Books

BOOK REVIEWS IN FORTHCOMING AL JADID, VOL. 24, NO. 78, 2020

New Film History Volume Documents, Preserves Legacy of Palestinian Cinema, From Nakba to the Present
By 
Al Jadid Staff

Nadia Yaqub’s recent book “Palestinian Cinema in the Days of Revolution” (University of Texas Press) offers a valuable survey of Palestinian cinema, from its pre-history in the early photographs and films made by international relief organizations, up to its birth out of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s struggle against the Israeli State. Yaqub details the narrative of victimhood that dominated early visual documentation of Palestine, as presented by organizations like the American Friends Service Committee and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Such films depicted Palestinians as “seen but not heard, and their statelessness and victimhood are presented as timeless, ahistorical facts, rather than the results of a process of violent dispossession culminating in the Nakba in 1948.”

BOOK REVIEWS IN FORTHCOMING AL JADID, VOL. 24, NO. 78, 2020

The Scanning of Signs: ‘Love, Sex and Desire in Modern Egypt: Navigating the Margins of Respectability’
By 
Al Jadid Staff


Challenging ethnographic theorists like Claude Lévi-Strauss, L.L. Wynn’s “Love, Sex, and Desire in Modern Egypt: Navigating the Margins of Respectability” (University of Texas Press, 2018) considers aspects of love and desire often overlooked by theorists when describing kinship structures. Wynn focuses on 21st century Cairenes in her book, with research collected from 2000-2015 on middle- to upper-class men and women, predominantly heterosexual, and conversations overheard in Arabic.

BOOK REVIEWS IN FORTHCOMING AL JADID, VOL. 24, NO. 78, 2020

Israeli Activist Narrates Palestinian Daily Struggle 'Behind the Wall'
By 
Al Jadid Staff


Jewish-Israeli author Ilana Hammerman’s recent memoir, “A Small Door Set in Concrete” (University of Chicago Press, 2019), takes readers into life after decades of occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This memoir traverses the experiences of Palestinien men, women, and children living behind the wall who are unable to move and act freely.

Gertrude Bell’s Arabian Diaries: Personal Romance or British Imperialist Quest?

By Issa J. Boullata

Gertrude Bell (1868-1926), the well-known English traveler, archaeologist, and political agent, is perhaps more famous in the annals of British imperialism for her role in molding the post-WWI politics of Mesopotamia in 1921, bringing Faysal to the throne of Iraq, and later, as Oriental secretary to the British High Commissioner in Baghdad, reporting to her government in London on the Iraqi domestic, political, and societal affairs she tried to influence. But these achievements built on her activities in the previous two or three decades which, in their own right, were as daring and adventurous, as politically astute, and socially uncommon among women of her time as the activities of her subsequent Iraqi period. Rosemary O’Brien, an editor and retired freelance journalist now living in Princeton, NJ, has put historians in her debt by editing Gertrude Bell’s previously unpublished Arabian diaries of 1913-1914, housed in the Robinson Library at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne; O’Brien has thus given readers a glimpse of this remarkable woman’s past.

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