What We Are Watching Today: Violet Evergarden

Updated 13 July 2018
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What We Are Watching Today: Violet Evergarden

  • This is a wonderful story, narrated through stunning animation
  • Violet’s bluntness is refreshing, and her relationship with each character is inspiring

One of Netflix’s latest additions is the heartbreaking story of the child soldier, Violet Evergarden, who loses her sense of purpose once the war is over.

In the aftermath of the conflict, Violet notices the absence of her commanding officer, Major Gilbert Bougainvillea. Following his orders, she accompanies one of his friends who takes her to a postal services office, where she works as an Auto Memory Doll — a literary assistant who transcribes people’s thoughts and emotions on letters in an eloquent way.

This is a wonderful story, narrated through stunning animation, which depicts the aftermath of war, suffering, loss and PTSD. It is also about soldiering on and persevering, especially at times when it seems like there is no way out.

Violet’s bluntness is refreshing, and her relationship with each character is inspiring. She is determined to understand what “love” is, as it was the last thing she heard from the major who she followed so diligently.

P.S. Keep a tissue box with you at all times; this is an emotional series about a girl who learns about complex human emotions through watching their experiences.


Fans of Iraqi music treated to a double helping at Tantora festival

(AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 11 min 24 sec ago
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Fans of Iraqi music treated to a double helping at Tantora festival

  • Ilham Al-Madfai: “The Saudi people have a high degree of elegance in terms of presenting things, taking what is available and turning it into something beautiful

AL-ULA: In a magical night filled with beauty and elegance, a sell-out audience hungry for an authentic taste of Iraqi music enjoyed a feast on Friday evening served up by two of its greatest exponents.
Kadim Al-Saher and Ilham Al-Madfai treated the audience at their show, part of the Winter in Tantora festival in Al-Ula, to some memorable performances of timeless tunes.
Renowned guitarist, singer and songwriter Al-Madfai, known for his synthesis of western guitar sounds with popular Iraqi music, was first on stage at the Maraya concert hall. The veteran entertainer performed a selection of his best-known hits — including “Bent Al-Shalabiya,” “Khuttar” and “Ashgar Beshama” — which generated a wave of nostalgia that was almost tangible.
The audience reacted with delight when the 77-year-old singer announced: “Now I’ll perform one of the most beautiful songs from my musical career: ‘Mali Shughul Belsoug.’”
Later, he told the enchanted audience, “I’m happy to be here with you,” before performing two songs dedicated to his home city of Baghdad, including one written by the late Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani that includes the line: “Oh, Baghdad, I came to you like an exhausted ship hiding my wounds behind my clothes.”
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Al-Madfai revealed that he was impressed by the natural beauty of Al-Ula.
“I was amazed,” he said. “I was daydreaming about what would I do in such a place for half an hour on my way to the concert.”
He described Saudis as elegant and classy, adding: “The Saudi people have a high degree of elegance in terms of presenting things, taking what is available and turning it into something beautiful —the houses, the rooms and the designs (in Al-Ula).”
Following the wonderful performance by Al-Madfai was no easy task, but Al-Saher was more than capable. Dubbed the “Caesar of Arabic Song,” he entertained the crowd with a selection of his timeless love songs, including “Zidini Ashqan,” “Kul Al-Eshq” and “Eid w Hub.”
The 61-year-old’s high notes echoed among the magnificent mountains and hills of the ancient city of Al-Ula, delighting his awestruck fans.