It is a truth universally acknowledged that a trip to the masjid must be in want of a well-meaning auntie outlining all the ways in which your salah techniques could be improved.
I first learned the taste of mint in his backyard.
This summer, he sat outside at sunset with his wife and prayed. I made him a cup of tea, green, minty, minty, minty, and it took me 20 years to realize that every last one of my flimsy conceptions of home have been dissolved like sugarcubes in the taste of that tea in that air with those people, always.
this one time i was taking pictures for an article on unfair distribution of funds in the high schools of my district, and I heard my very approving editor showing off the final piece to the other editors say “our school has never looked worse…she’s just so good at making things look ugly. ”
Libya is exactly in the spot where the “Middle East” ends (Egypt) and the “Maghreb” begins (Tunisia/Algeria) and as a result a lot of academic/scholarly studies sweep right over it and there is a dearth of interest in developing any research specific to the country. Tunisia/Algeria/Morrocco have a Frenchness that appeals to Western sensibilities but Mauritania and Libya have none of that very specific blend of European refinement and exotic Orientalism. And so when either country becomes newsworthy any asshole with an elementary understanding of the region and its history is given time and space to expound his analyses of The Situation.
 - La suite
CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF THEM.
some of my most memorable meals have been eaten while sitting on my bed in gym shorts.
"The New York of the thirties was very different from Paris: “not so much beauty and tradition as native fantasia emerging from accelerated greed.” Abbott’s book is aptly titled, for she is not so much more memorializing the past as simply documenting ten years of the chronic self-destruct quality of American experience, in which even the recent past is constantly being used up, swept away, torn down, thrown out, traded in. Fewer and fewer Americans possess objects that have a patina, old furniture, grandparents’ pots and pans—the used things, warn with generations of human touch, that Rilke celebrated in The Duino Elegies as being essential to a human landscape. Instead, we have our paper phantoms, transistorized landscapes. A featherweight portable museum."
Susan Sontag, On Photography
Outside The Law is a film from Algeria and one of this year’s nominees for Best Foreign Film in the Academy Awards. I saw this film during my time volunteering for the Doha Tribeca Film Festival.
I highly recommend this movie to anyone and everyone! It is one of the best I’ve seen last year! I really really really really hope it get the recognition it deserves on February 27. [:
5 minutes in and I’m sobbing.
"I have to admit that I have a great affection for old images of faces and places, especially old photographs of Palestinian faces and places. The images that intrigue me the most almost always conjure the comforts and complexities of ordinary times in an ordinary country. They unselfconsciously present a country that was materially and culturally prosperous, as well as a land that was beautiful and bountiful. The faces of men and women that I closely inspect in many old photographs look at us from the distant past with clarity, self-assurance and a sense of cultural generosity. The Palestinian figures in many of those vintage images appear to be closely connected to their urban and rural environments. They look as if they “belong to the land,” without intimating any patronizing, self-conscious, or defensive claims that the land belongs to them."
John Halaka, pinpointing exactly how I feel about the easy being and self-assurance of vintage photos Ghosts of Comfort and Chaos. These photos speak of a time when everyone seemed to have a place.
I found this in a second-hand bookstore the other day. I didn’t intend on buying anything, but this was in the corner on the bottom shelf (along with a smattering of arabic books and I think some Qurans, which, probably, shouldn’t be that close to the floor), and my bookshelf would do well to have something about Khalil Gibran with a tattered tweedy cover and (what I hope are) coffee stains. There’s an illegible dedication scrawled in pen to someone named Eva in Beirut written either in November 12, 1965 or December 11. I have my standards mixed up, but whatever the month, it was maybe purchased or gifted around a year after it was published.
Later on, I found a thin, nearly translucent typewritten air conditioning trouble-shooting guide hidden neatly in the middle of the book.
"If in the following pages there is some successful verse or other, may the reader forgive me the audacity of having written it before him. We are all one; our inconsequential minds are much alike, and circumstances so influence us that it is something of an accident that you are the reader and I the writer—the unsure, ardent writer—of my verses."
"Did not the black people in America, deprived of their own musical instruments, take the trumpet and the trombone and blow them as they had never been blown before, as indeed they were not designed to be blown? And the result, was it not jazz? Is anyone going to say that this was a loss to the world or that those first Negro slaves who began to play around with the discarded instruments of their masters should have played waltzes and foxtrots? No! Let every people bring their gifts to the great festival of the world’s cultural harvest and mankind will be all the richer for the variety and distinctiveness of the offerings."
Chinua Achebe, on European dismissal of the African novel.
Constructed from thousands of film clips indicating the passage of time, The Clock (2010) excerpts these moments from their original contexts and edits them together to form a 24-hour video montage that unfolds in real time. The work is synchronized with local time so that minutes and hours depicted in The Clock also pass simultaneously in the viewer’s real time.
The juxtaposition of numerous cinematic settings and periods both triggers the viewer’s movie memory and constantly references the passage of time. While viewers of The Clock may be drawn into the continually discontinuous narratives, the work serves as an accurate and functional clock in and of itself, conflating cinematic and actual time.