Media French Tunesian Filmmaker, Poet, Sculptor, Performing Artist
Mohamed Al-Nasir Al-Khumeir
Nacer Khemir (Mohamed Al-Nasir Al-Khumeir) is a world-renowned Tunisian film director and writer working with themes in classical Arabic culture and Sufi mysticism. Based in Paris and working internationally, his explorations of narrative, the spiritual/life journey, and the desert relate a wide-reaching hospitable understanding of Arab culture and Islam. Quoting the famous Sufi Ibn Arabi, Nacer Khemir has said: "My heart can be pasture for deer and a convent for monks, a temple for idols and a Kaaba for the pilgrims. It is both the tables of the Torah and the Koran. It professes the religion of Love wherever its caravans are heading. Love is my law. Love is my faith." Nacer Khemir has won numerous awards for his films, including The Lost Dove’s Necklace, Bab’Aziz, The Wanderers of the Desert.
Describing his work with his film Bab’Aziz, Nacer Khemir said, "I explain it with this allegory: if you are walking alongside your father and he suddenly falls down, his face in the mud, what would you do? You would help him stand up, and wipe his face with your shirt. My father’s face stands for Islam, and I've tried to wipe Islam’s face clean with my movie, by showing an open, tolerant and friendly Islamic culture, full of love and wisdom . . . an Islam that is different from the one depicted by the media in the aftermath of 9/11."
It is fear that stifles people, not reality. There are nearly one billion Muslims in the world today, that’s one sixth of the Earth’s inhabitants. To try your best to know your neighbor better is a form of hospitality. Hospitality is not just about housing people and feeding them; hospitality is about listening and understanding.
Nowadays one can feel quite lost and confused in front of this growing wave of defiance and hatred towards Islam. Sufism stands against all forms of fanaticism. Sufism is the Islam of the mystics; it is the tenderness of Islam. But in order to give a better definition, let me use this Sufi saying: "There are as many ways to God as the number of human beings on earth." This quote alone is a representation of the vision of Sufism. -from Film Feature: Interview with Nacer Khemir in Spirituality and Practice
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