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This Syrian Refugee From Aleppo Will Do Whatever It Takes to Get an Education

Oula A. Alrifai | Posted 05.05.2017 | World
Oula A. Alrifai

What if you had to make a decision between continuing to work as a child laborer to make ends meet for your family or planning to risk the choppy waters and dangerous journey of taking a refugee boat from Turkey to Greece? This is the dilemma of Shrivan, a 16-year-old boy who fled Aleppo, Syria three years ago to southern Turkey.

Leyla Bouzid's 'As I Open My Eyes': The Willpower and Emotions That Make Up a Woman

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 09.17.2016 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

One could argue that the only place where the revolutions of the Arab Spring have actually made a change for the better is Tunisia. The North African country has had its own issues since 2011, but perhaps Tunisia's downturn has much to do with its close proximity to terror hotbed Libya.

The Venice Diaries 2015: Oh Gallow Lay, The Danish Girl, Rabin, the Last Day and Juries... I Disagree!

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 09.13.2016 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

While I didn't watch all the winning films, I did watch other movies that in my humble opinion, are more current and relevant in their subject matter and themes.

The Venice Diaries 2015: Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves!

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 09.05.2016 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

I'm angry. As a woman film blogger, I need twice as much effort and talent to get a quarter of the recognition that my male counterparts receive. I notice it on a daily basis and I've grown to really hate it.

Queens of Syria Extinguishes the Stereotypes Created by War

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 08.10.2016 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

At the last Abu Dhabi Film Festival -- and I mean last in every way since the eighth edition of this beloved cinematic bridge across cultures turned out to be its swan song -- one film quietly grabbed my imagination.

Requiem for a Cinematic Heavyweight: Adieu Abu Dhabi Film Festival

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 06.07.2016 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Just a few days before this year's Festival de Cannes, those of us who watch, love and write about Arab cinema received a press release from Abu Dhabi that seemed like just another announcement.

The Cannes Diaries 2015: Stalking Jake Gyllenhaal and the Rebirth of Arab Cinema

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 05.19.2016 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Once in Cannes, I hit the ground running. Picked up my credentials, again a flirt fest of pat-downs, s'il vows plaît madame and merci's, and went to visit the United Arab Emirates pavilion, which has seen some changes.

Best of Abu Dhabi: Samir's Iraqi Odyssey Explains Iraq and the Humanity Within

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 01.13.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

We're so used to hearing Iraq mentioned on the news and yet, I don't know about you but through the headlines, the violence, the dictators and the wars, I've actually learned very little about this historically rich country, and more importantly its resilient people -- the Iraqis.

The Abu Dhabi Diaries: From A to B, With Great Arab Cinema in Between

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.27.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

This year, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival feels extra special.

The Abu Dhabi Diaries: Can a Film Festival Help Us Overcome Misconceptions, Conflicts and Stereotypes?

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.22.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

This wondrous season of endless possibilities kicks off with the Abu Dhabi Film Festival where, from October 23rd to the 1st of November, it's time once again for some magnificent movie watching, some life-changing interviews and the all around welcoming atmosphere of my favorite region in the world.

Best of Venice: Theeb Takes the World by (Sand) Storm

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 11.08.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Theeb is a jewel, deserving of its Orizzonti Award for Best Director prized to Naji Abu Nowar in Venice and more. But Theeb is also the kind of film that grabs a hold of you and doesn't let go.

The Venice Diaries: Amos Gitai, What Is a Celebrity and the (Attempted) Murder of Italian Cinema

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 11.04.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Perhaps if we lifted our collective eyes away from Twitter and Instagram, we would discover that great cinema celebrities are right here among us all.

The Venice Diaries: Words With Gods (of Cinema) and the Political Outcry Behind Villa Touma

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 11.01.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Out of these troubled "my god is better than your god" times, rises an incredible film, premiered at this year's Venice Film Festival, out of competition.

The Venice Diaries: Theeb, How the World Will End, and There's an App for That!

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 10.29.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Would you use an app that sends a message to other users in the area so they could go break up with your boyfriend, or propose to your sweetheart? Well, artist/filmmaker and writer Miranda July thinks you should.

The Cannes Diaries: Divorce Orthodox Style, the Next Arab Superstar and Hugs on the Croisette

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.17.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Walking up the stairs of the Theatre Croisette inside the JW Marriott after the screening, I felt as if I was thankfully coming up for air, after having been submersed in feelings and beautifully cinematic anguish for nearly two hours.

The Cannes Diaries: Grace of Monaco, a Slasher, a Party Girl and SANAD

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.19.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

The festival kicked off perfectly for me inside the Palais on Wednesday morning, to watch the first Cannes screening of Olivier Dahan's Grace of Monaco, starring Nicole Kidman. I expected entertainment from the film and instead, got a lesson in what it means to be a woman, a strong woman.

'The Cannes Diaries': A Pre-Festival, Last-Minute Checklist

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.11.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

If you're looking for reviews, there are brilliant men and women out there who do it all beautifully. But if you're looking for highlights, fun tidbits and a slightly different way of looking at the grandest film festival in the world, you're in the right place.

Eight Fabulous New Finds from Middle East Now Fest

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.01.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

I'll preface this by pointing out that my fellow Florentines are notoriously pragmatic. Nothing really excites them, but at the concert for Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila the crowd fell head-over-heels under their spell.

Crowdfunding for the Oscars: The Journey of Mahdi Fleifel's A World Not Ours

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 04.19.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

In his fascinating documentary A World Not Ours, and the short 'Epilogue' titled Xenos which just premiered at this year's Berlinale, filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel shows us his very personal connection to the refugee camp of his youth, Ain el-Helweh in Lebanon.

'The Shawati' Interviews': When I Saw You Filmmaker Annemarie Jacir

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 03.24.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

"Listen to your heart. If my films can touch one person and maybe give them the feeling that they don't have to be swallowed up by this world."

Mohamed Khan's Factory Girl: Coming Soon to a Heart Near You

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 02.15.2014 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

I don't know about you, but when someone says 'legendary' it's not often a word I associate with contemporary, entertaining and wonderfully human. Yet Khan's latest film Factory Girl, which enjoyed its world premiere at this year's DIFF is all that, and much, much more.

Finding One's Own Truth: Irrfan Khan at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.28.2013 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

Anyone who has ever been to India doesn't need me to explain the incredible, mystical vibe of this great country. But to those who have yet to journey there and experience its beauty, its undeniable magnetism, its incredible culture and its depth of spirituality, I suggest watching an Irrfan Khan film.

Of Middle East Cinema and Filmmakers in Cannes: Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 07.27.2013 | Arts
E. Nina Rothe

As much as I admire filmmakers, they are modern-day heroes for managing the nearly impossible feat of creating the magic of cinema despite financial restraints and all kinds of obstacles, we must recognize and applaud, encourage these cultural organizations that aid and assist.

When I Saw You: Could This Palestinian Film Win the Next Foreign Language Oscar?

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.25.2012 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

In 2013 the Palestinian state may acquire non-member "observer state" status at the UN. This coming year could also see the first Palestinian entry on an Oscar short list and quite possibly an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.