A few words are needed here about world politics and its effect upon our work. And lest anyone suggest that Arab influence was a late bloom, it should be noted that the open maritime borders between Africa and the Arabian peninsula have long served as a tempting invitation to visiting adventurers, peaceful nomads, fugitives 15 ARABS AND AFRICA seeking refuge from embattled settlements at home and even common outlaws. In , as a folklorist doing a project for the Smithsonian Institution, I was sent to Lebanon to investigate folk dancing and music. To give but one key example, when work began on our European volume, there were only two dozen or so countries to deal with, and those in eastern Europe were guaranteeing they would cover all our writing and translation fees for the reg ion. The Bulletin 22 March I had to meet with men who were well-known to the public as ministers and important personalities, but who in fact just considered women as existing only for male amusement and satisfaction. Belly-dance, versions of which were seen during the various world fairs of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Europe and the United States, titillated audiences of that period who were in search of the exotic. The search for significant beginnings for Arab presence in Africa therefore must take into account such more or less casual influences as well as very extensive time frames.
The world of theatre is far too large and has become far too specialized for that. These two countries, for example, invited from socialist Romania puppet experts who helped to found the national puppet theatre in Cairo and Khartoum respectively. It should be noted that these are also allmale companies. Ghaltat hayati episode In fact, he had to teach them to read and write and then he had to train them to act. What is the self-perception of theatre professionals in the new Germany, where two totally different systems were uncomfortably reunited as the s began?
In these dances, the dancers do not hold one another, but move in unison. Marshall Pollock TorontoGeorge C.
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Christian clubs there, however, tended to produce mostly in colloquial Arabic. Initial grants came fromYork University, UNESCO and, the largest grant to that time, from the American-based Ford Foundation thanks to a willingness to risk on a project that did not fit neatly into any previously established programme by its Theatre Officer, Ruth Mayleas. Pliny the Elder AD 23—79 compiled a thirty-seven-volume encyclopedia of natural science.
My life partner in this work—Patricia Keeney—continued to drive me onward when I felt most frustrated and irritable. To give serious recognition to older forms may therefore be seen as being both culturally old-fashioned and politically reckless. Dabka steps, figures and movements have many local variants in patterns and hand holds, some of which are highly complex. Members of the Reda company accompanied Anwar Sadat on a state visit to Los Angeles, where they danced in the rotunda of the City Hall.
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The first woman to head the National Theatre of Egypt was Samihah Ayyub, episide well-trained, highly respected actress who has played, since the s, a wide and impressive repertoire of classic stage and screen roles. During the first two decades of the twentieth century three major Egyptian theatre companies led the way in giving women leading roles: Criticism, Scholarship and Publishing: Our African colleagues suggested that our preliminary definition ghalat to be ignoring the socialrelationships in much African theatre, from wedding ceremonies to circumcision rituals.
During the next few days, we turned to various standard texts on theatre in search of a suitable, internationally acceptable definition.
These then—done as a mosque dance suite—connected the few Swahili communities in Zambia with the wider Muslim world, a world usually found only in urban Hagati centres. Others objected that we were locked into text while our puppet theatre editor was concerned that we were leaving out everything from wayang kulit to Punch and Judy.
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But throughout, the notion of self-identification for each national article was maintained and continued to be the primary reason why WECT searched for leading writers, critics, scholars and theatre professionals within each country. Journal of Arabic Literature 15 As well, a ballet company was founded, financially under-written and even staffed by officials from the former USSR in Cairo in the s, which was soon touring world-wide.
The figures were beautiful and quite elaborate, as good as any ever seen. Unfortunately, many of these Islamic rights have been denied gyaltat Muslim women over the centuries by conservative patriarchal systems within certain Islamic communities. In many parts of the Arab world such rhythmic patterned movement practices, although dance-like in appearance, constitute other categories.
The first Algerian kingdom was established by the Berber chieftain and Roman supporter Massinissa dur ing the Punic wars between Rome and Carthage in the third and second centuries BC.
Several tribes embraced Shiism and founded Shiah tribal kingdoms, the most powerful of which was the Rustamid kingdom at Tahert in central Algeria, which flourished during the eighth and ninth centuries.
This younger generation of women all across the Arab world is both growing in number and becoming more assertive in the ideas they wish to convey through their work. Once again, the intent has been to provide the foreign theatre professional with an understanding of which groups, writers and directors are the most significant in the country and to put them into a national perspective.
These are occasions of displaying nobility and they honour a specific social, ethnic or political group. But always an Arab.
Some words may be useful here about where and when dance works are seen in the Arab world. The East African Coast. In the wake of the conquest of North Africa, new Arab dynasties arose. Over the coming years it would become an outdoor cinema and much later a place of worship for the local Assemblies of God. See more of Bnat lala mnana on Ghalgat.
Even scholars make this error.
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Journal of Arabic Literature 17 Suffice it to say here that in the Arab world, it is the shadow theatre more than the formal puppet show which has traditionally ranked highest in popularity. Such changes are real and have led to distrust and confusion both in the region and out. With classical Arabic as part of its arsenal, Islam— Earth-centred more than heaven-centred— marched across this part of the world.
Al Faruqi, Lois Epidode. Journal 551 Experimental Theatre Festival in Cairo.