Books

The Golden Notebooks

By 
Angele Ellis

Zed Books has chosen interesting times in which to re-release the English translation of the two-part autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi, “A Daughter of Isis” and “Walking Through Fire.” One of the most important and distinctive voices of her generation, not only in the Arabic-speaking world, but across the globe, El Saadawi has served as a physician, writer, rebel, and revolutionary. Born in 1931, she explores in these two interwoven volumes her personal struggles for autonomy – for the survival of body, mind, and spirit – as both girl and woman in an Egyptian society warped by patriarchal religion, as well as repressive social traditions and laws. She states in “A Daughter of Isis” that at the age of six, she learned “these three words by heart and they were like one sentence: ‘God, calamity, marriage.’”As I write this review, similar women’s words echo in the halls of the U.S. Capitol and throughout America.

BOOK REVIEWS IN THE CURRENT AL JADID, VOL. 24, NO. 79, 2020

The Arab-Israeli Conflict: How the American Left Grabbed the Third Rail of American Politics
By 
Michael Teague
 
The Arab-Israeli conflict has long been a divisive issue in the left lane of American politics. Bitter disagreements came to the fore, especially during periods of armed conflict and subsequent occupation, such as the wars of 1967 and 1973, and Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

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.”

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