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Middle East Now in Florence

Kicking off tomorrow, the Middle East Now Festival will expose films, arts and music from the region to Europe as the annual Italian event brings in a slew of Arab talent.

The 'Middle East Now' festival kicks off in Florence, Italy tomorrow; a three day event featuring the best of Middle East and North African cinema, arts and culture organised by the non-profit cultural association Map of Creation.

From the 9th to 11th, the red carpet will be rolled out for feature films, documentaries, animated and shorts from all over the region, including highly acclaimed Egyptian film Rags & Tatters.

The Festival Programme is designed to give visibility to movies that do not normally find an Italian distributor. As well as films, there'll be many exhibitions of photography, visual arts, painting, sculpture and debates and presentations of books, not to mention a Mashrou Leila concert - their first outside the Middle East.

Festivals like these held in Europe are a fantastic step to preserving, and exposing our complex culture and artistic expression which is continually eroded by Westernisation.