Moussem Cities*** / by fariba mosleh

As I’ve stated on other occasion already, I’ve to repeat that Brussels has an enormous output of festivals in the art and culture field. And I’ve to confess that I am impressed by the intense programs and high quality of those festivals!
Friday I've been at this year’s festival center Lagrane Points, a Brussels-based organisation devoted to the promotion of arabic literature, music and art. Which festival?
The 4th edition of annual festival MOUSSEM Cities, launched by Moussem Nomadic Arts Center, which every year puts a focus on a different city. 2019 it’s DAMASCUS, following Tunis, Beirut and Casablanca. In cooperation with artists and experts from Damascus they’ve created a multidisciplinary program with performances, exhibitions, concerts, lectures and discussions portraying the “scattered artistic scene” of Syria’s capital.
Partners for the festival are KAAI Theater, Globe Aroma and Bozar. This night’s lecture by architect Saraa Saleh at Lagrange deals with the influence of architecture and urban planning of Damascus on shaping identity. After a quite interesting intro on the history of the city, we had the incredible honor to listen and talk to the Syrian journalist Zeina Shahla, based in Damascus all her live, via videophone. It felt so beautiful and haunting all of a sudden being in a direct connection with Syria. Zeina Shahla is 36 years old and is writing in Arabic and English on humanitarian and social issues for local as well as international media. She talked openly about her life, her personal relation to the city of Damascus, why she loves and hates it at the same time and doesn’t want to leave Damascus. What an impressive and powerful women***

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