Images of the Coast” Photo Story Competition”

“Images of the Coast” Photo Story Competition

The Arab Culture Association announces it is opening the door for entries to its Photo Story Competition “Images of the Coast”, which is part of the activities arranged for ACA’s AlMadina Festival for Culture and the Arts next month. This would be the first edition after the festival’s experimental edition last year.

The Arab Culture Association (ACA) invites anyone who is interested in photography, or storytelling through photos, to submit their entries before the deadline of December 7th. After the judging committee’s evaluation of all the entries, the names of the winners will be announced during the festival, which will take place from December 17th until the 23rd.

The photo story entries should consist of 3 to 5 photos, revolving around the theme of the Palestinian coast, telling stories, or illustrating images happening on the Palestinian coast. Participants should send their submissions with a title and short text to, which will be posted on Instagram (arab_c_a). The competition will give out two valuable prizes: the judging committee’s prize “Best Photo Story”, and the “people’s choice” prize with the highest engagements.

This competition is the second of its kind after the “Home Isolation Diaries” Photo Story Competition, which was organized earlier in May 2020, where 53 participants submitted their entries and 5 won.

During the first competition, ACA published guidelines and recommendations from the judges, in order to help participants in the competition. Photographer and member of the judging committee Mohammad Badarneh believes that “producing a photo story requires a variation of the photographed materials from a photography angle, choosing wide and narrow frames, still and moving scenes, in addition to merging light.” Badarneh included that “the accompanying text is crucial and gives an important dimension to the viewer, yet the photo story should be clear and understood without the text.”

Mohammad Jabali, art teacher and member of the judging committee, considers “a successful photo story to be a series of photos and the visual storytelling relationship between them, more so than the quality and beauty of each individual photo. Sometimes we do not pay attention that the background, the objects, and the setting are important components for each story, especially a photo story. A complete story could have all the important components, yet a story is not complete without a connecting thread linking the photo and the story sequence.”

Open Call: Contributions to the Palestinian Coast Dossier

Open Call for Contributions to the Palestinian Coast Dossier

The Palestinian Coast dossier is part of the planned activities for the “AlMadina Festival for Culture and the Arts 2020” organized by the Arab Culture Association between December 17th and the 23rd of 2020. ACA has cooperated on this dossier with two Palestinian cultural magazines: Roman and Fusha, in order to shed light on cultural issues related to Palestinian coastal cities and towns, what has remained, and what was abandoned.

The dossier’s vision, as is the festival’s, is the centrality of the city for Palestinians from a political and cultural perspective, especially in the occupied 1948 territories. In the last 2 decades, there has been a noticeable transformation in the efforts to reclaim the lost Palestinian city, reshape it, and to rebuild a cultural space in it. It will shed light on this transformation and encourage it, by discussing the cultural issue related to the coast’s past, present, and future. The dossier will illustrate the ambition of a culture that reflects the soul of the coastal Palestinian city and countryside.

The Arab Culture Association invites journalists, writers, researchers, and producers of visual/ written materials especially residents of Palestinian coastal cities and towns, to contribute to this dossier. For more information, you can find details of the call in Arabic.

Wednesday Talk: Realities and Challenges of Palestinian Media in Israel

“Wednesday Talk” Discusses Realities and Challenges of Palestinian Media in Israel

The Arab Culture Association organized last Wednesday a virtual symposium as part of its project “Wednesday Talk” symposia series. In participation with Palestinian journalists, the symposium “Realities and Challenges of Palestinian Media in Israel” discussed many important topics that create challenges for Palestinian media and journalism in the 48 territories.

The symposium was held on Facebook Live, and hosted journalist and director Suha Arraf from “Sikha Mekomit”, editor in chief of “Arab 48” news website Rami Mansour, news director at “AlShams” radio station and journalist for “Haaretz” newspaper Jacky Khoury, and political science researcher and director of “AlNas” radio Dr. Firas Khatib. Journalist Ahmad Darawshe facilitated the symposium.

Darawshe started the symposium with a question regarding the challenges facing Palestinian journalism and media in the 48 territories. All journalists agreed that there is a crisis in local journalism; moreover, their view towards the crisis and its dimensions differed. Arraf considers the problem to be in the recruitment of talents and journalists. Khatib saw the crisis from an accumulated historical dimension, for a nation whose natural development was interrupted because of the occupation; while Mansour considered that there is an objective challenge in establishing and developing a professional journalism environment, not to mention the importance of funding in order to establish such environments. Khoury emphasized there is a fundamental crisis in the definition of journalism and journalist work, in light of easily available and accessible publishing tools, in conjunction with the absence of professional skills in content editing and publishing.

The symposium is available for viewing on ACA’s Facebook Page.

You can also listen to it on Sound Cloud.

Spoken Word Workshop with Artist Fidaa Zidan

Spoken Word Workshop with Artist Fidaa Zidan

Last night, the Arab Culture Association concluded its “Spoken Word” workshop, the first of its kind in the Palestinian 48 Territories, facilitated by Artist Fidaa Zidan. Participants were introduced to the art of Spoken Word and trained on the techniques and fundamentals in the development of Spoken Word texts.

Spoken Word is considered one of the modern performing and poetry writing arts. It combines performing arts and poetry writing with a focus on the “Word”; balanced, free and colloquial speech, relying on wordplay, intonation, and not restricted in content. Moreover, the content usually deals with topics defying social norms and shared in front of a live audience.

Maria Zamel, one of the participants in the workshop stated: “it was a significant and moving experience. It gave me many writing tools, which can help me in my Film Making degree, in addition to affecting me personally and the way I express myself.”

Dareen Ammouri, the organizer of the workshop at the Arab Culture Association, explained that the Spoken Word workshop is one of many workshops organized by ACA this period, which tackles different subjects, and takes place virtually. ACA believes it is important to develop and organize different cultural projects, in spite of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis and the restrictions caused by it, as it is important to intensify these kinds of activities in order to decrease the effects of the crisis.”

Ammouri explained that Spoken Word is one of the international modern arts that has entered the Arab culture and art recently in Poetry and Theatre. She highlighted that ACA “chose during this period to focus on creative writing workshops in various different fields, such as Spoken Word which is the first of its kind, presenting an international and modern performing art, novel in the Arab culture.”

from the workshop

The workshop was three Zoom sessions long, where the artist and trainer Fidaa Zidan worked on giving participants the tools necessary to choose the words and how to prepare texts, in addition to developing performance skills and tools that enrich the texts the participants were working on, and through analyzing different examples of Spoken Word from all around the world academically.

About the Trainer

Fidaa Zidan is a Palestinian actress and writer from the Galilee region of Palestine. She received a B.A. in Social Theater from Haifa University, and a Masters in Fine Arts from Tel-Aviv University. Zidan performed in Amir Nizar Zuabi’s play, Grey Rock (2018-2020) produced by Remote Theater Project in New York, and featured in the New York Times, performed in the USA and Australia.

Zidan also wrote and acted in her own production, The Last Day of Spring (2018) directed by Siwar Awad, which was performed in Haifa, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Nazareth, Shifa’ Amer, the Galilee, Ni’liin, Uganda- KITF, and in Hebrew at the Tel Aviv University.

She has worked with Amir Zuabi in several plays including Against a Hard Surface (2017) a co-production with Ya Samer Dance Theater, and much more. Zidan participates in social theater programs for disadvantaged communities and various educational projects. Currently, she is preparing a children’s play, in addition to writing Spoken Word performances, such as her performance during ACA’s AlMadina Festival for Culture and the Arts in 2019, under the title “Experimental Lab”.

Fidaa Zidan

Poetry Writing Workshop with Poet Najwan Darwish

Poetry Writing Workshop with Poet Najwan Darwish

The Arab Culture Association announces it is opening registration to the Poetry Writing Workshop titled ‘First Collection of Poems (Diwan)- How to Prepare your First or Second Collection of Poetry for Publication’, which will be presented by Palestinian Poet Najwan Darwish.

The workshop targets young Palestinian and Arab poets (between 19-35 years), who have published their work before and are currently working on their first or second collection of poems.

Poetry Writing Workshop with Poet Najwan Darwish

The workshop consists of 12 Zoom sessions over 6 months, which aims to help and accompany each poet in editing his or her first or second poetry collection, in addition to producing a poetry anthology from the texts of the participating poets, which will be published by Dar AlFil Publication in Jerusalem and the Arab Culture Association in Haifa.

Narrative Writing Workshop with Writer Raji Bathish

Narrative Writing Workshop with Palestinian Writer Raji Bathish

The Arab Culture Association announces it is opening registration for Post Modern Narrative Writing Workshop on the subject of the individual (the Ego) and others while using the stream of consciousness technique titled “I…them…I” presented by Palestinian writer Raji Bathish. The workshop is intended for anyone who writes, loves to write, would like to, or thinks he/ she can write, and have proven writing skills. Registration to the workshop requires sending writing samples.

The workshop is 8 weekly sessions on Fridays at 11 AM, each session is 2 hours long via Zoom. The first session is on November 11th, 2020. The last day of registration is October 30th, 2020. The participation fee is 600 NIS, after filling out the online application.

At the end of the workshop, the Arab Culture Association will publish the texts of the participants in an electronic book.


4th Annual Short Story Competition

4th Annual Short Story Competition

The Arab Culture Association announces opening the door for applications to its 4th annual Short Story Competition for Middle and High School students. The competition aims to enhance opportunities for creative literary writing among school students, in order to encourage future contributions to Arabic literature in Palestinian society.

The competition is being organized for the fourth year in a row, in which over 100 students participated in the competition from different Arab countries last year.

Participants should send a short story in Arabic that they wrote, which has not been published before. Students are free to choose the subject of the story. A specialized judging committee chooses the nominated stories and the winning texts based on different criteria: 1- creativity and innovation of the idea and subject, 2- literary style, 3- story structure, 4- characters, 5- language.

Applications are accepted by including the short story (1500 word limit) within the electronic application until February 10th, 2021.

Journalistic Interviewing Workshop in Cooperation with Arab 48

Journalistic Interviewing Workshop in Cooperation with Arab 48 News

The Arab Culture Association and “Arab 48” News announce they are opening registration for their joint workshop “Journalistic Interviewing”, which will be presented by Journalism lecturer at Birzeit University, journalist Saleh Masharqa. The workshop aims to provide training in deep in-depth journalistic interviewing and to qualify a number of journalists and writers in interviewing and journalistic interrogation.

The workshop will tackle the following subjects:

1- Choosing a personality,

2- Building the questions,

3- Interrogation skills,

4- Wording and editing,

5- Journalistic interviews multimedia,

6- Discussing published interviews.

The workshop includes a training production for each participant, in which he/ she must perform an interview with a social, cultural, political personality, which will be published on the site of Arab 48 News or in Fusha- Palestinian Cultural Magazine.

The workshop will also host journalist, documentary director, and director of Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), Rawan AlDamin, in an interactive session on her experience with journalistic interviewing.

The workshop is free of charge, but seats are limited. The deadline for registration is October 5th, 2020. The 4 workshop sessions will take place over Zoom, 2 hours each session at 12:00 PM on the following dates: October 16, 17, 23, and 30.

Cinema Al Inshirah’s Third Season

Arab Culture Association launches Cinema Al Inshirah’s Third Season

The Arab Culture Association launched its third season of Cinema Al Inshirah, with a series of 5 movie screenings in September 2020, which were screened in the Arab Cultural Center in Haifa.

Cinema Al Inshirah’s Third Season

The third season screened 5 Black and White Egyptian movies from the fifties and sixties which tackle feminist and gender issues in Egyptian and Arab society. The movies discuss women’s struggle in the workplace, society’s view of her role and position, challenging traditional roles, and what is known as “family reputation” in conservative societies and ongoing political unrest.

The movies included: “Miss Hanafi” 1954 directed by Fatin Abdel Wahab, “Made of Fear” 1969 by Hussien Kamal, “For Men Only” 1964 by Mahmoud Tho AlFaqar. The program also included “The Sin” 1965 by Henry Barakat, and “My Wife the Director” 1966 by Fatin Abdel Wahab.

Cinema Al Inshirah’s Third Season

The movies were screened outdoors at the Arab Cultural Center in the evenings, except for the last 2 movies which were canceled due to compulsory instructions for a general quarantine in the country enforced mid-September.

The third season was organized 3 months after the second season in June of 2020, which screened 3 movies that tackled social issues from Egypt and Mexico.

Cinema Al Inshirah

Named after “Bustan Al Inshirah”, one of the most prominent recreational parks in Haifa during the 1930s and 1940s, the park was managed by Tannous Salameh and his brothers. The park cut through the center of Haifa, as it was the only space for the residents at the time to enjoy cultural and entertainment events. Om Kolthum and Monira Hadya performed in Bustan Al Inshirah, in addition to plays by Yousef Wahbi, and many other performers and productions.

Cinema Al Inshirah thrives to recover a lost moment in time in the history of Modern Arab Culture.

Cinema Al Inshirah’s Third Season

Haifa in Arabic

Haifa in Arabic: Series of Tours for University Students

The Arab Culture Association organized in the last few weeks a series of tours for students of the Rawda Bshara Atallah Scholarship, sponsored by the Galilee Foundation in London, under the title ‘Haifa in Arabic’ guided by tour guide Bilal Dirbas.

Almost 100 students participated in 5 tours which started last Sunday, September 13th, and continued till Thursday, September 17th.

The tours began in Haifa from the neighborhood of Wadi Al Nisnas at the headquarters of the Arab Culture Association and continued to the municipal garden that overlooks the old city of Haifa where they can witness the scheme to wipe out the city’s Palestinian landmarks such as the churches, mosques and the clock tower, which the tall buildings hide.

Students then went through a tour at the “Anglo Palestina” Bank which the colonialist Jewish agency established; then through “Hanatir Square” (Paris Square), where they performed activities in which they turned to the residents and local vendors in Jaffa Street near the square, and they got acquainted with the city’s history and present from the stories of its residents.

The tour continued to the Jreineh Mosque, the Clock Tower, and the Independence Mosque where Shiekh Iz AlDin AlQassam preached, then continued to Faisal’s Column, and Wadi Al Salib where the gentrification and Judaification of Palestinian sites are most apparent.  The tour ended at the “House of Grace” which is the Greek Catholic Church in Haifa, where the students witnessed how it’s been engulfed by buildings by comparing old pictures from before the Nakbah and after, and they were able to see the occupation’s scheme to blur and erase the Palestinian presence in the city.

Scholarship program coordinators, Moustafa Rinawi and Lubna Touma, emphasized “the tours in the scholarship program introduce students to the history of Palestine through walking tours. This year we decided to do the tours in Haifa and call it ‘Haifa in Arabic’ in order to introduce the city’s history and present; to show how the Nakbah is still ongoing, not just an event that happened in the past, by highlighting what the city represents and suffers though attempts to erase its Arab identity.”

The ‘Haifa in Arabic’ tours is part of the educational program of the Rawda Bshara Atallah Scholarship this year, in addition to other educational days and workshops during the school year. The Scholarship program, which the Galilee Foundation sponsors, has opened registration to the new school year last week to first and second-year B.A. students attending Palestinian and Israeli universities, and registration is ongoing till October 5th.