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Movie Titles

The Syrian Bride, 2004
Al-Mummia (The Mummy a.k.a. The Night of Counting the Days), 1969

Duaa El Karawan, 1959
Kalim Mama (Talk to my mother), 2003

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Movie Reviews

The Syrian Bride, 2004
Run time: 97 min
Director: Eran Riklis
Country: France, Germany, Israel
Language: Arabic, English, Hebrew, Russian, French

The Syrian BrideThe story takes place on the wedding day of a Druze woman in Majd Alshams, a pro-Syrian village located in the Golan Heights, land occupied by Israel. The bride is to marry a Syrian soap opera star whom she has never met. The wedding is to take place at the border and, when she enters Syria, she will have to give up her right to return to her native village. The wedding seems doomed not to take place as complications arise due to the tense political situation between Israel and Syria. A frazzled UN worker from France plays the go-between and the impasse is overcome. This film gives a glimpse into the difficult existence of the inhabitants of this part of the world.
- Recommended by Christine Foster Meloni, Culture Club Editor

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Al-Mummia (The Mummy a.k.a. The Night of Counting the Days) - 1969
Director: Chadi Abdel Salam
Run time: 102 minutes
Directed by Shady Abdel Salaam, and starring Ahmed Marei, Zouzou Hamdi el-Hakim and Ahmed Hegazi. This older Egyptian film breaks with the pop melodrama that continues to monopolize the Egyptian cinema with a piece on family, tradition and survival. The story is set in 19th century British colonial Egypt as the patriarch of a Bedouin family dies and leaves his family's secret and responsibilities to his two sons. That secret, revealed in the bowels of the desert mountains near Luxor, is that the family has lived for years by selling stolen artifacts from the mummies of ancient Egypt. Wannis and his brother object to this thievery which dire consequences for both themselves and their family. This beautiful film opens a window into the complexity of Egyptian Bedouin, Muslim, Arabic culture.
- Recommended by Shawn Greenstreet

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Duaa El Karawan - 1959
Director: Henry
Run Time: 126 mins
The Nightingale's Prayer is a classic Egyptian movie written and directed by Henry Bakarat. Based on the novel by acclaimed Egyptian novelist Taha Hussein, this tale of bitter hatred turned to love follows the story of courageous, grief-stricken Amna (Faten Hamama) as she plots and seeks revenge against the man who destroyed her family's honor, and was ultimately responsible for her sister's death (brilliantly portrayed by the intense Ahmed Mazhar). Though little known in the United States, Duaa El Karawan is an important contribution to international cinema. The film is a realistic, engaging, and emotional look at how one courageous woman rebelled against tradition.
- Recommended by Maha Abdulla

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Kalim Mama (Talk to my mother) - 2003
Director: Ahmad Awwadh
Run time: 90 minutes

A comedy love story, a couple (played by Manna Shelby and Ahmed Zahir) decides to marry after a wonderful love story. The girl's mother (played by Abla Kamil) is against their relationship from the beginning and tries her best to stop their marriage. With the help and the support of their friends, they succeed in convincing the mother who grants her acceptance to their marriage. The movie presents a number of problems that the Middle Eastern girls face in their society. One of these problems is choosing the right partner, which is considered a family decision rather than a personal choice
- Recommended by Maha Abdalla

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