By October 5, 2015 Featured, Film No Comments

This year MEFA Festival has found its home in the heart of Arabia, at the beautiful movie theater Kino Sheryl.

Opened in early 2015, Kino Sheryl is the first new movie theatre Helsinki for the last fifteen years! The student-run cinema used to be reserved for Aalto University students, but nowadays it welcomes the public audience and festival organizers. Kino Sheryl has a double life: iduring the daylight it acts as a playground for students of film and cinematography, and after the sunset it turns into a busy movie theater.. And to be frank, the MEFA team simply fell in love with the comfy, cozy feeling and the pure design and artsy atmosphere that the venue has to offer.

But wait a second, what is Arabia doing in Nordic Finland? While drafting this article, I just couldn’t resist searching for the origin of the name.

After a short journey in Arabia (or on Google map) I started spotting interesting street names: “Syyriankatu”, “Kaironkatu”, “Damaskuksentie”. What is this unusual link with Middle Eastern names?!

Back in the 18th century – before the great rise of public transportation – Arabia was far-off and disconnected from downtown Helsinki. People started using exotic names to evoke the remote nature of that area. They used to called the district as “Arabian ja Kaanaan maa”, the Land of Arabia and Canaan. How poetic! The origin of Arabia is in a field called “Arabianpelto”, the field of Arabia. The field gave its name to a nearby villa and later on, when Arabia porcelain factory was built, it took its name from the villa. It’s in fact a common misunderstanding that Arabia factory gave its name for the district, when in reality, it’s just the other way around.

Now, after digging into the history of the area, I must admit that I’m even more glad that MEFA Festival will gather Arts from Middle East in the Finnish promised land.

You can purchase tickets to the screenings from:

Post by: Alexandra Duthé

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