Art +

Graffiti under siege - MPC Journal - HOS

Graffiti Under Siege

Omeir, a 20-year-old Syrian artist, has been living under siege in Douma in the eastern Ghouta of Damascus for more than three and a half years. In cooperation with the Human in Syria Initiative, he had the chance to tell his short story: I am from the city of Douma in the eastern Ghouta of Damascus. As many people living in besieged areas, I try to seek possible alternatives to keep on living. My story started from here. Based on my passion for art, painting, colours and artistic expression of ideas in a way suits the war we are living,…
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Farsi Album by Israeli Singer

Breathtaking: Farsi Album by Israeli Singer

Maureen Nehedar’s transition from Hebrew 
to Farsi allows her 
to express additional sensibilities and hues of her amazing vocal talent. Can a breathtaking experience last for six and a half minutes? In the world of the arts, yes. That’s what happens toward the end of Maureen Nehedar’s new album, “Gole Gandom” (Wheat Flower), when the song “Juni Juni” comes on. Since there was already a breathtaking song (the unaccompanied “Prayer for Peace”) on Nehedar’s previous album, one might have thought the system would have trained itself to neutralize that rare experiential situation, but happily that turns out not to 
be…
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08 11 Shah-e-Cheragh Mausoleum Shiraz  - 35

Mosque in Iran Makes Your Jaw Drop

Shah Cheragh is a funerary monument and mosque in Shiraz, Iran. It translates to “King of the Light” and it’s easy to understand why. The jaw-dropping interior of this structure has millions of tiny mirror shards which bounce the light in every direction. The site has a rather mysterious past. According to one story, around 900 A.D. a traveller spotted something shining from a distance. He approached the area to investigate and found an illuminated grave. An armored corpse of an important Muslim figure was found inside and the area became a pilgrimage destination for Shia Muslims. A structure was…
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Old Profession at Times of War - MPC Journal - HOS

Old Profession at Times of War

Mohammad Qurabi, a photographer at Humans of Syria, had the chance to talk to a Syrian blacksmith in Ariha, a twon in the north of Syria. Here is his story. Adel Haddad, who goes by the nickname Abu Hassan, is someone in the city who is still working in a very old profession that dates back more than 150 years: Arabic blacksmithing. He inherited this craft from his ancestors and continues the tradition in their name in Ariha. Abu Hassan works more than ten hours a day. You always see him engrossed in his work and indefatigable, earning the livelihood…
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Cultural Bridging in Amman – Grassroots Projects with Scarce Resources - MPC Journal @ Image: Hakim Khatib

Cultural Bridging in Amman – Grassroots Projects with Scarce Resources

JORDAN – While political conflicts have dominated almost all discourses around the region of West Asia, narratives on the region have remained ensnared by political and religious frameworks. Thus the people in West Asia remain entrapped within politically driven explanations to answer questions about peace and conflict, Islamism, authoritarianism, security, stability etc. Unfortunately, even cultural, historical, philosophical, psychological and archaeological aspects of human civilisation in this region were to a great extent framed to serve only political explanations. This has led to minimizing the complexity of the fabric of these societies. Defying these rigid structures of categorization, local people in…
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Expat Philharmonic Orchestra

Art Beyond Asylum

GERMANY – Art is a powerful means of expression. It played significant roles in times of peace and war.  While the scene in Syria has become blurred with the emergence of armed extremist groups on one hand, and the atrocities of a bloodthirsty regime on the other, art remains a meaningful weapon against all that darkness. Fleeing from a war-torn country, many Syrians sought refuge in European countries, most notably in Germany. While the discourses on refugees ranged between supporting and rejecting the settlement of newcomers, there were many negative stories circulated and generalised about all refugees such as the…
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Painting on bullets, MPC Journal

How Can a Syrian Paint on Death?

A talented Syrian painter draws on death and puts life to hurtful things. His three children now think bullets existed so people can paint on them and make art. Here is Akram Abo Al Foz, aged 36 and a father of three tells his story: I’ve been living with my family in a besieged area – in the city of Douma in eastern Ghouta in Damascus Countryside – for more than two years now.

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