The changing use of music in Iranian films reflects a complex culture in flux

by Roya Arab The final scene of a film: three comic looking musicians are getting ready; we hear the violin playing the plaintive strains of Sultan Ghalbha in a garden. The female protagonist begins to sing outside as we cut to the wedding scene inside (aghd – a pre-Islamic traditional Iranian marriage ritual when the couple… Read More

Reflections on a Culture in Crisis

Reflections on the Culture in Crisis Conference, April 2015 by Roya Arab We entered through a majestic arched carved stone entrance. My eye was caught by a plaque -akin to those found in early Near Eastern cities in clay, gold, silver and stone marking ancient monarchs – informing us that ‘Queen Victoria Empress of India’… Read More

Terror and I

by Roya Arab The first time I encountered terrorism was when I was very young. Holed up in our hotel in the 1970s, the Intercontinental by Hyde Park roundabout, we stared out of our suite onto the emptied wide street as a search was undertaken for the bomb. This was an IRA tactic; they would… Read More