Weekly Lectures & Films

The NVIC organises weekly lectures (on Thursday) and films (on Sunday) on a variety of subjects. We are looking forward to welcoming you at the institute!

Films: NVICinema

On Sunday evenings the NVIC is presenting NVICinema. We bring a varied programme of Dutch or Flemish films, Egyptian classics as well as contemporary Egyptian feature films and short films from young talented directors, all with English subtitles.  

Whenever possible we organise lively discussions with the films' directors after the screenings.
All films start at 7.30pm – doors open from 7 pm.

In April and May, the theme of the month will be "Dreams and Fantasy". Be ready to travel on a journey to an imaginary universe.

Keep checking this website and our Facebook page for more information about the programme.    

The People's Girls' + Round Table Discussion

Sunday 07 May

Colette Ghunim and Tinne Van Loon – Egypt – 2016

! Tonight’s film starts at 6.00PM, doors open at 5.30PM !

Sexual harassment has been a growing problem in Egypt over the last few years, especially in Cairo. UN Women reported that over 99% of Egyptian women have suffered from sexual harassment in their lifetime. Due to the extensive media coverage on the issue, the Egyptian government introduced anti-sexual harassment legislation, making it possible for harassers to face years in prison.

In September of 2014, filmmakers Colette Ghunim and Tinne Van Loon created a viral video - Creepers on the Bridge - showing the haunting stares of sexual harassers in Cairo’s streets. This evening we're screening the documentary they made: 'The People’s Girls'. Through a series of interviews and social experiments the film takes a closer look at Egypt's sexual harassment problem to see who is to blame for harassment and how women are fighting back. Because patriarchal societies often overlook women’s rights violations, this documentary serves as a catalyst for public debate not only in Egypt but internationally, as prominent cases of sexual harassment frequently occur on a global scale.

The screening of 'The People's Girls' will be followed by a round table discussion (in Arabic) with several prominent speakers:
- Amel Fahmy – Tadwein
- Nevine Ebeid – New Women Foundation
- Heba Adel – Egyptian Female Lawyer Initiative
- Ramy Metwali – Love Matters Arabic

Language: Arabic (English subtitles)
Duration: 27 minutes

Please note that the film will have English subtitles, but that the round table discussion will be held only in Arabic (without English translation).

This evening is an initiative of Tadwein and is hosted by the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo

A Present from the Past

Sunday 14 May

Kawthar Younis – Egypt – 2015

Mokhtar, a filmmaking professor, receives an unexpected present on his 75th birthday from his daughter Kawthar, a filmmaker in her early 20's.

With two plane tickets to Rome, one for him and another for his daughter, he has a second chance to search for his unfulfilled love – Patrizia – an Italian woman whom he abandoned 33 years ago with a promise to come back for her, but never did.

Kawthar filmed the experience with hidden cameras and used home videos to capture the real essence of their father/daughter relationship that fluctuates throughout the trip.

‘A Present from the Past’ was Younis’ graduation film from the High Cinema Institute Cairo. The film was warmly received at festivals worldwide. Jay Weisberg (Variety) was highly enthusiastic: “Personal filmmaking on the fly doesn’t get more charming than ‘A Present From the Past,’ Kawthar Younis’ delightful autobiographical essay whose rough, largely hidden-camera visuals somehow add to its appeal.”

We’re very happy to invite director Kawthar Younis for the last screening of this NVICinema season.  She will be present for a Q&A after the screening. Don’t miss it!

Language:  Arabic, English, Italian (English subtitles)
Duration: 80 minutes  

Nakba Day Screening: 'Off Frame AKA Revolution Until Victory'

Monday 15 May

Mohanad Yaqubi – Palestine, France, Qatar, Lebanon – 2016

“… and for those who suffer from invisibility, the camera would be their weapon.”
(Elias Sanbar)

'Off Frame aka Revolution Until Victory' traces the fragments of a revolution, combining images from a dream for freedom, using films from the Palestinian struggle cinema, a term used for films produced in relation to the Palestinian revolution between 1968 and 1982. For the outside world, these films represented a model of a people engaged in political struggle, explaining why they are fighting and against whom. But for Palestinians these films marked the transformation of their identity: from refugee to freedom fighter.

The Palestinian revolution collaborated with filmmakers, actors, and activists from Syria, Italy, UK, Lebanon, France, Germany, Argentina, and many others, and made partnerships with institutions in Berlin, Moscow, Baghdad, and Cuba. Despite their prolific output, very few of their works remain. The film brings together moments from a selection of these militant films into one timeline. The only coherent relation between all the shots, clips, and sequences is that they all straddle the borders between fiction and propaganda, dream and reality, in order to represent a narrative of a people in struggle.

This film premiered at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF, September 2016), and was previously screened at Dubai International Film Festival (December 2016) and Berlinale Forum (February 2016).

Languages: Arabic, English, French, Italian (English subtitles)
Duration: 62 minutes
Produced by Idioms Film (Ramallah, Palestine)


The NVIC organises weekly Thursday lectures on a variety of subjects. The lectures start at 6 pm sharp. The doors open at 5.30 pm. Please note that seating is limited. The lectures start as scheduled and late admissions are not allowed. After the lecture refreshments will be served in the hall of the Institute. 
In April and May, our film and lecture program revolves around the umbrella topic of 'Dreams, Fantasy, and Dystopia'. More details about the lectures program to be announced soon.

Would you like to present your own academic research at NVIC? We are looking for professionals who would like to give a lecture about their research findings. Please email info@nvic.leidenuniv.nl for more information.

Stupidity in Fiction

Thursday 4 May

Nael Toukhy, author of critically acclaimed Women of Karantina, will speak about Dystopia

هارى بوتر والترجمة فى الخيال

Thursday 11 May

Lecture by Sahar Gabr: هارى بوتر والترجمة فى الخيال 

Danilo Marino: "Dreams and Hallucinations in Mamlūk Literature: The Delight of the Souls in Hashish and Wine of Taqī al-Dīn Abū l-Tuqā al-Badrī (d. 894/1489)"

Thursday 18 May

Although cannabis was used for centuries in Medical treatments, it is only from the late 13th century that the first literary texts inspired by this herb began to be recorded in Arabic sources, most likely due to the widespread use of hemp-based products as recreational substances.

The Delight of the Souls in Hashish and Wine (Rāḥat al-arwāḥ fī l-ḥašīš wa-l-rāḥ) is, as the title suggests, an anthology of texts dealing with wine and hashish compiled in the second half of the 15th century by Taqī al-Dīn Abū l-Tuqā al-Badrī (847-894/1443-1489). By col...lecting a variety of accounts from historical, medical, botanical, legal and literary sources, al-Badrī's collection is the most comprehensive work dealing with hashish consumption in Pre-modern Arab-Islamic world. However, judging from the number of both poems and narratives gathered in the Rāḥat al-arwāḥ, we can assume that the author's primary intention was a collection of literary texts inspired by hashish.

By using this very original material, in the first part of this lecture Danilo Marino will briefly survey the appearance of the herb as a recreational substance in the Pre-modern Arab society, then he will succinctly present a number of key elements of the legal discussion around the permissibility of hashish consumption in the post-Abbasid period (1250-1517). In the second part, he will focus on some poetic compositions describing the herb and its effects as well as some jocular anecdotes describing dreams and hallucinations - mostly dealing with food and sex - under hashish intoxication.

In addition, he will draw a comparison between some of these Arabic dreams of superabundance of food, delights and edible architectures and the Medieval Western Cockaigne motif that has appeared under different names - Cockaygne, Cocagne, Cuccagna, Luilekkerland, Schlaraffenland - between the 13th and 15th century in several European popular literary traditions.

Danilo Marino received a PhD in Letterature Comparate and Langues, littératures et sociétés du monde from both the Università degli studi di Napoli "L'Orientale" and the Institut National des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO) of Paris with a thesis: "Raconter le haschich dans l’époque mamelouke. Étude et édition critique partielle du Rāḥat al-arwāḥ fī l-ḥašīš wa l-rāḥ de Taqī al-Dīn Abū l-Tuqā al-Badrī (847/1443-894/1489)". Based in Cairo but affiliated to INALCO in Paris, he is currently working on the complete edition of al-Badrī's Rāḥat al-arwāḥ. He published in the special issue of Annales Islamologiques 49, 2015 a contribution on "Raconter l’ivresse à l’époque mamelouke. Les mangeurs de haschich comme motif littéraire". His main fields of interest are: Mamlūk literature, jocular Medieval Arabic anecdote literature, literature of intoxication, marginality in Medieval Islam.

Ramadan and Summer break.

NVICinema is taking a Ramadan- and Summer break.

We’re happy to see you again in September for a new season of Sunday screenings and Thursday lectures. In the meantime the institute and the library will be opened.
Check our website and Facebook page for the latest updates!

Last Modified: 11-05-2017