Traditional Dhow shipbuilders of Sur | Oman 2014

Long considered as Oman’s prime trading ports, the calm and serene coastal town is the capital of Ash Sharqiyah on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. Sur has always been the epicenter of travel and trade in this region. Its vessels have ruled the waters since many a centuries! Its strategic location has always helped in maintaining and monitoring peace in the Gulf of Oman and the Indian Ocean.

Sinbad, the Pirates of the Main and trade from as far as China to the Mediterranean all had one this in common: the Omani hand made Dhows sailing vessels. Mark Abouzeid report on this important world cultural heritage takes you to one of the last remaining hand built boat yards in Sur, Oman.

Here is the video teaser for an upcoming documentary reportage on this important Omani cultural heritage.

Cedars in Air | Beirut to Balbek

On a snowy winter day, Mark Abouzeid crossed the mountains surrounding Beirut to visit Hezbollah stronghold of Balbek…and found a history of Roman conflict rather than present day.

The second installment of Mark Abouzeid’s journey to his ancestral home in search of his roots. This work as well as future footage from upcoming trips will be developed into an upcoming documentary film, “Cedars in Air”.

 

Anti-Immigrant Attacks Spur Florence Artists to Action

Henry Ridgwell of VOA News recently visited the city to interview Mark Abouzeid on his work to combat racism.

 

The Italian city of Florence is known for its art and beauty. Its immigrant community is less well known. But following a series of racist attacks on African migrants in Florence, a group of artists is highlighting the contribution of foreigners to Florentine culture, past and present.

From Voice of America:

FLORENCE — The Italian city of Florence is known for its art and beauty. Its immigrant community is less well known. But following a series of attacks on African migrants in Florence, a group of artists is highlighting the contribution of foreigners to Florentine culture, past and present.

With its stunning architecture and countless galleries, Florence has long been at the heart of Western art.  It is the birthplace of the Renaissance, the flowering of Western artistic endeavor that began in the 14th century.

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The Bedu of Wadi Rum: A culture at risk.

How do you capture the entire character of a culture that has no written record, has lived for centuries in relative isolation and exists in complete harmony with one of the world’s most extreme environments?

 

National Geographic

Bedouin reside in every principal country in the region.

Unlike most indigenous tribes who eventually get displaced by immigrants, the Bedouin represent the common heritage of the Arab people. By understanding their history and culture, we can better understand the middle east, overall. The knowledge, wisdom and history that is at risk forms the historical foundation of all Arab people’s.

The Bedu have maintained a quasi nomadic quasi sedentary existence for centuries living in equilibrium with their surroundings, integrating into their host countries while never losing their own identity.

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Safeguarding the World’s Intangible Cultures at Risk.

“When a child is born, the father goes into the desert in search of the largest scorpion he can find.  The eldest woman slowly cooks the animal in a pan over an open fire until it melts like butter.  This salve is massaged into the skin of the baby.  The baby gets sick as a consequence of the scorpion venom but not enough to do it harm.  I was bitten by a scorpion a few years ago and nothing happened.  This is one of the traditional medicines of our people that is being lost.”  Attayak

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