Since the inception of cinema, historians have totally ignored or only briefly mentioned Arab productions and achievements in their depictions of the history of cinema. Therefore, some Arab writers, such as Jalal Sharqawi, broke an Arab ‘tradition’ of confining works on cinema to narrating stories about movie stars and ‘subject inventories’ to talk about this cinema and its history. Another concern was that technical cinematic terms translated into Arabic were frequently inaccurate and included some major mistakes which made the Arab reader misunderstand this history. Aside from that, though, the general lack of interest of Arab readers in all cognitive fields and their lack of awareness of history and the need for it may be the core of the problem. The main focus of historians of Arab cinema is Egypt, thus relegating all other countries to the margins, although many Arab cinemas have proved themselves internationally in the field of production, including Morocco, Tunisia and Lebanon, while the United Arab Emirates have been pioneering in the field of film festivals, keeping pace with the modernization witnessed in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The main problem, however, resides in the allocation of public or private funding for film production, while overlooking other significant cinema-related issues, such as the availability of cinema halls and training institutes.
Research Article| April 01 2014
History of Arab cinema (introduction to understanding and interpretation)†
Contemporary Arab Affairs (2014) 7 (2): 195–208.
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Mostafa Messnaoui; History of Arab cinema (introduction to understanding and interpretation). Contemporary Arab Affairs 1 April 2014; 7 (2): 195–208. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/17550912.2014.902183
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