KILLING HUMBABA

The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest surviving work of literature in the world. And at the risk of ruining all the movies, books and plays you are ever going to see or read, it is safe to say that the Epic is pretty much the basis for every story ever told.

THE BROMANCE OF GILGAMESH & ENKIDU

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a poem about the legendary Sumerian king of Uruk. It dates back nearly 4000 years and is humanity’s oldest story, not to mention the first bromance ever recorded.

THE ROAD TO TARGU MURES

Heritage tourism is attracting more and more people. They are looking for authentic experiences in the places they visit, and more often, to immerse themselves in the culture and history of their own past. The ancestry boom is helping countries preserve and digitise their records. With the help of Romanian travel agency Beyond Dracula, a …

THE ROAD TO TARGU MURES

Today, searching for ancestors is big business in the tourism industry. A twenty-five-year search for her mysterious grandfather led writer-director Mouna Mounayer to the heart of Romania. Surrounded by the majestic circle of the Carpathian Mountains, Targu Mures held the first real clues to his origins. Raluca Spiac, CEO of Beyond Dracula, organised and accompanied …

See, Taste, Touch, Smell, and Hear Your Way Through Romania

As we consider where future adventures should take us, the road less traveled remains as appealing as ever. Romania, a country known as much for its legends as its attractions, is not on the radar of many American travelers. And that's too bad! Mouna Mounayer, filmmaker and consultant on the creative board of the bespoke travel agency Beyond Dracula, shares five reasons Romania should top the list of places to discover.

THE ROAD TO TARGU MURES

By Mouna Mounayer Today, searching for your identity through ancestry tourism is big business. There are millions of digitised records on hundreds of platforms, but that wasn’t always the case. For twenty-five years, writer-director Mouna Mounayer searched for her mysterious grandfather. She was on the verge of giving up when a chance conversation led to …

Cook With Aline

https://youtu.be/OttaUW75H-8 I spent a delicious year in the company of Aline Kamakian, of Mayrig and Batchig fame. Filming Cook With Aline was a departure for me as I had never filmed a cooking show before. To say that it was great fun, is an understatement. Aline Kamakian is an inspired cook, making traditional and fusion …

The Coronaverse: Woman on the verge…

  The buzzing razor is loud. A mist of salt and pepper hair floats onto my face. I stopped dyeing it years ago but when it grows beyond a certain length I start to look like my grandmother. A woman of a certain age cannot afford to look like her grandmother not if she wants …

The Coronaverse: What More Could A Girl Want?

The boundaries of my world have shrunk. I live on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean. To the south lies food, to the east the pharmacy and to the west the bank. All the essentials. What more could a girl want? Have mask, have disposable gloves, will travel. Today we’re off south to the supermarket. When …

The Coronaverse

Today I begin the third week of lockdown. A friend has just sent me the latest meme making the rounds of the Coronaverse. It is a notice put up in a book shop window 'Please note: The post-apocalyptical fiction section has been moved to Current Affairs.' I send my friend a smiley face. Ironically I've …

HAPPY NEW YEAR

2014 has been a year of major twists and turns, ups and downs, joys and sorrows. I've lost friends and family members, become a godmother to a gorgeous baby girl, learned new things and forgotten many others, seen close ones suffer injustice, designed and installed a new kitchen while living in the house. Lost my …

ArabAd – SPECIAL REPORT APRIL 2014

My company Firehorse is featured in ArabAd, the monthly communications and business magazine. The special report is on the production industry in the MENA region.

THE FIRST CITY ON EARTH

One year before the Second Gulf War, in 2002, I had the privilege of filming the treasures of southern Iraq.  I filmed Mudhifs, the guesthouses of the disappearing Marsh Arabs, built from reeds in the same way as their ancient Mesopotamian ancestors.  I filmed the legendary Ziggurat of Ur and the site of Babylon but …

FIREHORSE FILMS ARCHIVE

Fourteen years ago, my partner Najat Rizk and myself began to document the Arab World in a series of television documentaries, current affairs programmes, talk shows and biographies. Our subjects ranged from religion to politics and social issues, from history to archaeology, from arms dealing to drug trafficking. We filmed it, lived it and have …

UNRWA ARCHIVE LAUNCHED

I have the great honour and pleasure in announcing that I have been working with UNRWA to help launch their unique visual archive on the history of the Palestinian refugees since 1948. The site was launched yesterday after a great deal of hard work from teams on either side of the Atlantic. If you want …

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BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL CLOSING CEREMONY

The buzz at this evening's closing ceremony at the Beirut International Film Festival was palpable. A week long celebration of film ended with an award ceremony for the best short films and best documentaries. Having watched all the films as a member of the jury it was my great honour to read out the winners. …

BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OPENING NIGHT.

It was a great opening night for the Beirut International Film Festival showing Alphonso Cuaron's Gravity. I was very pleased to see a great turn out with a lot of members of our industry and of all generations. The press was there in force too giving young Lebanese film makers a platform which they don't …

BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTVAL

I am very honoured to have been chosen as one of the jury members of the Beirut International Film Festival taking place from the 2nd to the 10th of October 2013. When I arrived in the Arab world 20 years ago there were very few locally made films outside countries like Egypt and there were …

ORION AND ME

Looking up at the stars, from my balcony overlooking a wintry Mediterranean sea, my heart smiles to see Orion looking down on me.  The great Greek hunter, father of the biblical Nephilim, ancient Egyptian constellation of rebirth and the afterlife has been my winter companion these past twenty years.  It seems fitting that the constellation …

Interview Mouna Mounayer & Najat Rizk

http://youtu.be/3ChXE83CuMM

COITUS INTERRUPTUS FROM BEIRUT TO LONDON

COITUS INTERRUPTUS FROM BEIRUT TO LONDON 'His warm hand moving down my spine, taking the sheet with it, making my skin tingle and coming to rest just above my bottom. I smiled. I had done it. I finally had done it. I found him. He was right there in bed with me and it wasn’t …

CRIMES & MISDEMEANOURS

 Reflections on the SOLON War Crimes Conference Maya Mounayer-Rigby1 I recently attended the first WAR CRIMES conference held by SOLON, in February 2009, at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. I would first like to congratulate SOLON on the calibre of speakers and delegates that this conference attracted. The organisers brought together under one roof some …

A VERY SERIOUS CORNER…

MAYA MOUNAYER-RIGBY CORNER This very serious corner of Life Through A Loop is reserved for the writing of my very serious sister - Mayada Mounayer-Rigby AKA the academic who covers war crimes conferences and other heavy pursuits like why women in Lebanon got suffrage but have not participated in politics. Well the conferences are heavy …

Justice? Whose Justice? Punishment, Mediation or Reconciliation?

2ND BIENNIAL WAR CRIMES CONFERENCE: ‘Justice? – Whose Justice? Punishment, Mediation or Reconciliation?’ 3 to 5 March 2011, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Maya Mounayer-Rigby  The eagerly awaited 2nd Biennial War Crimes Conference, organised by SOLON, was held 3 to 5 March 2011 at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), Russell Square, London. This …

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