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Why UNRWA?

My father, Yousef Kelani (1925-2016), joined UNRWA in 1953 upon his graduation from Alexandria University in Egypt. He was the physician in charge of UNRWA’s mobile clinics for Palestinian refugees in Irbid and the River Jordan Valley. This culminated in him becoming the assistant medical director of St Luke’s Hospital in Hebron (al-Khalil). My father’s …

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Al-Taghriba Al-Filistiniyya [The Palestinian Exodus], by the late and great Syrian filmmaker HatimAli (1962-2020)

At a time when we are watching the mass transfer of the indigenous Palestinian people from their ancestral homelands in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, I’ve decided to post a few clips from this outstanding series. I will start with the opening credits. The lyrics were taken from a poem called Al-Fidaa’i [The …

Al-Taghriba Al-Filistiniyya [The Palestinian Exodus], by the late and great Syrian filmmaker HatimAli (1962-2020) Read More »

Western hypocrisy

Many so-called voices for women’s rights in the western world confine their support of Iranian women to assert the right to remove their headscarves, in defiance of the tyranny of the fascistic Ayatollahs. So far so good, but this obviously suits western lifestyles…because women without headscarves ‘look like us’. Women also have the right to …

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Gilbert Biberian RIP (1944-2023)

Rest in Peace, Love and Power, my dear friend, fellow musician and Middle Easterner. The great Armenian Greek Turkish composer and guitarist, Gilbert Biberian, left us a few days ago to be with the One. The photo below was taken during my interview with Gilbert for my BBC Radio 4 documentary “Distant Chords”. This particular episode was called “My Book, My Mountain, My Self” [The Bible, Mount Ararat, cultural identity], about …

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From 2011…….A WEEK IN CAIRO & THE BATTLE OF QASR EL-NIL BRIDGE

The demonstration in Tahrir Square on Tuesday 25th January which provided the spark for the current nationwide uprising saw a few thousand demonstrators confronting a police force well-armed for riot control. Many demonstrators were intent on peaceful protest, but there were also some willing to engage the police in a fight. The police, in turn, …

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ريم الكيلاني – إصدارٌ جديد

“قالَ المُغَنِّي: طائِرُ السَّحَر” تُصدِر المُوسيقيَّة والمُغنيَّة والإذاعيَّة الفلسطينيَّة ريم الكيلاني ألبُومَها القصير المُقبِل “قالَ المُغَنِّي: طائِرُ السَّحَر” يوم 21 مارس 2022. هذا الإصدار هو إهداءٌ إلى روح المُوسيقار والمُغَنِّي الإيرانيّ المُعارض، محمد-رضا شَجَريان، الذي وافَته المَنِيَّة عام 2020: الأغنية الأولى: “قالَ المُغَنِّي” من شعر محمود درويش، وألحان ريم الكيلاني الأغنية الثانية: “مرغ سحر [طائِرُ …

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