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Happy Ramadan-Kareem

Happy Ramadan-Kareem is the greeting that resounds through the hallways and malls that surround me this week in Doha, Qatar. – it’s a mixed feeling.

Ramadan is a month long lunar event (one that rotates month by month through the year) it marks the anniversary of several important Islamic events – the revealing of the koran to Muhammad by Gabriel, The battle of Badr (between Mecca & Medina). The Five Pillars of Islam are celebrated; the most common one is fasting.

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Vera prepares for the Venice Film Festival

Venice Film Festival: it’s a dirty job but someone has to do it.

Last year I used to sleep four hours per night. I finished writing my reviews at 3am, slept like a baby until 7am when the sun hit my sofa bed and I had no choice but to wake up and get ready for another day of hard work. This time around I don’t even have a sofa bed. But I don’t care, because going to the Venice Film Festival is always great fun and the average quality of the film is always damn good.

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Scottee does Edinburgh!


Scottee

Day 1 - I DONT DO TRAINS!

First stop, Manchester! After a horrid 10am start, a bad sandwich from Upper Crust and a journey from hell sitting next to Super Nanny and her newest recruits - I arrived. I'm currently making a new film with Daniel Liddington and I'm here for the test shoot before I run up to the fringe.

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Why does a Londoner leave London?



The clock ticks past 11pm (local time) a I write this, sat at my desk in the deserted studios of one of the worlds more controversial news channels, I sit and think of my previous life – that of Bon Vivant, Raconteur, micro philanthropist, club impresario, and question my reason for living in the desert?

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Emma the Ad Exec bares all...

When I was a little girl my sisters and I had a 50-something babysitter called Jean who looked exactly like her yappy Yorkshire terrier. Luckily after three games of obligatory dominos she was a soft touch and let us stay up to watch Bond films which with a start time of 9pm finished way past my bedtime.

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RRs Man in Al Jazeera: A Desert Primer

I guess the first and most important question your asking is who am i and why am i guest blogging this: well im a 26 year old Londoner in a strange situation: Im living in the desert: specifically Doha, Qatar - for those of you like me who didn't pass there GCSE Geography its a small peninsular off Saudi Arabia that sticks out into the gulf, that's right, within an hour and a half flight from here are the worlds hotspots, Iraq, Iran, Saudi, Lebanon.

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Letter from Moscow: Putin for Tsar



The Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi has been awarded the 2014 Winter Olympics and President Vladimir Putin will cash in the lions share of credit for the surprise victory.

At home Putin is widely seen as a strong ruler who restored stability after a decade of chaos ensuing the collapse of the Soviet Union. He has been presiding over a booming economy for seven years, wages are rising and life is improving for many in urban centres.

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Animals of the UK - 2. The cats of the flats

There's an old cobbled block of flats in Stoke Newington and although no more than 200 people can live there at most, there are 12 cats. Most of whom never leave the area of the flats, so they act as if they own it.

Which they sort of do. There's a complicated society of these cats, complete with social hierarchy and insecurity. They have replicated human society but, being cats, their society is even more neurotic. It's a salutary lesson to us all - if it all goes to the cleaners then, like in Doctor Who this series, we may end up cannibalising ourselves and turn into these cats.

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Letter from Moscow: The history of Russian cinema locked up in the basement



As Moscow hosts the 29th International Film Festival with Soviet-style patriotic pomp, Russia’s acclaimed Cinema Museum remains confined to a metal locker in the basement of the Central House of Artists.

'Musei Kino' is written in jagged hand-written letters on its doors, behind which administrative essentials of the country's only institute devoted to the long history of cinema in the Soviet Union and Russia are stored.

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