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Tips from the culture desk: Race in the Arab world, Buñuel and AbdelBasset Hamouda

There’s a bunch of music events this week, exciting films in Alexandria, and the final few days of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s Summer Festival. Here’s our selection of what not to miss.

Townhouse Salon with Omar Berrada and Lina Attalah Saturday

As part of Townhouse’s occasional salon event series, the art space has invited writer, translator and curator Omar Berrada to speak alongside Mada’s very own Lina Attalah about race in the Arab world, including the racialization of national identity and the contested connection between Arabness and Africanity. Berrada has been investigating histories of trans-Saharan encounters in administrative documents, and recently edited The Africans, a book on racial politics in Morocco. He is director of Dar al-Ma’mun, a library and art space in Marrakech, and is curating the 2017 Abraaj Group Art Prize in Dubai. The talk will be in English.

Musa Keita I, emperor of Mali, as depicted in a 14th-century atlas

7:30 pm, Townhouse, 6 Nabrawy Street, downtown Cairo. More information here.

Spanish film week at Teatro Eskenderia Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Over three days Teatro Eskendria screens three films by legendary Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel. Full of social critique and surrealist techniques, the selected films are his 1962 The Exterminating Angel (Monday), a dark comedy about a dinner party gone horribly wrong, 1933’s Land Without Bread (Tuesday), a 27-minute documentary portraying an isolated village in western Spain in a parody of a travelogue, and Viridiana from 1961 (Wednesday), in which a nun questions her religious convictions after a series of traumatic events and misguided attempts at charity. All films are subtitled in Arabic.

Still from The Exterminating Angel

Films start at 7 pm, July 24 – 26. Free. Teatro Eskendria, 25 Fouad Street, Raml Station, Alexandria. More information here.

Three OUM concerts Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Moroccan singer OUM, who describes music as “Moroccan Saharan soul,” plays three concerts in Cairo and Alexandria this week. The tour starts Friday at Al-Azhar Park (LE50), then on Thursday she performs on a double bill Egypt’s instrumental oriental jazz pioneers El Dor El Awal, with whom she shares both jazzy undertones and a soulful deference to traditional and folk, at Cairo Jazz Club (LE100), and on Saturday she plays the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (LE50) as part of its summer festival.

OUM performing at Morocco Days in Bulgaria

Follow the hyperlinks above for more information.

Shaabi Night ft. AbdelBasset Hamouda Friday

57-year-old shaabi music legend AbdelBasset Hamouda (a relatively recent hit was the fantastic Ana Mesh 3arefny) plays one of Nasr City’s very few nightlife spots, NUbar, with DJ Magdy Cent opening and closing. Guaranteed to draw a crowd, AbdelBasset will no doubt perform a repertoire of his most popular classic shaabi songs, before auto tune became the norm and what some people controversially call “electro chaabi” conquered the airwaves.

11 pm, NUbar, 17 Abdel Wahab al-Qady Street, Al Golf, Nasr City, Cairo. More information here.