Qais Essar

Raag and Roll

Catching up with our favourite hip young robab-slinger, Qais Essar

Qais Essar doesn’t play in a rock and roll band, nor does he want to; he’s too cool for that. He’d rather stick to his guns and play the twangy lute he was born to strum: the robab, which, like he himself, hails from beautiful Afghanistan. Qais has long been plucking the strings of his robab, and has just released a new album, Tavern of Ruin, as well as a charming and otherworldly promotional video for one of its songs, which is enjoying its debut, well … here on REORIENT. Yessir! So, just who is Qais Essar, and what does a robab sound like, anyway? Read on, and turn up the volume … loud (as always).

Read More

Qajar wine

Ramblings of an Iranian Wino

From the days of prophecy and empire to boozy verse and full-blown bacchanalia, Joobin Bekhrad reflects on the rich and colourful tradition of wine guzzling in Iran

Rokni Haerizadeh

A Perfect Storm

Nur Shkembi talks to curator Sara Raza about an ongoing exhibition of contemporary Middle Eastern and North African art at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City

Palestinian Museum

At the Seams

Alexandra Talty visits the inaugural exhibition of the newly founded Palestinian Museum to investigate the sociopolitical history and richness of the traditional Palestinian art of embroidery