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Additional resources for The State of the Arts in the Middle East (2009) (The Middle East Institute Viewpoints)
It is indeed extraordinary that a Shi‘a Muslim mourning ritual was transformed into the annual demonstration of pan-Indian national unity in the Caribbean. Although Hindus and Sunnis already participated in the Muharram rituals in India, making Hosay a symbol of Indian unity was a simply phenomenal metamorphosis. Under colonial rule, Hosay was not only a symbol of pan-Indian unity, but of community. Each plantation engaged in Hosay preparation. The main preparation of Hosay observances was and is the construction of the ta‘ziyeh, which in Trinidad and other Caribbean countries is called tadjah (thanks to a phonetic transformation).
One forgets this if one thinks of the Peninsula as a place that was materially impoverished until the relatively recent discovery of oil under its surface. Of late some “modern” art has gained a significant foothold in the Peninsula as well. One might overlook this trend if one does not remember that material wealth has almost always been converted into “cultural capital” for one reason or another since the times of the most ancient civilizations in the Middle East. Verbal art, especially oral vernacular poetry, has been important in the Arabian Peninsula since pre-Islamic times.
Mawid ‘ala al-asha, 1982), The Wife of an Important Man (Zawjat rajul muhimm, 1987), and The Dreams of Hind and Kamilya (Ahlam Hind wa Kamilya, 1988). Although he had been acting since the early 1970s, Ahmad Zaki made his mark working with the young New Realism directors in the 1980s, particularly Muhammad Khan. Zaki was born poor in the Nile Delta city of Zaqaziq. Having shown promise in school theatrical productions, he went on to graduate from the Cairo High Institute for Drama Studies in 1974.