“For all-out Caligari-esque strangeness, [Al-Aqrab] really can’t be beaten. With camerawork fixated on picking out peculiar details, and sets decorated with porcelain cats, metal dogs, stuffed foxes and perambulating birdcages, it’s evident from early on that we aren’t viewing the world through entirely sane eyes. Indeed, this is the world as seen by Hiba, a young woman being raised by her aunt and uncle. The question pursued throughout, however, is to what extent these strange sights - which include Satanic sacrifices, gory murders, and a muscular boyfriend who may either be a gentle giant or a calculating psychopath - are mere products of Hiba’s damaged mind, and to what extent they are memories of actual events. Even though the movie is not entirely successful, it contains enough outlandish imagery and ‘wtf moments’ to stand out as a unique experiment in Egyptian cinema.” via
When we were in Lebanon, right before the 2006 war, mama bought me a whole book with Umm Kulthoum’s music (and Abdel Halim, but the picture is from the Umm Kulthoum book) so I could play them for her.
After the war broke out and we left with the other refugees and couldn’t bring luggage with us, I carried these two music books with me. I still have them eight years later and I feel terrible because I haven’t and can’t play them for her anymore.