Friday, April 14, 2006

Light and reflect

I have been taking a lot of pictures lately and experimenting with different styles and approaches. Here are two of my favorite pictures I took the past couple of days.

Light up
A non-smoking friend lights up a cigarello for the camera

Reflection of two couples at sunset

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Washington D.C Immigration Protest Pictures

Pictures from the immigration law protests that took place on the 10th of April 2006 in Washington D.C.




Sunday, April 09, 2006

Annonuncing "Captain Abu Raed" A Jordanian Feature Film....إطلاق مشروع الفيلم السينمائي الاردني "كابتن ابو رائد

Jordanian Director Amin Matalqa, Producer David Pritchard and Laith Majali
نقلاً عن جريدة الغد

إطلاق مشروع الفيلم السينمائي الاردني "كابتن ابو رائد"

عمّان-الغد - برعاية امين عمان المهندس نضال الحديد تقيم الدائرة الثقافية في الثامنة من مساء الأربعاء المقبل حفل اطلاق مشروع الفيلم السينمائي الاردني "كابتن ابو رائد" للكاتب والمخرج أمين مطالقة في قاعة مجلس امانة عمان.

يحكي الفيلم قصة بواب مطار متقاعد لم يستطع أن يحقق حلمه بالسفر حول العالم, بعد خسارة مفاجئة لزوجته ومن خلال تكوين صداقات جديدة مع الاطفال الفقراء في الحي استطاع البواب أن يعيش حلمه من جديد من خلال رواية القصص الخيالية وسرد مغامراته وتجواله حول العالم فالاطفال يصدقون انه كان يوماً طياراً, كابتن يعمل في المطار.

ومع تطور العلاقات واختلاط ابو رائد مع اثنين من أطفال الحي استطاع أن يكشف الصراعات والنزاعات المحيطة بحياتهما الضئيلة.

ومن خلال الصداقة التي تكونت مع فتاة تعمل كطيار استطاع ابو رائد التغلب على الشك الذي يدور في داخله وايجاد الشجاعة للتدخل في حياة هؤلاء الاطفال وتغييرها. وخلال هذه العملية استطاع تعدي حدود مخاوفه وتمكن من إلهام هؤلاء الاطفال والفتاة الطيار لتخطي حدود أحلامهم... الى العيش.

يعتبر هذا الفيلم المؤثر والممزوج بالدراما والكوميديا أول فيلم اردني عالمي يستهدف شاشات السينما في مختلف دول العالم بتوفر عناصر الافكار والشخصيات العالمية.

ويحمل الفيلم في طيه ثلاثة اهداف الاول هو توصيل صورة للغرب عن العرب كأشخاص عاديين يحلمون ويسعون لتحقيق احلامهم. وليس كما تعرض وسائل الاعلام عن كونهم ارهابيين.

والهدف الثاني هو الاثبات للعالم بانه آن للاردن ليلعب دورا عالمياً في مجال السينما, اما الهدف الثالث فهو تمهيد الطريق امام الفنانين الجدد في الاردن في مجال صناعة الافلام وبالتالي انتاج افلام اردنية بشكل منتظم.

اجتمع الكاتب والمخرج الاردني امين مطالقة مع المنتجين دافيد بريتشارد (متنجم عائلة سيميسون) و كين كوكين (منتج فيلم المشتبهون الاعتياديون) بالاضافة الى المحرر الاردني ليث المجالي لإنتاج فيلم بأعلى المقاييس العالمية.

يعد امين مطالقة والذي حصل أخيرا على الزمالة في مجال الاخراج من المعهد الاميركي للافلام في مدينة لوس انجلس الوحيد الذي يكمل دراسته في المعهد الاميركي للافلام الذي يعتبر من أرقى كليات تدريس الاخراج في الولايات المتحدة الاميركية. ويخطط أمين لإخراج هذا العمل في عمان في الصيف المقبل.

This Wednesday we officially announce our film project "Captain Abu Raed" , which we hope to be the first Jordanian feature film the world will see.

Captain Abu Raed is the story of a retiring airport janitor who never lived his dream to travel the world. Following the sudden loss of his beloved wife, and through his new-found friendship with the poor children in his neighborhood, he relives the excitement of dreaming by telling them fictional stories of his adventures around the world. They believe that he once was a pilot… an airline captain.

As Abu Raed gets more involved with two of the kids, he comes to discover the struggles surrounding their meager lives. Through a friendship with a young progressive female pilot, Abu Raed overcomes his own doubt and finds the courage to intervene and change the children’s lives. And in the process, he overcomes his own demons and inspires the kids and the young airline pilot to do more than dream…to live!

Jordanian writer/director, Amin Matalqa, teams up with producers David Pritchard (The Simpsons) and Ken Kokin (The Usual Suspects) as well as Jordanian editor, Laith Al-Majali to create a film aiming for the highest international standards.

Our goals with this film are three:
1) Make a beautiful film that represents Jordan to the world with a simple story about following a dream.

2) Set an example for the potential of a successful Jordanian filmmaking industry where young Jordanians can pursue a career in filmmaking.

3) Show the richness and diversity of Jordan through drama and comedy in the most powerful medium that can reach the hearts of millions around the world.

We are assembling a team of Hollywood professionals who will work hand-in-hand with Jordanians to make the first international Jordanian feature film.

Filming will take place in Amman in the summer of 2006.

If you would like to support this film in any capacity, please send an e-mail to

More information to be posted soon.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Featured in the Washington Post

The Washington Post ran this article about the play i am acting in, i even got my picture in it.
Putting 'Arabian Tales' in a New Light
By Michael J. Toscano
Special to The Washington Post
Friday, April 7, 2006; Page WE37

The music surrounds you, mysterious and thrilling, the undulating rhythms and exotic melody conjuring up moonlight on silvery desert sands. But you're snapped back to reality as choreographer Rania Kamhawi barks out commands. This isn't a dreamy Arabian oasis; it's a rehearsal for "Walking the Winds: Arabian Tales," which opens Friday in the Kennedy Center's Family Theater. But the magic works for a moment, and the gritty work of preparing a world premiere musical drops away, transporting you to faraway places and long-ago times.

Theatrical magic is only part of what "Walking the Winds," a collection of Arabian stories, is about. A unique international partnership of theater artists from Jordan and the United States, the production is designed to build bridges between the two cultures by introducing American kids to a world they may know only through today's distressing headlines.

Kevin Reese, from left, Laith al-Majali, James Konicek and Jad Tabbara star in "Walking the Winds: Arabian Tales" at the Kennedy Center. (By Carol Pratt)

"We feel that a lot of times here in the United States our young people only hear or know about one facet of life in the Middle East," says American co-director Deirdre Kelly Lavrakas. "Through these stories, we want to introduce young people to literature and culture in a fun, educational way." The production is a mixture of acting, dance and music.

Lina Attel, a Jordanian director, actress and theater educator who is co-directing the production, finishes Lavrakas's thought: "We picked stories that have human values, educational values, stories that portray the beauty of the Arabian culture, its richness in music, literature and poetry. It's something the West is probably not aware of."

With an onstage role in "Walking the Winds," Zein Khleif, 13, a student at the Barrie School in Silver Spring, hopes her friends will see her and her culture in a new light. Some of her classmates might be surprised to learn that she speaks Arabic at home with her parents, who are Palestinian. "Sometimes I talk about my heritage, but I'm not sure how much my friends understand," Zein says. "So I'm hoping they'll see this and that will help them piece it together."

Zein is one of eight performers ages 11 to 15 in the musical. Four are of Arab or Arab American descent. They join six adult actors in bringing to life seven stories that the team of Jordanian and American playwrights that created the show expects will be new to most Americans.

Characters and stories from Arabian folklore and history are introduced through the travels of Arabic explorer Ibn Battutah, played by Los Angeles-based actor Laith al-Majali, who was born in Jordan.

The stories are full of adventure and romance, set to music and dance both traditional and contemporary. The set, with its Moorish arches and the suggestion of shifting sands, adds to the exotic ambiance. As in folk tales everywhere, animals and inanimate objects become characters.

More than a dozen theater professionals from the two countries have combined their talents for the show, which is a co-production of the Kennedy Center and the Performing Arts Center of Amman, Jordan, a project of Queen Noor's.

Attel speaks passionately about her two decades of work on international theatrical projects, saying intercultural artistic collaboration changes people. "This is powerful," she says. "This is much more powerful than what politicians do. If we really want to have peace and harmony in this world, which is becoming so difficult, we need to know each other."

A discussion with four of the young performers in the show illustrates the point. John Thomas Manzari, 13, who attends the Field School in Northwest Washington, and Nina Kauffman, 15, a student at Hereford High School in Baltimore County, were not particularly versed in Arabian culture before rehearsals. Becoming immersed in stories that go beyond the "1,001 Arabian Nights" canon familiar to many American kids has been a meaningful intellectual exercise, they say. But for Zein and Jad Tabbara, a 12-year-old who attends Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church, it's much more personal.

Jad does not mention his Jordanian background much around his non-Arab classmates. "I don't talk to my friends about my heritage," he says. "It would be really amazing and really fun just to show them that along with being an American, I'm also of the Arab world."

Jad says that taking part in presenting tales of the Sumerian King Gilgamesh, the humorous Djuha and his figs, and the practical princess Jbene, among others, has deepened his sense of pride. And, he takes pains to point out, "for once I get to play who I really am." Then the actor in him takes over, and he adds, "It's actually harder than it seems to create who you really are onstage."

The producers plan to take an Arabic-language version of the show on tour in the Middle East next year. Lavrakas said she was slightly concerned because "musical theater is not an ancient Arabic tradition." But Attel thinks the production is universal. "There's a lot of adventure here," she said. "Kids love adventure, so when we talk about literature, we mean the poetry of the language that's been translated into English in a very nice way. The language is poetic, but the stories are about adventure, love, humor, magic and even monsters."

"WALKING THE WINDS: ARABIAN TALES"Through April 16 as part of the Imagination Celebration series and geared toward ages 9 and older, at the Kennedy Center Family Theater, 2700 F St. NW (Metro: Foggy Bottom-GWU, with free shuttles). Tickets are $15. 202-467-4600. Friday's performance is sold out, but other show times are Saturday and Sunday at 1 and 3:30. Shows next weekend are April 15 at 1, 3:30 and 7, and April 16 at 1 and 3:30.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Jordanian Anti-Bird Flu Operations Unit

The most amazing picture of the year so far. This is how Jordanian's combat bird flu. ّ
فريق عمليات خاصة لمكافحة انفلونزا الطيور يستعمل اخر ما وصل اليه العلم لمكافحة المرض الخبيث

Saturday, April 01, 2006

"Talaween" A Yehia Abdallah Film on JTV Saturday

A short comedy I recently edited called "Talaween" is being shown on jordan tv's "Mish Saheb Aflam" program Saturday night at 8:30.
The film deals with a taxi driver and how his personality changes depending on the passenger riding with him, a beautiful girl, a sheikh, an American woman and a muthaqaf.

I have a feeling this film is going to get a lot of talk going on, some of which may be contreversial.

Editing the film was quite difficult and had its challanges, but was a very good learning experience.

The film is briliantly acted by Osamah Soufi, and was directed by Yehia Abdallah.

في الحلقة القادمة من برنامج مش سحب أفلام
العمل كسائق تكسي قد يكون مثير أكثر مما نتخيّل، خاصة إذا كان سائق التكسي "أبو الزوز" في فيلم "تلاويين". استعدوا للكثير من الضحك يتبعه إختلاف حاد في وجهات النظر حول طبيعة هذه المهنة والعاملين فيها.
"تلاوين" إخراج يحيى العبدالله

السبت 1/4/2006
8:30 مساء (عمّان)
6:30 مساء (غرينتش)
فقط على التلفزيون الأردني - القناتين الأرضية والفضائية