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“Yogurt with Marmalade: Or how my mother became Lebanese” (ARABIC) Play

“Yogurt with Marmalade: Or how my mother became Lebanese” (ARABIC)

Published at 35 05,,, 18 2018
2018.26.11. Lebanon’s Lena Mehrej presented her graphic novel, published by Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo, at the Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid. She held a dialogue with graphic novelist Quan Zhou, author of Sweet-and-sour Gazpacho. "In Lebanon, yogurt has been eaten with salt and grated cucumber (very finely grated) since the beginning of time. One day, Lena Merhej (Beirut, 1977) was stunned when she saw her mother eat yogurt with marmalade. Years later, she sketched this lovely story about her mother, a German woman from Hannover, and created a portrait of the peaceful co-existence of contradictions” that existed in her family and, perhaps to a lesser extent, her country. A closer look at the Arab world through the eyes of a women from old Europe, proving that the East is not so far and also has a memory, nostalgia and open wounds." Alfonso Zapico, Babelia - El País, April 21, 2018 Lena Merhej (Beirut, 1977), born to a German mother and Lebanese father, completed her studies in Art and Graphic Design. She has given classes in illustration and animation at the Lebanese American University. With more than twenty illustrated albums for children, she formed part of the founding team of Samandal, the first magazine of comics in the Arab world. Her animated film Dessiner la guerre (Drawing War) won the jury’s award at the New York Festival in 2003, and her graphic novels Kamen sine (Another Year) and Yogurt with Marmalade received the award for best comic book at the International Comics Festival of Algiers in 2009 and 2013, respectively. In 2016, she coordinated the monographic issue of Samandal on youth, sexuality and poetry. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/“yogurt-with-marmalade-or-how-my-mother-became-lebanese”

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  • “Yogurt with Marmalade: Or how my mother became Lebanese” (ARABIC)Show video

    “Yogurt with Marmalade: Or how my mother became Lebanese” (ARABIC)

    2018.26.11. Lebanon’s Lena Mehrej presented her graphic novel, published by Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo, at the Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid. She held a dialogue with graphic novelist Quan Zhou, author of Sweet-and-sour Gazpacho. "In Lebanon, yogurt has been eaten with salt and grated cucumber (very finely grated) since the beginning of time. One day, Lena Merhej (Beirut, 1977) was stunned when she saw her mother eat yogurt with marmalade. Years later, she sketched this lovely story about her mother, a German woman from Hannover, and created a portrait of the peaceful co-existence of contradictions” that existed in her family and, perhaps to a lesser extent, her country. A closer look at the Arab world through the eyes of a women from old Europe, proving that the East is not so far and also has a memory, nostalgia and open wounds." Alfonso Zapico, Babelia - El País, April 21, 2018 Lena Merhej (Beirut, 1977), born to a German mother and Lebanese father, completed her studies in Art and Graphic Design. She has given classes in illustration and animation at the Lebanese American University. With more than twenty illustrated albums for children, she formed part of the founding team of Samandal, the first magazine of comics in the Arab world. Her animated film Dessiner la guerre (Drawing War) won the jury’s award at the New York Festival in 2003, and her graphic novels Kamen sine (Another Year) and Yogurt with Marmalade received the award for best comic book at the International Comics Festival of Algiers in 2009 and 2013, respectively. In 2016, she coordinated the monographic issue of Samandal on youth, sexuality and poetry. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/“yogurt-with-marmalade-or-how-my-mother-became-lebanese”
    Published at 35 05,,, 18 2018
  • Prodigios: An anthology of Arabic poems (FRENCH)Show video

    Prodigios: An anthology of Arabic poems (FRENCH)

    04.20.2018. Casa Árabe joined the celebrations of Book Night 2018 (La Noche de los Libros) with the presentation of this work illustrated by Rachid Koraïchi. The event included talks by Koraïchi, a calligrapher and one of the finest visual artists today, and Pedro Martínez Montávez, an Arabist, translator and professor emeritus of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Presented by Pedro Martínez-Avial, the General Director of Casa Árabe. This anthology contains Arabic poems written from the sixth century to the modern day, the most notable of which include both classical and contemporary poets. Created with the voices of 5 poets, some of whom have never been translated into Spanish until today, the edition combines poetry from the Arab world in general, Al-Andalus and Algeria with illustrations by Koraïchi, thereby joining two paths of creativity: image and word. On the evening of the presentation, Rachid Koraïchi spoke to us about these surprising and inspiring illustrations. Along with Arabist Pedro Martínez Montávez, who coordinated this edition, we traveled through the book, capturing the essence of a culture in which poetry is, has been and will remain a meeting point and a pathway that opens up new horizons. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/prodigios-an-anthology-of-arabic-poems
    Published at 46 26,,, 18 2018
  • Syria: The impossible revolution (ARABIC)Show video

    Syria: The impossible revolution (ARABIC)

    04.17.2018. Syrian political opposition leader Yassin Al-Haj Saleh presented his work at the Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid. This is a compilation of texts which the author has been publishing since the beginning of the insurrection in his country. Along with the author, the event included speeches by Santiago Alba Rico, a Spanish writer, essayist and philosopher, and Naomí Ramírez Díaz, the book’s translator and publisher. The event was presented by Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s International Politics Coordinator. The work which we are presenting, published by Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo, is a compilation of texts which Yassin Al-Haj has written since the insurrection in Syria, when that process began on March 15, 2011. Though not well-known in Spain, Yassin Al-Haj is one of the most important intellectuals among Syrian dissidents. “Someone might think that this book talks about Syria and its defeated revolution, about the Assad dictatorship and the Near East, about imperialism and the Kurdish question (Chapters 10, 11 and 13 are quite interesting and controversial), on Jihadism and violence. But it is more than that. This book speaks about us all. One of the theories that Al-Haj Saleh has upheld in recent years is that Syria reveals and represents a universal destiny, and therefore it is impossible to think about Syria, and even less so about the globalized world, without thinking about our common fate. This is why every time we produce a discourse to forget, negate or avoid Syria, we are really just doing damage to ourselves.” Santiago Alba Rico Yassin Al-Haj Saleh spent sixteen years in jail for his Communist militancy. Since the year 2000, after finishing his studies in Medicine, which he was forced to give up because he was imprisoned, he has been writing a book of stories about his experience in jail, as well as The Syrian Question, published in France by Sindbad-Actes Sud. He regularly contributes articles to the newspapers Al-Hayat, Al-Quds al-Arabi and Al-Jumhuriya. In 2012, he was granted the Prince Claus Award of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the social impact of his writings, though he was unable to collect the award since he was living underground in Damascus. He is currently an associate researcher at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. His wife, Samira Khalil, the author of Diary of the Siege on Douma in 2013, has been missing since she was kidnapped in December of 2013, along with Razan Zaituneh, Wael Hammada and Nazem Hamadi. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/syria-the-impossible-revolution
    Published at 07 24,,, 18 2018
  • Presentation of “The Incense Burner” and “Flight of Seagulls” by Omar Berrada (FRENCH)Show video

    Presentation of “The Incense Burner” and “Flight of Seagulls” by Omar Berrada (FRENCH)

    03.06.2018. Casa Arabe organized the presentation of two books by the moroccan writer Omar Berrada. With the particpation of Omar Berrada: Painter, sculptor and author of the books; and Paloma Monsonís: A professor of Spanish and translator. “The incense burner is the instrument in which we burn a substance considered to be a conjurer of misfortune. It is also used to perfume, to honor and to express oftentimes excessive flattery. My incense burner is the anti-incense burner: it is focused on a part of our society, lifting a spiral over what we share in our everyday lives and the difficulties it has just to exist. I have attempted to write this with a touch of humor, and above all with neither complacence about human suffering nor overstated pity.” These are the words which the author uses to describe his first novel. Translated into Spanish by Paloma Monsonís as “El incensario” and “Vuelo de gaviotas,” they portray Moroccan reality with both its lights and shadows, placing an emphasis on the disowned, people who live in extreme poverty. Omar Berrada describes their everyday life with talent and a touch of humor, and he does so using language that is, at the same time, poetic and heart-wrenching, almost mystical, combining an extraordinary wealth of nuance, images and traditional expressions. This style all his own, both elaborate and ruthless, makes his novels a suggestive narrative and aesthetic experience for readers. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/presentation-of-“the-incense-burner”-and-“flight-of-seagulls”-by-omar-berrada
    Published at 15 08,,, 18 2018
  • Emirati cultural days: a literary evening (ARABIC)Show video

    Emirati cultural days: a literary evening (ARABIC)

    2017.16.10. Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid were the stage for this day of literature, which included the participation of three Emirati authors and Arabic oud player. Participating in the event were Khaled Aldhanhani, an Emirati poet, writer and journalist; Talal Aljunaibi, an Emirati poet and writer, and Eman Alyousuf, an Emirati novelist, along with musical performances by Arabic oud player Abdellah Afazaz. The evening was moderated by Soha Abboud Haggar, a professor of Arab and Islamic Studies from the School of Philology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. The event was presented by Pedro Martínez-Avial, the General Director of Casa Árabe, and Hissa Abdullah A. Al Otaiba, ambassador of the United Arab Emirates in Madrid. The United Arab Emirates is a country known for the great interest it pays to culture and its support for different fields of art and creativity, which has produced a great deal of quality literature and a high cultural standing among the world’s countries. The Emirates’ cultural heritage has been developed and enriched throughout this process, and in a short time it has filled everyone with pride: artists, intellectuals, governmental institutions and private organisations. Within the framework of the Emirati initiative “Zayed’s Ambassadors” and under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, the Crown Prince of Al Fujairah, Casa Árabe and the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Madrid organized this literary evening, included within the Emirati Cultural Evenings that was held in Madrid from October 16 to 18. The goal of the event is to give people a chance to get a taste of the new Arabic literature being born on the shores of the Sea of Oman: the poetry that has existed since the dawn of time and has always filled the lives of tribes throughout Emirati society, in a presentation given by Khaled Al Dhanhani and Talal Al Junaibi, along with the suggestive sampling of Emirati storytelling through the viewpoint of a women, Eman Al Yousuf. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/emirati-cultural-days-a-literary-evening
    Published at 32 26,,, 17 2017