriting and performance.
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Azadeh Nikzadeh

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Azadeh Nikzadeh is an Iranian writer, director and producer. She works on rarely-heard political, human rights and women empowerment stories with the expertise on building dramatic narratives based on true events and characters and blurring the lines between fiction and documentary. She is the sole Iranian recipient of 2010 Asian Film Academy Fellowship and Her political drama feature script “Dandelion The Messenger of My Grandma Batul” is a 2021 Sundance Writing Lab Finalist.  Azadeh wrote and directed highly-acclaimed short films including “Vida”, “X” and “The Girl Sitting Here” with the focus on concepts and characters that are misunderstood and judged by the society such as prostitution and the archetype of divine feminine. >> mehr

Alaa Obeid

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(curator) was born in East Jerusalem in 1990, finished B.Sc. Environmental Sciences in Jerusalem and M.Sc. Integrated Water Resources Management in TH Koeln. She's an activist who's passionate about environmental justice and human rights. She has experience in conflict resolution and environmental peace-building in the MENA region. She's part of an improvised international theater group that focuses on climate movement, sustainability, and social transformation processes. She's currently doing a lectureship at TH Koeln to research local knowledge and climate change adaptation.   >> mehr

Dekel Peretz

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Dekel Peretz was born in Israel and has lived in Berlin for almost twenty years. He is chairman of the association Jüdisches Zentrum Synagoge Fraenkelufer. This promotes the reconstruction of the destroyed main hall of the Fraenkelufer Synagogue as a community and cultural center. He is also the founder of Eruv Hub, Germany's first coworking space for Jewish nonprofit organizations and initiatives, and LABA Berlin, an artist fellowship program that combines the study of Jewish texts with artistic production. >> mehr

Eden Cami and the KAYAN Project

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Out of Berlin’s bustling music scene come the authentic-unique sounds of KAYAN, a group dedicated to folk music from the Levant, combining jazz elements and singing in languages that rarely come together in a positive context: Arabic, Hebrew and the occasional English. Drawing from sources all over the Middle East, the quartet around lead singer Eden Cami transcends borders and language barriers. Adding improvisation and own compositions, Kayan creates a fascinating and emotional vibe on stage, reuniting two sister languages and musical traditions of both Arab and Jewish roots. >> mehr

Mariam Rasheed

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Mariam is a spoken word poet from Alexandria, Egypt. She moved to Berlin by the age of 18 in 2015. Having been a heavy consumer of poetry since as long as she can remember, but never producing any herself, Berlin gave her a gift Alexandria couldn’t offer her: a reason to believe she too could be a writer. Growing up, as an Arab girl, she was always told what she couldn’t be, but rarely what she could. The words bottled up inside her found their way out in brush strokes. Abstract painting was her life and what she thought would always remain her go-to form of expression. What’s the threat of speaking without words? A pool of colours, harmonious and beautiful in its composition could be seen as whatever its viewer demands it to be. How many will view it as a revolution? Mariam still juggles paintbrushes and allows dry paint to crack on her skin, but poetry now is her loudest scream. >> mehr

Udi Raz

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Udi Raz (team) is a doctoral fellow at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies. There she investigates the contemporary self-image of Christian Germany at the intersection of the categories 'Muslims' and 'Jews'. She grew up in Haifa, between Tel-Aviv and Beirut. Her work is shaped by local and global, anti- and decolonial, as well as queer socio-political movements. She has lived in Berlin since 2010, where she first studied culture and history of the Middle East and then Islamic Studies at the Free University Berlin. >> mehr

Steve Sabella

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Berlin based artist since 2010, Steve Sabella, born in Jerusalem, Palestine, is an award-winning artist and writer. Sabella uses photography and photographic installations as his primary modes of expression. He earned a master’s degree in Photographic Studies from the University of Westminster and a master’s in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. Sabella received the Ellen Auerbach Award from the Akademie der Künste Berlin in 2008, leading to a published study covering twenty years of his art. His award-winning memoir, The Parachute Paradox, published by Kerber Verlag in 2016, received international recognition winning two awards for best memoir. >> mehr

Mati Shemoelof

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(curator) is a Arab-Jew poet, author and a journalist living in Berlin. His various writings include seven poetry books, plays, articles, and a collection of short stories. He was one of the founders of the group “Poetic Hafla”, that has created literary, music & art performance events featuring a diverse collection of artists from all over the world. He is one of the founders of “Anu אנו نحن: Jews and Arabs writing in Berlin”. The aim of this literary group is to promote a cultural dialogue between writers and artists from the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa. His first publication in Germany was a bilingual edition of his poems Baghdad | Haifa | Berlin on AphorismA Verlag, 2019. >> mehr

Yehouda Shenhav-Sharabani

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Yehouda Shenhav-Sharabani ist emeritierter Professor für Soziologie an der Universität Tel Aviv und Senior Research Fellow am Vanleer Jerusalem Institute sowie Mitglied des wissenschaftlichen Komitees am Center of Advanced Studies in Nantes. Er ist der Chefredakteur von MAKTOOB, einer binationalen Übersetzung arabischer Literatur ins Hebräische. >> mehr

Ella Habiba Shohat

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Ella Habiba Shohat is Professor of Cultural Studies & Middle Eastern studies at New York University. She has been writing on Middle Eastern/Arab-Jews since the 1980s. Her books include the just published, Colonialité et Ruptures: Écrits sur les Figures Juives Arabes (Joëlle Marelli & Tal Dor, Eds., Translation, J. Marelli, Lux Éditeur, 2021); On the Arab-Jew, Palestine, and Other DisplacementsSelected Writings (Pluto, 2017, Recipient of the 2017 Middle East Monitor Palestine Book Award); Taboo Memories, Diasporic Voices (Duke Univ. Press, 2006); Israeli Cinema: East/West and the Politics of Representation (Univ. of Texas press, 1989; 20th Anniversary Edition with a New Postscript Chapter, I.B. Tauris, 2010); Talking Visions (MIT & The New Museum of Contemporary Art, 1998); Dangerous Liaisons: Gender, Nation and Postcolonial Perspectives (co-edited, The Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1997); Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora (co-edited, The Univ. of Michigan Press, 2013; Honorable Mention in the 2014 Arab-American Book Award); And with Robert Stam: Unthinking Eurocentrism (Routledge, 1994, Katherine Kovacs Singer 1994 Best Book Award; 20th Anniversary 2nd Edition with a new Postscript Chapter, 2014); Flagging Patriotism: Crises of Narcissism and Anti-Americanism (Routledge, 2007); Race in Translation: Culture Wars Around the Postcolonial Atlantic (New York Univ. Press, 2012, translated into German as Race in Translation: Kulturkämpfe rings um den postkolonialen Atlantik, Unrast Verlag); and Multiculturalism, Postcoloniality and Transnational Media (Rutgers Univ. Press, 2003). Shohat has also served on the editorial board of several journals, including Social Text, coediting special issues (“911-A Public Emergency?” 2002; “Palestine in a Transnational Context,” 2003; and “Edward Said: A Memorial Issue,” 2006). She is a recipient of a number of fellowships: the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin; the Rockefeller Foundation; The Society for the Humanities, Cornell Univ., where she also taught at The School of Criticism and Theory; The NYU Humanities Initiative fellowship (with Sinan Antoon) for “Narrating Iraq: Between Nation and Diaspora;” and Fulbright research/lectureship on the “Cultural Intersections between the Middle East and Latin America,” The Univ. of São Paulo, Brazil. Her writings have been translated into various languages, including, Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Japanese, and German. >> mehr

Sistanagila

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The Israeli and Iranian musicians living in Berlin are seeking dialogue with their project. They make use of folkloric and religious melodies from klezmer and Sephardic and traditional Persian music as well as modern and classical compositions. The different melodies and motifs, rearranged with influences ranging from flamenco and jazz to progressive metal, merge into a music that creates something new and builds a bridge between two worlds. Line-up: Yuval Halpern - composer/vocals Jawad Salkhordeh - Persian percussion Hemad Darabi - Guitar Avi Albers Ben Chamo - double bass Omri Abramov - saxophone >> mehr

Prof. Deborah Starr

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Deborah Starr is a professor of Near Eastern Studies and director of the Jewish Studies Program at Cornell University. She writes and teaches about issues of identity and inter-communal exchange in Middle Eastern literature and film, with a focus on the Jews of Egypt. She is the author of Remembering Cosmopolitan Egypt: Literature, Culture, and Empire (Routledge 2009), and co-editor with Sasson Somekh of Mongrels or Marvels: The Levantine Writings of Jacqueline Shohet Kahanoff. Her new book Togo Mizrahi and The Making of Egyptian Cinema (University of California Press, 2020) recuperates the work of a Jewish a pioneer of Egyptian cinema. >> mehr