Video  Arab

Internationally acclaimed writer and director Sulayman Al Bassam in conversation with his collaborator Georgina Van Welie on making theatre across the cultural divide. Political by definition, performed in both English and Arabic with actors and a creative team from across the Arab world and the West, their projects have revisited Western texts from an Arab perspective and challenged Western perceptions of the Arab world. They will discuss their ten year Arab Shakespeare project, a recent production for The Comedie Francaise in Paris and Sulayman’s new play The Petrol Station. The new play follows the lives of a pair of half-brothers as they vie for the loyalty and favors of their aging father, all against the backdrop of a vicious civil war of a neighboring country.

Raja Shehadeh’s lecture on the 10th anniversary of Edward Said’s death will reflect on the cages of categorization that imprison Palestinians in contemporary Palestine perhaps more than even the physical matrix of borders, checkpoints, and the Wall. Shehadeh will explore how Palestinians themselves deploy these categories in a language of despair in our post-Oslo landscape, as well as a search for a new language, remembering as Edward Said noted in one of his most moving and lyrical texts, After the Last Sky, that “We are more than someone else’s object.”

This Writing Lives event featured Hisham Matar, author of the Man Booker shortlisted novel In the Country of Men, and more recently, Anatomy of a Disappearance.   In addition to reading from his work, Hisham Matar spoke with Bashir-Abu Manneh of Barnard College on the topic of "Literature, Exile, and the 'Arab Spring."

Preeminent author Ahdaf Soueif, who spent much of the Egyptian revolution in Tahrir Square, delivered the annual Edward Said Memorial Lecture on "Notes from the Egyptian Revolution."

Egypt Arising, Part 1 of 2

February 10, 2011

Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, Mona El-Ghobashy, Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics at Barnard College, and Jean-Pierre Filiu, Associate Professor at Sciences Po, Paris, spoke on the continuing political developments in Egypt. This talk was moderated by Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University.

Egypt Arising, Part 2 of 2

February 10, 2011

Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Rashid Khalidi, Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, Mona El-Ghobashy, Assistant Professor of Comparative Politics at Barnard College, and Jean-Pierre Filiu, Associate Professor at Sciences Po, Paris, spoke on the continuing political developments in Egypt. This talk was moderated by Saskia Sassen, Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University.