Arab States: News Updates


Literature and Arts help Slemani (Iraq) cope with COVID-19

Slemani, a city in Iraq, became a UNESCO Creative City of Literature in 2019. Literature plays an active role in the cultural and economic development of Slemani – a regional cultural center.

Literature and literary creation hold sway over the city, which is also a regional translation capital and home to seven major publishing houses. Today the city hosts major literary festivals including the annual Galawezh Festival, founded in 1996 that invites Kurdish, Arab, Persian, Turkish and Iraqi writers to participate and contribute with their work.

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Being a Journalist is Risky Business in Somalia

Journalists in Somalia routinely face many difficulties but this year, under the stress of the spread of COVID-19, they say feel even more threatened by intimidation and arrest by what they call hostile leaders.

Cautiously celebrating World Press Freedom Day, a number of Somali journalists and journalists’ rights activists shared their experiences with the VOA Somali service.

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How young Arabs are reacting to the COVID-19 crisis through art

The current crisis has imposed radical changes on the way people practice daily life. Even the simplest acts of love, compassion and solidarity have taken new forms that are completely strange from what humans used to consider normal, whereas the greatest act of love is to stay away from your loved ones.

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Egypt cultural production goes online to circumvent virus constraints

CAIRO –The Egyptian Ministry of Culture has established a YouTube channel to provide a wide range of cultural materials to encourage Egyptians to stay home to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

The free channel airs diverse cultural shows, including theatrical plays, music concerts, short films, feature films and documentaries.

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After Dubai’s Biggest Art Fair Was Cancelled, the UAE Government Swiftly Purchased More Than $400,000 of Work by Local Artists

After Art Dubai and other events in the United Arab Emirates were cancelled or pushed online in the face of the global health situation, cutting off a much-needed lifeline for many galleries and artists in the region, the country’s government decided to reach into its own coffers to buy some of the art itself.

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