A Club Spreads Arab Culture in Brazil

A series of cultural events are going to officially open the activities of the Arab Culture Institute (ICA), an organization established by a group of Brazilian intellectuals in January to promote Arab culture in the country.

In April, there will be a photography exhibition with images of Palestine, taken by photographer Rogério Ferrari, in May the organization will organize a night of Arab poetry, with literature professor Michel Sleiman, a specialist in Arab-Andalusian poetry, and in the month of June, there will he a cinema show and debates, with films and documentaries about the Arab countries.


Among the works to be included in the cinema exhibition are a 2003 documentary by a French producer about the life of Edward Said, an Arab intellectual who defended the Palestinian cause, who passed away around two years ago, and film “Uncovered: The Whole Truth about the Iraq War”, by filmmaker Robert Greenwald, covering aspects that were not covered by the media during the coverage of the War in Iraq.


The institute was established by a group of people interested in the Arab world.


“It is a civil and autonomous organization of scientific and cultural character, aimed at interacting, studying and promoting the various forms of expression of the Arab culture in Brazil,” guaranteed the president of the ICA, Soraya Smaili.


The institute, which includes 30 to 40 active members, is open both to descendants of Arab families and to sympathizers of the regional culture. The space that served as inspiration for the project was the Arab World Institute in Paris, which promotes similar activities.


“Apart from those involved since the beginning, around 1,000 people have already registered on the site – www.icarabe.org – to collaborate with the project,” explained Soraya.


The site contains articles, events agenda and shows the entire process for creation of the institute.


According to the professor, the page has been receiving a great number of visitors and permitting many people to show interest in promoting events related to the Arab culture in other states of the country.


“We have already been contacted by people in the state of Rio de Janeiro, in southeastern Brazil and Brasí­lia, the country capital, in the Midwest. However, the organization of itinerant events will only be possible in the second half of this year,” stated Smaili.


Friends of Culture


The idea of creating the ICA was born in December 2003, when posthumous homage was paid to Palestinian intellectual Edward Said, at Homs Club, in São Paulo.


Since then, various meetings have taken place between intellectuals, professors, writers, journalists and professionals of the most varied areas, with the objective of establishing an association to spread the Arab culture in all of its aspects, from the artistic to the scientific, political and religious.


Among the objectives are the promotion of varied cultural activities, collaboration with educational institutes, universities, and public and private institutions in Brazil and abroad. And promotion of studies and scientific meetings turned at studying the Arab culture and its relations with the Brazilian culture.


Service


The photographic exhibition about Palestine will take place in April at Imã Foto Galeria, at address Rua Fradique Coutinho, 1239, in the Vila Madalena neighborhood, in the southern zone of the city of São Paulo. The poetry and Arabic arts night and the cinema show do not yet have specific dates scheduled.


ANBA ”“ Brazil-Arab News Agency
www.anba.com.br

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