Jordan to get film school

The diversity of attempts to normalize relations between Israel and Arab states always astounds me:

The Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts is in line with His Majesty's efforts to harness the skills of Jordanian youth by exposing them to the latest technologies in filmmaking and production. The institute would also contribute to His Majesty's vision of establishing a hub for intellectual and creative capital in Jordan, where youth in the region can be equipped with the necessary tools for success.

His Majesty drew on the expertise of filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who recommended the partnership with USC, to make this project a reality.

"When His Majesty the King approached me on the subject of a Jordan-based, world-class film school serving every country in the Middle East, including Israel, I immediately saw the importance and significance of such a venture for the people and the future of the region.
I have no doubt that films schools in the Arab world are an excellent idea, especially considering the decline of Arab cinema over the last 50 years (especially technically - new movies use cheap film that produces horrible results compared to ones from the 1950s that still look splendid). But why do it with Israel? His Majesty King PS2 once again does his eager Uncle Tom routine.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.