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10 New Documentaries at the Luxor African Film Festival

Tom Devriendt lists 10 documentaries to look out for at the Luxor African Film Festival:

The third edition of the Egyptian Luxor African Film Festival again has a wide-ranging programme scheduled for next month. Selected films will be showing in different competitions: Long Narrative, Short Narratives, Short Documentaries and Long Documentary. Below you’ll find a couple of the selected documentaries’ trailers (set in Togo, Senegal, Ghana, Somalia, South Africa, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt and Angola) that were recently uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo, plus links to the films’ websites — where available.

Amina Leaves Femen Because of “Islamophobia”

Amina, the Tunisian activist released from jail early August, left the Femen movement. She accused Femen of “Islamophobia”.  Femen confirmed online that:

FEMEN confirms its break with the Tunisian activist Amina Tyler because of differences of opinion on tactics in the Islamic countries (…) FEMEN calls for new heroines who are able to fight for their courage to shake the rotten foundation of Islamist world. Freedom for women of the East!”

Amina Sboui posted this picture online on the Femen website. Credit Creative Common License Manolofreira

Amina Sboui posted this picture online on the Femen website. Credit Creative Common License Manolofreira

Amina published another topless picture on the Femen's website on August 15th, before expressing her decision to leave the movement. All this turmoil does not really help a clearer reading of Femen's objectives.

A Platform for Middle East's Indie Musicians

Music for a better future. Screenshot from Mideast Tunes' Indigeo campaign video.

Music for a better future. Screenshot from Mideast Tunes’ Indiego campaign video.

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France: World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg

The first edition of the World Forum for Democracy is currently taking place in Strasbourg, France (5-11 october, 2012). The theme of the forum is “Bridging the map: democracy between old models and new realities”. You can follow the discussions under the Twitter hashtag #CoE_WFD. Director of International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Global Voices author Jillian C. York was a panelist at the debate about “Media resposability and potential to foster democracy”, and acclaimed A Tunisian Girl blogger and activist Lina Ben Mhenni was awarded the “Alsatian Prize for Democratic Commitment” [fr].

Tunisia: Civil Society and the Sharia State

Tunisian blogger Lina Ben Mhenni argues that belonging to any religion or culture is a “product of chance.” She says:

And when, together with bloggers from my country, we attempted to participate in one manner or another in the awakening of our people and the uprising against the dictatorship, it was-very far even-from my mind that we would find ourselves confronted with this difficult duality: civil society/ religious state!

Lebanese Blogger Spoofs Study on Middle Eastern Women's Clothing

The question “How Should Middle Eastern Women Dress in Public” posed by the University of Michigan is attracting hilarious spoofs online. The content is so rich that an additional post to our first one was necessary.

When Washington Post Max Fisher shared the original image on Twitter, he wasn't expecting this response by WSJ blogger Tom Gara:

But the spoof that got the most attention was undoubtedly Karl Sharro's of KarlreMarks:

Interviewed on PRI, he explained his motivation:

“It's almost like putting Muslim women on a scale from 1 to 6, from being fully covered to not being covered at all, which I think is pretty absurd.”

A Sustainable Ecovillage in Sidi Amor, Tunisia

Nolwein Weiler and Sophie Chapelle reports on the remarkable development of an ecovillage in Sidi Amor, Tunisia [fr]. The project aims to protect the environment while providing a site for economic and social growth for local workers as explained in this video [fr].

MENA: Acclaimed Authors’ Favorites of 2012

M. Lynx Qualey, blogger, who is interested in Arab and Arabic literature, wrote a series of posts introducing acclaimed Arab poets, novelists, and short-story writers’ favorite Arab reads of 2012. She started with a list of nonfiction books, then followed by a list for poetry [En] and fiction [En].

Tunisia: General Strike in Thala

On Twitter, Tounsia Hourra (Free Tunisian) says [ar] there is a general strike in Thala, in the province of Kasserine, today [October 8, 2012]. The protest is against rising unemployment and neglecting the maintenance of the city.

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Tunisia: In Defense (sort of) of French Weekly on the Muhammad Cartoons

As the French ministry of foreign affairs decided to temporary shut down 20 embassies [fr] after the publication of Muhammad Cartoons by French weekly Charlie Hebdo,  Linda Doufari in Nawaat takes a nuanced defense [fr] of the magazine. Doufari argues that although the decision is on par with the low level quality of journalism that the weekly has proven so far, it is necessary for the weekly to publish the cartoon in order to prove that it still is somewhat relevant, a difficult task for any media these days.

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