(Iraq, 1968) studied both western music (classical guitar) in England and eastern music (ud and qanun) in Iraq. In addition to playing the guitar, the ud and the qanun he is a composer in his own right, working with the group Melike, of which bass player Henk de Laat is also a member.
Archive available for: Osama Abdulrasol
Ask any Dutchman what s/he knows about Arabic literature and chances are that s/he will come up with Arabian Nights. Is that all? Only the famous stories of Sjahrazaad and Sjahriar? Inform yourself in this special Winternachten afternoon focusing on Arabic literature.
Eight Arab writers read from their own work and read their favourite fragment from Arabic literature. The authors come from the Maghreb and Mashreq, our opposite neighbours on the southside of the Mediterranean. The writers are Laila Abuzaid (Morocco), Habib Selmi (Tunesia), Lamis Saidi (Algeria), Tamim al-Barghouti (Palestine), Ahmad al-Aidi (Egypt), Ashur Etwebi (Libya), Hassan Daoud (Lebanon) and Khaled Khalifa (Syria). Poetry and prose, tradition and experiment, new an age old work passing in revue. Writer Abdelkader Benali and journalist Sarah Meuleman lead this afternoon full of literary discoveries. Members of the audience - critics, publishers, book sllers and experts - respond to the readings and to quastions by the hosts. Iraqi qanun and ud player Osama Abdulrasol gives thew afternoon a musical colour. Finally, get some free advice from master Ra'oef Moes'ad Basta, who offers you the Arab equivalent of your favourite western author. One hint beforehand: "Do you want to read the Arab Reve? Then opt for Sunallah Ibrahim."
The programme is in English. English and Dutch translations of the Arabic literary texts are projected simultaneously.
The writer as commuter
The novels of Elif Shafak have been praised in the Dutch press as "cosmopolitan, with a universal human message". In 2005 Winternachten introduced Shafak in the Netherlands. Now she opens the festival with the Winternachten Lecture. The lecture can be downloaded here as PDF.
In our polarised society, in which the islamic and western worlds are often diametrically oppsed we need new cultural forces. Shafak sees a role for literature. In her Winternachten Lecture she will portray the ideal writer as a commuter between cultures, a nomad who by means of art brings two conflicting worlds closer together. She challenges writers to descend from their ivory towers. Using examples from presentday eastern and western literature she will illustrate her views on literature and multiculturalism.
In recent years Elif Shafak's novels have created quite a stir, not only in Turkey, but alsoi elsewhere in the world. Her first novel in Dutch translation was The Flea Palace (2006), about the pictutesque lives of the inhabitants of a dilapidated apartment building in Istanbul. Important themes in her work are multiculturalism, sexuality and the position of women. In 2006 her novel The Bastard of Istanbul appeared. Shafak was born in Strassbourg and raised as the daughter of a single Turkish diplomat and spent a large part of her youth in Madrid and Amman. She studied international relations at the Technical University of Ankara, where she got her Ph.D. in political science on a dissertation entitled: 'State, secularism and masculinity in the modern Turkish society'. She taught among other things gender studies at the universities of Michigan and Arizona. Other books by Shafak are The Saint of Incipient Insanities (2004), The Gaze (2006) and Black Milk, which appeared in November 2007. Shafak publishes regularly in Turkish newspapers and magazines.
After the lecture Elif Shafak will be interviewed by essay writer and NRC Handelsblad editor Bas Heijne. An English/Dutch text of the lecture will be made available.
DOEN Foundation supports the Winternachten Lecture 2008, because international writers are given an opportunity here to share their views. With their colleagues at the festival, but also with the broader public. Thus new insights are born offering a contribution to the social debate in the Netherlands.
The lecture and the interview are in English.
Come and see: Seven young poets from allover the world enter the stage as modern prophets. They will conclude this Winternight prophesying with a poem assigned by the festival. What kind of future awaits us? Tamiem al-Barghuti (Palestine), Lamis Saidi (Algeria), Violetta Simatupang (Indonesia), Saskia de Jong (Netherlands), Ester Naomi Perquin (Netherlands) and Gabeba Baderoon (South Africa) read and Osama Abdulrasol and Henk de Laat will improvise on the poems on ud and bass. The poets will also read from existing work. Yra van Dijk leads the (English) programme.