Posted by: professorepler | October 3, 2010


I can’t summarize the our conversation in a way that would give it justice, but I thought we should record at least the topic. We discussed whether or not Arab Cinema needed to return to a “more purely Arabic” nature, to its cultural roots untainted by Western culture. The initial thought was raised by a fact related to Egyptian history. In 1946, in an effort to “Egyptianize” the country in the wake of British rule, the Egyptian government instated a new law that required all business signs to be written in Arabic. The effect was significant and was a clear sign that Egyptian was determined to emphasize its cultural heritage as a signal that they were culturally independent, even after so many years of colonization.

Could cinema re-purify itself by returning to a more “essential Arab” center? What does that even mean? Is there “pure Arabic” culture?

As an example and a metaphor, we pointed out the use of the English keyboard to transliterate Arabic online, or Arabic with 5’s and 7’s. Is this an example of culture colonialism, or just the way Arab culture has evolved? Is it both? What does this mean for cinema.



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