Baha'i News -- Arab culture month going ahead 2 Sivan 5762, Monday May. 13, 2002, (03:43)

Arab culture month going ahead

By DAVID RUDGE

The outdoor shows and street performances that have highlighted Arab Culture Month in recent years are being cancelled this year due to the security situation.

Nevertheless, officials of Haifa’s Beit Hagefen Arab-Jewish Center, which is organizing the event, said it would be bigger and better than ever.

Details of the upcoming activities were outlined by Haifa Mayor Amram Mitzna at a press conference yesterday. The municipality is helping to fund the event, along with the Ministry of Culture.

Mitzna has also been working hard to preserve harmonious ties between the city’s Jewish and Arab residents, following terror attacks and demonstrations against the IDF’s military operations in the territories.

Beit Hagefen director-general Mordechai Peri said that various events would be held in 38 Arab cities, towns, and villages during the course of Arab Culture Month which begins next Monday.

Culture month began 23 years ago as a book fair which gave Israeli Arabs access to literature from throughout the Arab and Muslim world, including from countries which do not have formal or indirect ties with Israel.

In recent years, outdoor theater performances, as well as folk dancing, traditional songs, storytelling in Beduin and Druse tents, and street shows were introduced.

“This year, because of the security situation, it was decided to cancel the outdoor shows and parades as a precaution,” Peri said.

“Instead, there will be more indoor theater performances in many more places than ever before, and we are still going ahead with cultural tours in Haifa, which will take in the Bahai gardens and the book fair and art exhibition in Beit Hagefen and in the Wadi Nisnas quarter.”

The art exhibition is on the theme of still nature and will display the work of 13 artists and sculptors, nine of them women.
A special feature this year will be the narration of traditional stories in Hebrew for 1,300 Jewish children from a number of Haifa primary schools.

There will also be discussions in Hebrew among prominent Arab and Jewish poets and writers, in addition to a evening in memory of Dov Chernobrod, a Haifa coexistence activist and member of the Beit Hagefen board of directors, who was killed along with 14 others in the suicide bombing at the Matza restaurant six weeks ago.


©Copyright 2002, Jwrusalem Post

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