Posted by: Sarah Standish | January 31, 2014

Extra Credit Events for February

Please note that due to the one-time nature of these events, I cannot screen them for content beforehand.  All information is from the website/newsletter of the PSU Middle East Studies Center unless state otherwise.

24th Annual Cascade Festival of African Films

This festival of free films presents a variety of feature and documentary films from the African continent. The majority of films were made by African directors. The films celebrate Africa’s achievements, expose Africa’s failures, and reveal the possibilities for change and a more hopeful future. They show us pictures of Africa through the eyes of Africans, rather than a vision of Africa that is packaged primarily for western viewers. The films represent African concerns that are political, historical, and social.  All screenings are free. For more information, click here.  This year, the festival includes two North African films:

Book reading and author talk: The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker

When: Monday, February 3, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Where: Powell’s City of Books on Burnside 1005 W Burnside

In The Golem and the Jinni (Harper Perennial), a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask and released in New York City, though still not entirely free. Ahmad and Chava become unlikely friends and soul mates with a mystical connection. Marvelous and compulsively readable, Helene Wecker’s debut novel weaves strands of Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature, historical fiction, and magical fable into an inventive and unforgettable tale. For more information, click here.

Qalam, Arabic Calligraphy from the Middle Ages to the Present

When: Tuesday, February 4 – April 27, 2014, Tuesday-Sunday, 12:00-5:00 pm

Where: Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College

Qalam, Arabic Calligraphy from the Middle Ages to the present is an exhibition of historical Arabic calligraphy and related material that offers an immersive glance into one of the world’s most poetic and spiritual art forms. At the center of the exhibition is a group of rare works on loan to the Cooley from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and a diverse array of manuscript folios from the collection of Reed alumnus Steven Herold ’63.  For more information, click here.

1st Annual Palestine Film Festival

When: Tuesday, February 4 – February 25

Where: 6:30 pm Smith Memorial Student Union

Film screenings in the series as follows:

  • February 4: Occupation 101, room 296/8
  • February 11: Five Broken Cameras, room 238
  • February 18: Israel vs Israel, room 238
  • February 25: Where Should the Birds Fly, room 296/8

An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine

When: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Where: Powell’s City of Books on Burnside 1005 W Burnside

One of the Middle East’s most celebrated voices, Rabih Alameddine follows his international bestseller, The Hakawati, with An Unnecessary Woman (Grove Press), an enchanting story of a book-loving, obsessive, 72-year-old “unnecessary” woman. Aaliya Saleh lives alone in her Beirut apartment, surrounded by stockpiles of books. Godless, fatherless, childless, and divorced, Aaliya is her family’s “unnecessary appendage.” In this breathtaking portrait of a reclusive woman’s late-life crisis, readers follow Aaliya’s digressive mind as it ricochets across visions of past and present Beirut. A love letter to literature and its power to define who we are, the prodigiously gifted Alameddine has given us a nuanced rendering of one woman’s life in the Middle East. For more information, click here.

The Shahs of Comedy Tour

When: Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Where: Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom, 1875 SW Broadway

Special Pre-Valentines’s Day Comedy Show featuring: Peter the Persian, Eman Morgan, Melissa Shohani, Josh Nasar, and Raj Sharma. Presented by the PSU Arab Persian Student Union.  For more information, click here.

Arabic Scriptorium

When: Every Wednesday, beginning February 12, from 6:00-8:30 pm

Where: Reed Psychology Building room 102–103

Free, materials provided, no prior calligraphy experience necessary  Arabic Scriptorium is organized by the Calligraphy Initiative in Honor of Lloyd J. Reynolds, a program of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery. Founded in 2012, the Calligraphy Initiative is introducing a new generation of Reed students and community members to the study and practice of calligraphy and paleography. The Calligraphy Initiative is coordinated by Gregory MacNaughton ’89. For more information, please contact MacNaughton at macnaugg[at] or  503.517.7677.

Portland International Film Festival:

Arab films screening in this year’s festival include the following.  NB: These films are not free and tickets should be purchased in advance to give you the best chance of actually getting in to see the show.

  • Cairo Drive (Egypt):  Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 1 PM (World Trade Center Theater); Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 9 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
  • A World Not Ours (Lebanon): Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 6 PM (World Trade Center Theater); Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 5:30 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
  • Horses of God (Morocco): Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 9 PM (Cinema 21 (small theaters)) Sat, Feb 22, 2014 at 2:15 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
  • Omar (Palestine): Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 8 PM (Whitsell Auditorium); Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 6 PM (Cinemagic)

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