The programme will delve in the lives of poets living in Norway, France, Lebanon, Bahrain, Egypt, Palestine, and Algeria, highlighting the particular obstacles and challenges each writer faces in expressing his or her ideas. The project aims to explore the importance of poetry in Middle Eastern culture and its special relevance to the revolutionary movements of the Arab Spring. The documentary will also focus on writers in exile and how this experience affects the subject matter and languages in which they work.
A film crew has been in the ICORN head office in Stavanger throughout the past week, filming the Iraqi-born Al-Sheikh at work. They were also present at a poetry reading that Al-Sheikh gave at the Hå Gamle Prestegard and the cameras will be rolling this Wednesday, 1 February as Al-Sheikh reads a selection of her poetry at the cafe-bookshop Bøker og Børst at 8 pm in central Stavanger.
Stavanger´s daily newspaper, 'Aftenbladet,' has run an article covering the filmmaking and regional television channel TV Vest also aired a piece on the subject. Al-Sheikh told the paper that she follows unfolding events in the Middle East very closely and they often form the inspiration for her writing these days. She feels that while she supports the goals of the protesters, the term 'Arab Spring' is perhaps a misnomer, however, for she is still waiting for something to 'bloom' from all the upheaval and bloodshed. She also explained that she feels she is in a better situation, being able to live and write in Norway, than those writers who are unable to leave their home countries.