This month on Inside the Middle East

A traditional Arab ship in Doha's harbor with the Qatari capital's futuristic skyline in the background.

Story highlights

  • This month, IME explores the struggle to preserve Arab traditions in a modern world
  • Individuals share their personal stories of protecting, promoting and adapting heritage
  • Rima Maktabi meets Palestinian women who are making a fashion splash in Dubai
  • Plus, author Amin Maalouf, Caracalla Theater in Lebanon and Lebanon's "Little Armenia"
This month, Inside the Middle East explores the struggle to preserve traditional Arab culture in a rapidly changing world. Rima Maktabi shares four personal stories from people in the region who are leading the fight to protect, promote, and adapt their heritage.
Journey deep into the heart of Baqa'a, Jordan's largest Palestinian refugee camp, located on the outskirts of the capital, Amman. In Baqa'a, meet several women on a mission to save hand-made Palestinian embroidery, an age-old art in danger of disappearing with the recent influx of modern sewing machines. But the women found an unlikely ally in their quest: 29-year-old Zeina Abou Chaaban, a Dubai-based fashion designer who is marketing their "Palestyle" half a world away, in the upscale malls of the United Arab Emirates.
Amin Maalouf
Meet Amin Maalouf, a renowned Lebanese-born French author whose romantic tales of Arab mythology have enlightened international readers -- both in the east and west -- for decades. In a rare interview with Inside the Middle East, he tells us how being inspired "by everything" allows him to bridge his two cultures and identities. His message to the youth in the Middle East is simple: Only they can write their own future.
Little Armenia
Welcome to Burj Hammoud, a working class, predominately Armenian community on the outskirts of Lebanon's cosmopolitan capital city. Take a tour of this vibrant neighborhood with filmmaker and intellectual Nigol Bezijian. Born in Syria, raised in Lebanon, and educated in the United States, Bezijian has first-hand experience of this cultural melting pot. See the sights and sounds of Lebanon's Little Armenia, and hear why Bezijian comes here to get his "cultural fix" and reconnect with his roots.
Caracalla Theater
In 1970, Abdel Halim Caracalla opened a fledgling dance theater in Lebanon. Today, the Caracalla Theater has produced internationally-acclaimed performances in major cities and venues around the world, from the U.S. to China. With the help of his children -- director Ivan and choreographer Alissar -- Caracalla has also opened a popular dance school to promote the art of Arabesque in the Arab world. But in some conservative circles, not everyone is a fan.
Watch the February show at the following times:
Wednesday 1 February: 1030, 1730
Saturday 4 February: 0530, 1930
Sunday 5 February: 1230
Saturday 11 February: 1230
Sunday 12 February: 0530, 1930 (all times GMT)