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Monday, May 08, 2006

Schedual for Mission Culturel - Tripoli International Fair

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Sunday Flea Market

The Tripoli flea market is one of its funniest attractions. Everyone goes there, a treat for a foreigner. The Souq lies in a cute location under the Citadel and next to the River. It is a scenty mix of you name it.

Spending a day in Tripoli could include easily 3 hours in the market, then maybe a lunch in one of the neighbouring local restaurants over-looking the city.

Stay in touch for pictures.

Zennar El Nar-Tripoli European Film Festival

Lebanese Film takes top prizes at KeralaBy Joan Dupont

Ring of Fire (Zennar El Nar) by Lebanese director Bahij Hojeij, was named best film by the FIPRESCI jury, as well as receiving the award for best first feature by the international jury at the 9th International Film Festival of Kerala (10-17 December, 2004). Set in Beirut in 1985, Hojeij's debut feature, shot in digital video over four weeks, makes for an intriguing and mysterious film. The screenplay was adapted from The Obstinate, a novel by Rachin El Daif.
The Lebanese Civil War has been raging for 10 years, and there seems to be no end to violence. In a city in ruins, there are checkpoints at every turn, and nobody knows who is in charge. Chafic (Nida Wakim) is an elegant professor who comes back to his apartment during a lull in he troubles. On the surface, nothing has changed - he has just to clear some dust, fix the blinds, and return to teaching his course in French literature. A new concierge (Hassan Farhat), comes to repair the blind and give news of changes in the building. He wears a smile and a cigarette stuck between his lips, but he is not a reassuring presence.
Chafic starts his class by reading the opening of Albert Camus' The Plague. He has just read the ominous words about rats infesting Oran when shelling interrupts him. The students flee, scurrying to the cellar, much like the rats in the novel. Chafic goes below ground with them. Suddenly a woman emerges from the darkness and appears at his side. We catch a glimpse of her hair, her hands, and throat. She seems to surge from nowhere, and, in the light of the shelling, they make love.
When he gets back home, the teacher is stunned, stuck in a strange torpor. He cannot identify the girl or woman who came to him in the dark, nor shake this promise of love and human connection. But his life darkens. Gradually, his bachelor apartment is invaded by the smiling concierge. A pregnant young woman camps out on his sofa; crates carried in by the concierge fills his living room. Wakim who starts by looking like a dandy, seems to gain weight and age. Farhat does a stunning turn as the ambiguous concierge.
Out on the streets and at the university, the professor seeks to rediscover the fugitive image of love, but he comes up against more frustration. He has violent dreams, visions, or actual experiences at checkpoints, and bloody encounters.
The director moves in and out of Chafic's conscious and unconscious so that we are never certain of what is dream, fantasy or reality. Nightmares appear real in this portrait of a city besieged, closing in on a man who has lost his bearings.
Ring of Fire keeps a sense of menace to the end, the atmosphere is tense. There is no safe haven, and Beirut of yesterday becomes a chilling image of our world at war today.

Joan DupontĀ© FIPRESCI 2004


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Oscar Niemeyer ;; Tripoli International Fair

One of the praised architectural sites in Tripoli is the International Fair, designed by the Brazilian Architect; Oscar NIEMEYER.

Niemeyer has many projects all over the world, but the Tripoli Fair is not media renowned as it should be.

In an attempt to explain the virtues of this Fair, and its importants, Dr. George Arbid is doing a lecture in the Mission Culturel Francais stand in the Tripoli Fair.

Here are some pictures of the fair (collected from the official site of the Fair..yuck!).

I will post my own photos of the fair next week. Please attend the lecture, as the experience of the fair is amazing. Thankyou..see you there

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Tripoli European Film Festival 12-14 and 18-21 May

The film festival is a nice bouquet of lebanese and european films. It is showing at the "Rabita Sakafia" (a known cultural venue in Tripoli). For movie lovers and foreign film enthusiasts, this festival is a must-see.

Feel free to download the brochures.