What We Are Reading Today: A Face with Two Shadows, by Zoha Shabat  

Updated 12 May 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: A Face with Two Shadows, by Zoha Shabat  

At a time when Saudi Arabia is rebuilding its entertainment industry and restoring the theater, I came across an original play written by a young Saudi woman in a time where published Arabic plays were quite scarce.

Zoha Shabat wrote “A Face with Two Shadows,” for a literary competition, winning the first-edition reward that enabled her to publish the play in 2017.

We as readers get to tune into the protagonist’s thoughts via interior monologue and watch him grapple with the presence that haunts him throughout the play, before an all-out battle takes place between him and the shadow.

A very striking element in the play is the dismissal the protagonist, Khalid, faces from others in society, and also from within himself. He seeks help but refuses it when it is offered to him.

The book cover and illustrations introducing each chapter are designed by Amani Al-Ghoraibi, whose art relates to the story beautifully, summarizing the plot of each chapter.

I would be very curious to see how audiences react to a live performance of the play as it faces taboos head on, in an ever-changing Saudi Arabia.


What We Are Watching Today: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised 

Updated 21 May 2018
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What We Are Watching Today: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised 

In Venezuela, where elections took place on Sunday, the legacy of the late firebrand socialist leader Hugo Chavez still dominates the country.

President Nicolas Maduro was the hand-picked successor to Chavez and campaigns on a platform of continuing the “Chavismo” policies.

Those policies have plunged the country into a deep economic crisis, despite it having some of the world’s largest oil reserves.

“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is a 2003 documentary, which was filmed by an Irish crew, in the buildup to and during an attempted coup against Chavez in 2002.

It focuses on the role of the private media and the coverage of violent protests.

While it has been accused of pro-Chavez bias, the filmmakers’ close proximity to the unfolding events gives an uncomfortable view of the political schisms that threaten to tear Venezuela apart.