Category Archives: Mosaic
Sylvia Smith Oil has officially run its course as Saudi Arabia’s premier earner and religious tourism looks set to become a major contributor to the Kingdom’s economy. By broadening the reach of its pilgrim visa, those travelling to Mecca and … Continue reading
Fes Festival of World Sacred Music – Sylvia Smith Each year for more than two decades, the Imperial city of Fes has flaunted its unimpeachable spiritual connections in a festival that welcomes sacred musicians and dancers from around the globe. … Continue reading
This year Art Dubai progresses beyond its infancy stage. Now in its tenth edition the fair is no longer the new kid on the block but still attracts large crowds, established artists and takes on in artistic form some of the … Continue reading
The Sultan’s world -the Ottoman Orient in renaissance art By Robert Born, Michael Dziewulski, Guido Messling Published by Hatje Cantz ISBN 9783775739665 Price €49.80 hardback A look at the Orient: Renaissance masterpieces evoke the Ottoman Empire News of the fall … Continue reading
Book Marker Sylvia Smith Although 1,001 Nights and Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet continue to hold Western audiences in thrall, it was Naguib Mahfouz’s beautifully nuanced The Cairo Trilogy which won the Arab world’s only Nobel Prize for literature in 1988. … Continue reading
This year marks the centenary of the beginning of World War I. With tensions rising in Europe as they have been lately, many contemporary political commentators look for parallels between our current political crisis and the start of that cataclysmic war. But as historians look at the bigger picture of that conflict in which millions died, sometimes the individual stories are lost.
All the actors in Border give fine performances, which give the film an almost journalistic quality. You feel you are not watching a drama but rather a news story on the ongoing conflict. The director observes: “I wanted the film not to feel in any way like a fictional story but rather one which is as real as possible. Even the actors we used are not professional actors. Firstly, given the chaotic situation in Syria now, it would have been virtually impossible to find professional actors but also I felt it was important to use people whose own lives have been touched by the conflict.
They also performed in India and Pakistan, hardly suspecting that two years later both countries would be at war.
From the Hajar mountains where endangered tahr perch on rocky outcrops, to long sandy beaches where newly- hatched turtles brave numerous dangers to reach the sea, Oman is rich with ecosystems. Its unique array of fascinating and often enigmatic wildlife is attracting increased interest from conservationists. However, the country is also undergoing rapid development, which is encroaching on the natural, rugged landscape. Hotel and resort developments are key to tourism but projects such as the Yiti project, on one of the most beautiful unspoilt beaches in the world, which was aborted due to the Dubai financial crisis in 2009 – leaving behind an unfinished building site as well as a displaced community – do not enhance the future landscape of Oman.