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The Beirut Call

(1 customer review)

The Beirut Call is an anthology of essays, poems, artwork, and photographs from over 20 contributors who explore the concepts of devastation and resilience. When the Beirut port exploded in August of 2020, it shattered more than buildings and homes: it reopened wounds, grief, and fears that many had experienced during the long and brutal Lebanese civil war. Loss of life reached the hundreds and injuries numbered in the thousands. More than 300,000 people were left homeless. In addition to this devastation, the people experienced the loss and destruction of parts of it’s art center, including the Sursock Museum, The Arab Image Foundation, the Sfeir-Semler Gallery, and the Beirut Art Center.

How does the act of witnessing hardship and molding powerful art change the landscape of local and global hardship? In this anthology, over 20 voices come together to explore this question and challenge the notion of resilience itself.

$34.99$49.99

Description

Giving hope to a world torn apart

The Beirut Call is an anthology of essays, poems, artwork, and photographs from over 20 contributors who explore the concepts of devastation and resilience. When the Beirut port exploded in August of 2020, it shattered more than buildings and homes: it reopened wounds, grief, and fears that many had experienced during the long and brutal Lebanese civil war. Loss of life reached the hundreds and injuries numbered in the thousands.More than 300,000 people were left homeless. In addition to this devastation, the people experienced the loss and destruction of parts of it’s art center, including the Sursock Museum, The Arab Image Foundation, the Sfeir-Semler Gallery, and the Beirut Art Center.

How does the act of witnessing hardship and molding powerful art change the landscape of local and global hardship? In this anthology, over 20 voices come together to explore this question and challenge the notion of resilience itself.

The Dar al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture’s program called Nabad is an innovative program that empowers artists, arts organizations, and creative enterprises in Southwestern Asia and North Africa. Nabad engaged 20 artists, poets, authors, activists, and academics to tell their stories and foster a much-needed dialogue on resilience & resistance culture in Lebanon.

The Beirut Call challenges readers to consider alternatives for countries that face wars, crises, instability, and despair. When people experience grief and uncertainty, the arts offer one way, however small, to engage the people through deep and emotional connections.

Watch the TRAILER | BOOK LAUNCH | INTERVIEW


Review: Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2022

Each essay, poem, artwork, and photograph portray a glimpse into the day of the Beirut port explosion and also offer a direct commentary regarding the local and global response. Artists and activists, professors and poets, and entire collectives wrote, photographed, filmed, spoke, and sang about the city they saw and the city they wished to see. The result is a rich dialogue about social and political issues and the role of art itself.

The Beirut Call presents Lebanon from a hundred eyes, telling the story from many perceptions and expressions that speak to Lebanese in their homeland and in the Lebanese diaspora. The book transcends the borders of Lebanon as contributors address worldwide issues of war, peace, memory, history, identity, creativity, cultural resistance, resilience, artistic activism, human rights, feminism, social justice, intercultural dialogue.

We challenge you to use this publication as a catalyst for discussions in schools, universities, arts & culture workshops, learning programs, youth and community centers, women’s groups, NGOs, and alternative education programs.

Proceeds will help Dar al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture continue to fund artists, arts NGOs, and small creative enterprises’ projects in Lebanon.

Dar Al-Kalima

Visit NABAD:

NABADNabad Facebook NABAD Instagram


Classroom use

The book can be used for courses on world cultures; cultural studies; world poetry; Middle Eastern studies; contemporary arts; interdisciplinary arts; peace-building; social change; art, activism and social movements; resilience; etc.

Recommended teaching/learning methods utilizing the book or parts of it are readings and discussions, experiential and collaborative learning, research projects, storytelling, reflective activities, and workshops.


Biographies

Dr. Pamela Chrabieh (Badine) is a scholar, university professor, visual artist, activist, writer, and consultant. She holds a Higher Diploma in Fine Arts and Restoration of Icons (1999, ALBA, University of Balamand, Lebanon). She pursued her higher studies at the University of Montreal in Quebec, Canada: Minor in Religious Sciences (1999), MA in Theology, Religions, and Cultures (2001), Ph.D. in Theology-Sciences of Religions (2005), and held two postdoctoral positions (2005-2008). Dr. Chrabieh has more than 20 years of extensive multidisciplinary and international experience and expertise in university teaching (Lebanon, Canada, United Arab Emirates), academic research, visual arts, art direction, communication, content creation, writing, project management, training, and conference/workshop/webinar organization. She is the author of numerous books, book chapters, academic papers, and online articles. As a visual artist, she has exhibited her work in Canada, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, and Italy. She has founded an online movement of writers and artists focused on gender issues in 2012, has been an active member of local/international NGOs, and a member of executive committees and advisory/editorial boards of several organizations since 1995. In addition, she has received several awards and grants in Canada, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates. Since 2017, Dr. Chrabieh has been the owner and director of Beirut-based SPNC Learning & Communication Expertise, and since 2020, Nabad’s Program Manager (nabad.art).  Pamela Chrabieh WEBSITE  |  FACEBOOK  |  INSTAGRAM.

Roula Salibi
After a decade spent in the business world, Roula Salibi decided the time had come to embrace the true calling of her heart: the calling of art.
She dedicated the next years of her life to learning all she could, including taking a series of intensive courses at ESMOD Beirut and imbuing herself in every aspect of the art world.

While the materials Salibi uses in her work are conventional, accessible, and simple, the results are anything but. Geometric forms, which are a constant thread throughout her work, combine with the earthy, unfinished feel of rough gemstones. There is depth and tactile beauty in her silverwork, with each finished piece exhibiting its own distinctive personality.

After exhibiting in Paris, Milan, London, New York, and Dubai, Roula Salibi’s pieces have extended into the European and Middle East markets. Online platforms have also expanded her work worldwide. You can follow Roula Salibi’s art or learn more her on FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM.

 

Additional information

Weight 28 oz
Dimensions 8.5 × .81 × 8.5 in
Format

Hardcover, eBook

Pages

236 pages

Publisher

Dar Al Kalima University College of Arts and Culture (April 29, 2021) and Elyssar Press

Language

English

ISBN-10

733452907

ISBN-13

78-1733452908

e-ISBN

9781733452984

1 review for The Beirut Call

  1. Candice Salyers

    Through a compelling combination of commentary about the crucial need for creating art in the face of destruction and examples of such creations, The Beirut Call functions as a collective response from within and beyond the devastating blast at the port of Beirut on August 4th 2020. Opening with a foreword written by Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb of Palestine’s Dar al-Kalima University, the text and accompanying artworks repeatedly implore readers to understand that “Art is one of the most important elements for people’s survival” (Raheb 13). Highlighting the work of 21 collaborators, the book provides poems, photographs, drawings, short stories, connections to music, and journalistic accounts that lead readers through the struggles and realizations of artists impacted by this tragedy. While the artworks presented address the tragedy, its causes, and its aftermath, most do so through expressions of love for the city itself. As scholar and artist Nadia Wardeh notes, “When the editor called me to contribute to this edition about Beirut, my heart told me that Beirut herself is calling, and today, I am responding to her” (147).

    The Call of the City
    In her lyrical address to Beirut, Wardeh reminds readers that the city’s survival is its own form of response to tragedies that have befallen it. Stating, “your existence is actually your resistance,” she draws a parallel between the city itself and the artists who are continuing to ensure its vitality through efforts featured in this book (147). Both pragmatic and poetic accounts of the city’s history unfurl the complex challenges that Beirut has faced over time, leading up to and including the explosion. With her description of the city, multi-disciplinary artist Nada Raphael writes, “Beirut is part of History, with a capital H—the history of many civilizations, many battles and wars, many dreams and movies, earthquakes and tragedies, walks and runways” (135). Similarly, Rabih Rached’s details of the city’s archaeological and artistic timeline reveal Beirut’s existence as a rich cultural center that has long served as a global “bridge between the East and the West” despite and sometimes because of these challenges it has faced (49).

    The Call for Artistic Action
    In the face of this current tragedy, editors Pamela Chrabieh and Roula Salibi further draw attention to the impact on Beirut as a whole and how the explosion “wrecked an already fragile local arts and cultural scene” (Chrabieh 22). Yet, the collective pain has also inspired collective action, and human rights activist Wadih Al-Asmar proposes, “What’s better than art and culture to assure you that you didn’t lose your humanity out of pain?” (185). As expressed through the existence of this volume, the responses of individuals can become powerful collaborative efforts propelling the development of programs and venues that serve as significant “places in which people gather, curiosity is piqued, world views are expressed and challenged, and critical thinking and compassion are expanded” (Chrabieh 24). One such program, Nabad, was established in the aftermath of the blast and has had a profound, lasting impact across Beirut such that, “Nabad is a driving pulsation towards social and community transformation” (Chrabieh 22).

    Through their work interweaving art and activism, it is clear that contributors to this volume not only believe in the power of art to transform but also live that transformation as an act of humanitarian service. As Chrabieh notes:
    At first, the worlds of arts and culture on one hand, and of activism on the other, can seem at odds with one another. Activism moves the material world, while arts and culture move the heart, body, and soul. But they are complementary: social and political change do not just happen. They happen because people decide to make change, and because they were moved by affective experiences with physical and virtual actions that result in concrete effects. (31)

    The Call of Life
    The transformative potential of art often requires a reckoning between sorrow and hope as author Roula Azar Douglas suggests, “For this dark night to come to an end, the call of life must be answered” (182). With the presence of each successive chapter, this book moves the reader through processes of grieving, gaining insight, and generating their own creative responses to the stories being told. Wardeh asserts, “Be it poetry, songs, or any other form of arts, the great artists in the Levant have undertaken the mission to transform our reality, to construct a new future and to keep our collective memory alive with their creative works” (151). Fulfilling such a mission and collective memory, the text and artwork featured in The Beirut Call further collaborate with readers to awaken possibilities for a new future without obscuring the difficult realities of today.

    Embodying the statement that “Art remains a significant form of communication that must take up the challenges facing humanity today,” this volume conveys experiences and messages from artists to readers as well as acknowledges the past, present, and future challenges of Lebanon through the vital voices of its artists (Yahchouch 117). As an example of direct artistic response to humanitarian crisis, it encapsulates the specific potency of creation related to this event while simultaneously offering a powerful template for artistic activism in other global locations. While originating from and indelibly linked with the tragedy of the port explosion, these works and reflections also provoke artists and readers of all nationalities to take up the response-ability of local and global calls for transformation that only art can provide.

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