Alkazi: Saudi-Indian theater icon star attraction at Dammam fest

Updated 18 February 2015
0

Alkazi: Saudi-Indian theater icon star attraction at Dammam fest

It is a classic case of believe it or not. Ebrahim Alkazi, the celebrated Indian theater director, has his roots in Unaiza in Qassim.
Alkazi’s businessman father, Hamad, came from Saudi Arabia and did business in India in the 1960s and 1970s. That was before the oil boom changed the face of Saudi Arabia.
Alkazi, now 90, went to St. Vincent’s High School in Pune and St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. He went to London for training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
On Feb. 20, when Alkazi will be honored at the 2nd Saudi Film Festival in Dammam, it will be like a homecoming for the prodigal son.
“We want to honor pioneers in the field of theater,” said Ahmed Al-Mulla, director general of the festival. “And Alkazi is top on that list.”
Alkazi has played the role of a bridge between Indian and Arab cultures. “We consider him as a treasure and a maker of history. We want to present him as a role model to our Saudi youth,” said Al-Mulla.
He said a documentary on Alkazi will be screened during the opening ceremony, and a book is also being published illustrating his remarkable life and achievements.
Early on in his career, Alkazi got associated with the Bombay Progressive Artists Group, which included M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, S.H. Raza, Akbar Padamsee, Tyeb Mehta, artists who were later to paint from his plays and design his sets.
As the director of the prestigious National School of Drama, Alkazi revolutionized Indian theater by the magnificence of his vision, and the meticulousness of his technical discipline. He trained many well-known film and theater actors and directors, including Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah and Rohini Hattangadi. He also founded Art Heritage Gallery in Delhi.
Alkazi’s father spent his life trading between Pakistan, India, Turkey, Kuwait and Lebanon. He settled for some time in India, when his son Ebrahim was born in 1925 in Pune.
His daughter Amaal and son Faisal are also associated with theater.
Alkazi speaks highly about his father and takes immense pride in his Saudi roots and considers his early days in Pune as “the richest moments in my life.”


Anna Burns wins Booker Prize with Troubles tale 'Milkman'

British author Anna Burns holds her book 'Milkman' during a photocall at the Royal Festival Hall in London on October 14, 2018, ahead of Tuesday's announcement of the winner of the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. (AFP)
Updated 55 min 17 sec ago
0

Anna Burns wins Booker Prize with Troubles tale 'Milkman'

  • This year’s shortlist was made up of writers from the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States

LONDON: “Milkman” by writer Anna Burns scooped the 2018 Man Booker Prize on Tuesday, with the Northern Irish writer winning the literary award for her third full-length novel.
Set in an unnamed city during the bloody “Troubles” of Northern Ireland, the “Milkman” tells the coming-of-age story of a young girl’s affair with an older man.
As winner, the 56-year-old writer, who was born in Belfast, received the award from Prince Charles’ wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, as well as 50,000 pounds ($65,900).
“None of us has ever read anything like this before. Anna Burns’ utterly distinctive voice challenges conventional thinking and form in surprising and immersive prose,” philosopher and novelist Kwame Anthony Appiah, who chaired the prize’s panel of judges, said in a statement.
“It is a story of brutality, sexual encroachment and resistance threaded with mordant humor. Set in a society divided against itself, ‘Milkman’ explores the insidious forms oppression can take in everyday life.”
Established in 1969, the annual literary prize recognizes the judges choice of “the best original novel written in English and published in the UK.”
This year’s shortlist was made up of writers from the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.