Category Archives: Mosaic

Moving the Earth

THUMBNAIL Bahrain, Archaeologist c.Richard Duebel

By Sylvia Smith   The title of the international conference might not be one to get the pulse racing. In fact Islamic Archaeology in Global Perspective could have been the cure for insomnia except for a clutch of excellent speakers. … Continue reading

Category: Mosaic, Travelog

Sword making in Bahrain

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Sylvia Smith Along with reciting poetry the love of the sword, the emotional pull of a handmade, highly decorated dress sword that has its own name is something that seems unique to the Arab world. This short video is dedicated … Continue reading

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Africa Heats Up The French Capital

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Sylvia Smith Perhaps it is the number of mainstream venues that have devoted their spring shows to the subject; or perhaps again it is the extraordinary quality of inventiveness whether it be sculpture, painting, video or design – but it … Continue reading

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It’s Show Time

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By Sylvia Smith. The Arab world seems to be popping up everywhere these days – from contemporary art exhibitions to music festivals and from poetry competitions to circus performances. In each case audiences in the West are lapping up the … Continue reading

Category: Mosaic, Travelog

PAINTING BY NUMBERS

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Sylvia Smith In tune with the movement towards giving exhibitions numbers as titles (21.39 Jeddah’s co-ordinates and title of the annual contemporary art show, and the London-based  contemporary African art fair 1:54, denoting the number of countries on the continent),  … Continue reading

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The Sweet Smell of Success

Junaid Perfumes lores

  Sylvia Smith The craft of perfumery is an essential part of Muslim culture. Arabian perfumes were refined and revered even as early as the early 16th century. In Shakespeare’s MacBeth written in 1606 Lady MacBeth cries out, “All the … Continue reading

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NUTS FOR ARGAN

thumnail-argan

Sylvia Smith As Ayesha begins to crack her second sack of nuts of the day, she wipes her hand across her forehead. The sun in southern Morocco is hot and the work physically demanding. She looks over at her neighbour … Continue reading

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EGYPT: embarking upon a new era of silver screen success?

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In the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, the literary works of leading Egyptian authors brought glory to the big screen when their novels were made into films. This year, the Egyptian novel took to the small screen when Nobel Prize-winning author Naguib Mahfouz’s  Afrah al-Qubbah … Continue reading

Category: Mosaic, Travelog

Leighton in the Limelight

mosaic video arts

Mosaic Video Arts Sylvia Smith: This year marks 120 years since the death of Frederick, Lord Leighton, perhaps best remembered for his remarkable house in Kensington, near Holland Park. This personal, architectural tribute to Middle Eastern art and decorative crafts … Continue reading

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Algerian refugee goes from rags to riches

Daniele-Henkel

Daniele Henkel decided she had to flee Algeria because she felt her children were no longer safe. “Islamists were starting to attack girls in the street,” she says. “I had to think about my daughters, so I decided to move … Continue reading

Category: Mosaic, Travelog