Archive | March 2007

"The Little Prince" comes to Kuwait

Whenever it rains, a sincere smile always finds its way on my face. Today it rained…and so I smiled. Off I went highway cruising to appreciate the magical atmosphere. Uncertain clouds, sudden strikes of lighting, fresh smell of sea breeze, Googoosh soothing lyrics, ….then Ahmed Shamloo’s voice peeped into my head. Damn he had a sexy voice!! I am talking about the narration he did of the translation of “The Little Prince”. I gotta go home and see if I can download the book on tape.

Home I come to start googling, I pick up the Arab Times first when I see this:

WTF!!! *Rubs, rubs, and rubs eyes to make sure have seen the headline correctly*

The Little Prince” comes to Kuwait

The world premier-performance of the new musical “The Little Prince” will be presented in Kuwait on Thursday April 19, Friday April 20, and Saturday April 21 in The Shakespeare Theater at The British School of Kuwait.

The famous children’s book “The Little Prince” by Antoine de St Exupery has been specially adapted for the stage by Alison Shan Price, who is also the director of the show. The music has been composed by the internationally renowned composer and pianist Harriet Petherick Bushman, who has also written the lyrics.

The cast includes adults from KAST, members of British School of Dance. Performances, in support of Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice, are on Thursday 19 at 3 pm, Friday 20 at 3 pm and 6 pm and Saturday 21 at 6 pm.

For further information please contact Gregan Davis on 564-3409 or email dgregan@hotmail.com

So it’s true, God does grant you things you wish for on rainy days 😉

The translation of “The Little Prince” in other languages: LINK

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Happy Norouz 1386: My Personal 7 seens

From one New Year to another.

I was just looking at my New Year’s Resolution for 2007 and I am proud to say that I have kept almost all of them. In fact I was so proud of myself, I went out and got myself an iPod as an appreciation gift.

Here are my personal 7 seens for Norouz 1386:

  1. S: Stop jumping to conclusions.
  2. S: Seek the explanation of things that bugs you
  3. S: Spread even more positive energy
  4. S: Speak up my mind without loosing my temper
  5. S: Sort out the inner conflict I’ve been having with my other personality
  6. S: Slap myself when I feel I am drifting into lala land again
  7. S: Stabilize my mood swings

In short, I gotta shapen up..oops that’s not a س

UPDATE: In case you are not familiar with Norouz and the original Haft seen, here’s the explanation from Wikipedia:

Haft Sîn (Persian: هفت سین‎ ) or the seven ‘S’s is a major tradition of Norouz. The haft sin table includes seven items specific starting with the letter S or Sîn (س in the Persian alphabet). The items symbolically correspond to seven creations and holy immortals protecting them. Originally called Haft Chin (هفت چین), the Haft Sin has evolved over time, but has kept its symbolism. Traditionally, families attempt to set as beautiful a Haft Sîn table as they can, as it is not only of traditional and spiritual value, but also noticed by visitors during Norouzi visitations and is a reflection of their good taste.

The Haft Sin items are:

  • sabzehwheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in a dish – symbolizing rebirth
  • samanu – a sweet pudding made from wheat germ – symbolizing affluence
  • senjed – the dried fruit of the oleaster tree – symbolizing love
  • sîrgarlic – symbolizing medicine
  • sîbapples – symbolizing beauty and health
  • somaqsumac berries – symbolizing (the color of) sunrise
  • serkehvinegar – symbolizing age and patience

While traditionally incorrect, sometimes a missing Sin is exchanged with another item starting with an S. For example:

  • sonbol – the fragrant hyacinth flower (the coming of spring)
  • sekkehcoins (prosperity and wealth)

Other items on the table may include:

  • traditional Iranian pastries such as baghlava, toot, naan-nokhodchi
  • dried nuts, berries and raisins (Aajeel)
  • lit candles (enlightenment and happiness)
  • a mirror
  • decorated eggs, sometimes one for each member of the family (fertility)
  • a bowl with goldfish (life, and the sign of Pisces which the sun is leaving)
  • a bowl of water with an orange in it (the earth floating in space)
  • rose water for its magical cleansing powers
  • the national colours, for a patriotic touch
  • a holy book (e.g., the Qur’an, Avesta, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bible, or Torah) and/or a poetry book (almost always either the Shahnama or the Divan of Hafez)

Review of "Turtles Can Fly"

I have always been skeptic of war films; they are usually one sided and fail to take you inside the thoughts of the nation(s). I mean how can you sum up the paradoxical rational of man killing man in less that 2 hours?

Did “Turtles can fly” manage to that? I don’t know why I don’t even see this movie as a war film. Yes, the setting is a Kurdish refugee camp just near the Turkish border, yes the story does start just before the American invasion, yes in almost every scene we see mines, guns, and tanks; but the story could have been just as poignant without these memorabilia.

The story slowly drags you into the reality of the world of 3 orphan kids who are forced to make decisions most adults in your world and mine are too spoiled to even reflect upon.


First you have ‘Satellite’, the leader of the orphans in the camps who won my admiration for his genuine fatherly concern for the kids living on the edge of death (mine field), use of sense of humor, his hope, his heroism, his energy, and most of all for his affection towards Agrin.

Then there is Henkov who had lost his both his arms and is said to have the ability to foretell the future. He has come to accept the reality of the agony he and his family has gone through and does not seem to hold any grudges against anyone or life. His main concern is to protect their little toddler and try to get his sister to accept him. He tells her, “You won’t be able to sleep unless you learn to like the child.”

And then there’s Agrin, Henkov’s 13 year-old sister. Getting to know her was painful and slow. We first join her trauma when she wants to get a rope for her blind toddler ‘brother’. She then takes us to her dream, dreams of jumping of a cliff, dreams of setting herself on fire, dreams of ending her agony in the least painful and fastest way possible. She doesn’t say much throughout the film but her blank stares leaves you wondering, wondering why she can’t have the same hope as Satellite or come to terms with reality like Henkov; why she holds a grudge against the toddler. Why? She painfully lets you into her world that has left her traumatized and into the night her village was attacked, her parents killed, and she was savagely raped in a river while her helpless brother watched. The rope she got at the beginning of the film brings her agony to an end as she uses it drown her ‘bastard’ son. Suicide was the only way out of the reality she was handed down with.

Things I still reflect upon:

1. Why is the film called Turtles Can Fly? Agrin’s son says, “I want to put my turtles in the water”; later on his mother drowns him in the water, but I fail to understand the symbolism.

2. What did Henkov’s ability to foretell the future symbolize? At the beginning of the film someone says “It’s [the news on TV] all lies, they lie to fill their pocket.” Maybe Henkov is the reliable source of the truth as oppose to the propaganda the satellites dishes he sets up broadcasts?

3. What did the red fish symbolize?

4. What significant event happened 175 days after the fall of Saddam?


Favorite lines from the film:

That boy is very important. He makes predictions. These days money is in the news.

“Hey, Effendi! Hey Mr.! Are you fine? Do you want us to start a war?” Joked by a one-legged orphan mine sweeper as he laughs and brings up his only leg to pretend to shoot at the Turkish border soldier.

-Why don’t you speak properly?’

-There’s money in ”hello” these days. If I don’t say hello, no one answers back. Do you see these boys? They don’t know you’re Kurd. They think you’re a foreigner. The Americans are coming. Learn ”OKs” and all will be fine.

When Satellite describe the bullet casing necklace he buys for Agrin as “It’s international” with a grin on his face.

"Turtles Can Fly" at AWARE

This Wednesday, AWARE would be screening the award winning film “Turtles Can Fly“.

Date: Wednesday, March 7

Time: 7 pm

Length: 1 hour 37m

Admission: Free

Place: AWARE

Map: LINK



In Kurdish with English subtitles

From acclaimed director Bahman Ghobadi comes the first film shot in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussain. “Heart-wrenching as well as spirit raising” (The Hollywood Reporter), Turtles can fly mixes humor and tragedy to startling effect, resulting in a “very timely masterpiece” (TV Guide) about children struggling to survive an endless war zone.

On the Iraqi-Turkish border, enterprising 13 year old “Satelite” (Soran Ebrahim) is the de facto leader of a Kurdish village, thanks to his ability to install satellite dishes and translate news of the pending US invasion. Organizing fellow orphans into landmine collection teams so that they can make a living, he is all business until the arrival of a clairvoyant boy and his quiet, beautiful sister.

Other reviews: “Belongs on movie lovers must-see list” (New York Post)

“Excellent. Rarely does a film feel this urgent” (Indiewire)

“Astonishing Performances” (The Guardian)

“Extraordinarily moving” (Boxoffice)

“Unforgettable” (Newsweek)

“Heartbreaking” (The New York Times)

Awards

  1. Glass Bear, Best Feature Film and Peace Film Award, Berlin International Film Festival, 2005.
  2. Golden Seashell, Best Film, San Sebastián International Film Festival, 2004.
  3. Special Jury Award, Chicago International Film Festival, 2004.
  4. International Jury and Audience Awards, São Paulo International Film Festival, 2004.
  5. La Pieza Award, Best Film, Mexico City International Contemporary Film Festival, 2005.
  6. Audience Award, Rotterdam International Film Festival, 2005.
  7. Golden Prometheus, Best Film, Tbilisi International Film Festival, 2005.
  8. Aurora Award, Tromsø International Film Festival, 2005.
  9. Golden Butterfly, Isfahan International Festival of Films for Children, 2004.