I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic
Electronic Intifada, 29th March 2013
More than 1,000 years ago, in the middle of the Arabian peninsula, Qays ibn al-Mulawwah fell in love with Layla bint Mahdi ibn Saad. He recited poetry expressing his adoration of her, but in naming her continuously and publicly, convinced Layla’s father that he was mad, and so lost the opportunity of her hand in marriage. Layla was married to another man, and theirs became one of the great tragic love stories, a Middle Eastern Romeo and Juliet. It became known as Majnun Layla. In Habibi (My beloved), the American-Syrian-Lebanese filmmaker Susan Youssef transfers the Majnun Layla tale to Gaza in 2001, near the beginning of second intifada.
The full review is here.
And there’s a chance to see Habibi on the big screen coming up at the Bird’s Eye View film festival – focusing on women directors from the Middle East – in London on April 10th.