Farah Chamma evolving through poetry

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Updated 12 August 2013
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Farah Chamma evolving through poetry

Farah Chamma is a Palestinian poet, studying law and political science at the Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. She began writing poetry at the age of 14 at around the same time she began exploring her personal relationship with her faith. Farah writes poetry in English, Arabic, and French using a variety of lyrical and linguistic styles. Her work can mainly be described as introspective. She is one of the youngest members of Poeticians, a group of poets and writers from the Middle East. She has been engaged in performance poetry and spoken word since 2008 and has participated in many events and competitions including the SIKKA Art Fair and the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature. In 2012, she organized and hosted “Sip of Poetry” in Abu Dhabi, a poetry evening featuring various poets from the region. She is currently working on launching a student-led poetry group with the help of award-winning poet and hip-hop artist, Paul D, aiming to encourage spoken word performances in colleges and universities.

How powerful in your opinion is the spoken word?
I think the spoken word is the most powerful way for poetry to spread in our world today. Performed poem spreads much faster than the written one. I also think it’s a powerful art since it combines both literary and theatrical skills, giving more space for creativity.

What got you into poetry?
I started writing at the age of 14, but my “real” experience with poetry began when I first performed in front of an audience with the Dubai-based poetry group the Poeticians- I was around 15. Ever since, I have been engaging in performance poetry.

What inspires Farah Chamma?
What mostly inspires me to write is the audience, which always proves to be supportive and thirsty for more art and performance. Whenever I sit down to write, I think of the individuals that would appreciate with sincerity every word that is to be written.

Your poem “How Must I believe” was circulated all over social media sites, what is the feedback and what inspired you to write it?
The majority of the feedback is very encouraging, however, I received some criticism regarding both the language of the poem and its content. Some found that the Arabic language with which the poem was written is weak, which is understandable as my poem “How Must I Believe?” is one of my first written Arabic pieces (having been educated in an American school and written poetry in English mainly). Others found the poem to be too polemic and the majority misunderstood the poem to be a declaration of atheism, which is not the case at all.

Who are your favorite poets?
Tamim Al Barghouti, Hisham El Gakh, and T.S. Eliot. .

https://twitter.com/FarahChamma

You can also watch her video of the poem “How Must I believe” here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVodbIi798w

[email protected]


Keira Knightley film calls for unity in divided times

Updated 32 min 41 sec ago
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Keira Knightley film calls for unity in divided times

  • The film is set during the reconstruction of post WWII Germany
  • The port city of Hamburg suffered a devastating bombing raid by the Allied forces in July 1943

LONDON: Keira Knightley said her new film “The Aftermath,” set in the bombed-out ruins of Hamburg just after the end of the Second World War, had important lessons on building bridges that were very relevant for today’s divided societies.
The romantic drama sees Knightley play Rachael Morgan, who moves to Germany to be with her husband, a British colonel who has a leading role in the reconstruction effort in Hamburg. They move in with a German widower and his troubled daughter.
Her co-stars, Australian Jason Clarke who plays her husband Lewis and Swedish Alexander Skarsgard, who plays a German architect also attended the world premiere at London’s Picturehouse Central on Monday.
“It’s very relevant for now. It’s about building bridges, it’s about how we see each other as human beings and we don’t demonize each other and that’s obviously something that we need to do right now,” Knightley said.
The port city of Hamburg suffered a devastating bombing raid by the Allied forces in July 1943, known as “Operation Gomorrah,” that killed some 40,000 people and caused the destruction of swathes of the city.
“I knew nothing about the rebuilding of Germany ... I haven’t thought about how unbelievably difficult it must have been to not only physically rebuild these places but also mentally for English and German people ... who had been enemies, who had literally killed each other for six years, to suddenly forgive and move forward,” Knightley said.
Clarke said: “We’ve benefited so much from the Lewis Morgans who put Europe together ... guys like him built it up and made Germany and Europe what it is today, we all stand on the threshold of wanting to tear it down.”
“The Aftermath” opens in cinemas in Britain on March 1, and in the United States on March 15.