Narda Azaria Dalgleish – Berwick, Northeast England
Premiered at the Edinburgh Artists’ Moving Image Festival, December 2015
The film was shot while attending the Berwick Film Festival. Overlooking the North Sea from my window I wonered what connection I could find in myself to this sea in order to possibly shoot a film there. Having gone through a number of derivations of the Hebrew word for North, ‘Tsafon’, from the root Ts.F.N, the etymological source for words such as ‘concealment’, ‘conscience’ and ‘compass’, I still felt disconnected.
One morning it struck me that though I was facing the North Sea, I was, in fact, facing the East. I remembered the reference in which in ancient maps the east was positioned in the north and regarded as the direction of orientation. Facing the East – Kedem, the archaeic Hebrew word which means, prior, or ancient – suddenly opened up for me a connection to my forfathers’ place of origin and tradition, as well as new metaphysical meanings. So in facing the North Sea, I could now relate it to Kedem; the primordeal point of orientation which unites all contraries.
The next day most of the text came poetically in one go. As I was editing it in the film, it occured to me that this was the first time when I felt that my poem, ‘O Ahmad’, could not only fit in seamlessly with the introduction, but now, 8 years after its publication in my first poetry book, I somehow felt less vulnerable to expose myself with it in a film.
I wrote the poem, ‘O Ahmad’, soon after the murder of my 27 year old son, Rotem Moria, by the Al Qaeda bombing of the Hilton Hotel in Taba, Sinai, Egypt in early October 2004.
Narda Azaria Dalgleish, Mark Boston
The Boston Family
I found the Oud piece by accident. To my utter surprise it was played by my step father, ‘Azzury Harun al ‘Awwad, or Ezra Aharon in Hebrew (1903 – 1995). It is his improvisation in Maqam Lami, played as part of the Iraqi delegation to the first Cairo Congress of Arab Music (Le Congres du Caire) in 1932. The Iraqi delegation won the first place and were awarded the prize by King Fuad I.