3 Arab women filmmakers causing a stir

You may have seen the news of the recent successes of Syrian wife, mother and filmmaker Waad al-Kateab’s remarkable documentary, For Sama. We thought this would be an excellent opportunity to showcase and celebrate Waad’s story and her success, along with some of the other great achievements of Arab women in film in recent years. Below are three incredible films from inspiring female directors from the Arab World that you absolutely need to watch!

Top 7 Arabic music playlists on Spotify

When most people in the ‘West’ think of Arabic music, we tend to imagine the deep twanging sounds of the oud and the cliché oriental music of Hollywood films romanticising the ‘East’. Most people outside the Middle East and North Africa have no idea how varied Arabic really music is. It ranges from the old classics like Fairuz to the upbeat dance music out of the clubs of Beirut, and the more relaxed, hipster sounds of up-and-coming young artists bringing reggae, funk, blues and R&B vibes into the mix. If you’re interested in exploring Arabic music, these 7 Spotify playlists will get you well on your way with music for every occasion, from chilled out coffee hour tunes and upbeat workout songs to the perfect dinner and dance party soundtracks.

Stronger Than Bullets: Music on the Frontlines of Libya’s Revolution

“Music gives me power, it gives me hope. It moves hearts… Strings have more power than bullets, stronger than bullets” – Masoud Buisir, the Troubadour of the Libyan revolution. You wouldn’t necessarily expect this statement to come out of Libya, a country that has been torn apart by revolution, counter-revolution, extremism and warring factions since … Continue reading Stronger Than Bullets: Music on the Frontlines of Libya’s Revolution

Villa Paradiso – Lebanon’s best kept secret

Nestled in the old souq at the heart of the Lebanese seaside town of Batroun, an old house has been transformed into a beautiful guesthouse. With its minimalist and very “boho beautiful” interiors, which clash stylishly with the grand historical building, Villa Paradiso is the quintessential millennial getaway destination. (image: Lebanon Untravelled) Batroun is a … Continue reading Villa Paradiso – Lebanon’s best kept secret

5 Instagram accounts that show what life in Iraq is really like

Since 2003, most of the stories and images coming out of Iraq have been of the devastation and despair caused by the conflict and violence that has plagued the country’s recent history. Yet Mesopotamia – modern-day Iraq – is believed to have been home to the world’s oldest civilisation, and the region flourished for years … Continue reading 5 Instagram accounts that show what life in Iraq is really like