Babel Festival Opens Its Doors
By Muayad Abu Sbeih
The 12th annual International Babel Festival opened its doors on Friday to the theme of From Nabukath Nasr to Saddam Hussein, Babel Rises Once More on the Road to Constructive Victory.
More than 47 Arab and 78 foreign groups are participating in this year’s 10-day festival.
According to Iraqi Minister of Culture and Information Hamam Abdul Khaleq, who is also the chairman of the festival’s higher committee, this year’s events aim at personifying the ability of the Iraqi people to prove their cultural continuity alongside the world’s artists. This goal, said Khaleq, is especially important in light of the sanctions which have been imposed since 1990.
Meanwhile, those attending the opening night witnessed a special and innovative dance by the National Iraqi Group for Popular Arts entitled Farah Iraqi (An Iraqi Wedding).
This year’s festival includes many additional attractions including cultural, artistic and academic lectures on Babel’s science and arts as well as literary nights, poetry readings, plays, book exhibitions and more. These events will take place in three of the Babel’s theaters: Al Babely, Al Arsh and Tanmakh. Furthermore, the festival will present its visitors with around three to four daily events.
The countries participating include Jordan, Syria, Yemen, Palestine, Morocco, Libya, Russia, Norway, Poland, Malaysia and more.
The Babel film festival, which commenced in 1987, had to suspend its activities in 1990-1991 due to the Gulf War. However, since its 1991 return, it has become one of the Arab world’s most popular events – Albawaba.com.
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