October 2015


Beyond Spring

Thursday 08.10.2015 8:00 PM | Saal

Admission: 5 €

Organizer: Werkstatt der Kulturen/ Mayadin al Tahrir e.V.


Arab Film Series - Film Screening and Discussion

Religion and the Politics of Exclusion

Jews of Egypt II

(D: Amir Ramsis, Documentary, Egypt 2014, Arabic with English Subtitles)



This film is a sequel to Amir Ramsis’ Jews of Egypt I.


Narrowing its scope from the histories and testimonies of exiled Egyptian Jews this one focuses on two Jewish sisters from Cairo, Magda and (late) Nadia Haroun.

Through them the film offers an intimate portrait of some of the last 12 remaining women of Egypt’s Jewish community.



arabic film series



In 2010, the Tunisian protest movement triggered a wave of upheavals across the Middle East and North Africa that became known as “the Arab Spring”. However, there is also a history to tell beyond “Spring”.

Since 2014, the WERKSTATT DER KULTUREN has been highlighting films from several Arab countries as part of the Arab Film Series, with this specific selection of films curated by Viola Shafik.

It aims at exploring some major social and political issues in the region and further our understanding of various dynamics in regards to class, gender and politics in general, as well as explore topics concerning confessionalism, social justice and the question of Palestine.

The screenings will be accompanied by moderated panels with academic experts from the Berlin-based research program Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe (EUME) at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin.


Viola Shafik, PhD, is a freelance filmmaker, film curator and film scholar. She authored among others Arab Cinema: History and Cultural Identity, AUC-Press, Cairo, 1998 and Popular Egyptian Cinema: Gender, Class and Nation, AUC-Press, 2007. She lectured at the American University in Cairo and the Zürich University and is in the selection committee of the Rawi Screenwriters Lab and the Berlinale World Cinema Fund. She directed several documentaries, most notably Ali im Paradies/My Name is not Ali (2011) and Arij - Scent of Revolution (2014).

She currently teaches at the Humboldt University, Berlin and the Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich.



Najat Abdulhaq (Berlin)
Najat Abdulhaq, Palestinian/ German scholar, PhD at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg 2012, higher diploma in economics and international relations at University of Leipzig, B.A in economics and journalism at the Bir Zeit University, author of the book Jewish and Greek Communities in Egypt, Entrepreneurship and Business before Nasser, I.B. Tauris/ London. One of the few Arab scholars specialized on the Arab Jews.
Besides several academic activities, Dr. Abdulhaq works as consultant for media and politics among others at Media in Cooperation and Transition and Berlin Insiders.

Georges Khalil (Forum Transregionale Studien / EUME)
Georges Khalil is the Academic Coordinator of the Forum Transregionale Studien. He is also responsible for EUROPE IN THE MIDDLE EAST - THE MIDDLE EAST IN EUROPE (EUME), a research program that seeks to rethink key concepts and premises that link and divide Europe and the Middle East. He has been the Coordinator of the "Working Group Modernity and Islam" from 1998 to 2006 at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and studied History and Islamic Studies in Hamburg and Cairo, as well as European Studies at the Europa-Kolleg Hamburg. He has been a 1995-1996 fellow of the College for International Affairs, Robert Bosch Foundation. He is the co-editor (with Catherine David and Bernd Scherer) of Di/Visions. Kultur und Politik des Nahen Ostens (Wallstein, 2009), (with Benoit Junod, Stefan Weber and Gerhard Wolf) Islamic Art and the Museum. Approaches to Art and Archeology of the Muslim World in the 21st Century (Saqi, London 2012), and (with Friederike Pannewick) of Commitment and Beyond: Reflections on/of the Political in Arabic Literature since the 1940s (Wiesbaden 2015).

In cooperation with Mayadin al Tahrir e.V. and EUME (Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe).