ESSAYS IN FORTHCOMING AL JADID, VOL. 24, NO. 78, 2020

Award-Winning Amin Maalouf Sees World Civilization on the Edge of the Abyss!
By 
Elie Chalala

Amin Maalouf recently received the National Order of Merit from the French government, earning the second-highest status in the title of Grand Officer. The author’s other decorations include the Prix Goncourt in 1993, as well as his induction into the Academie Francaise in 2011, filling the seat of Claude Levi Strauss. His books have been translated into 50 languages. His most recent work, “The Sinking [or Drowning] of Civilizations” (Le Naufrage des Civilisations, Grassat 2019), takes up Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” thesis, but shifts the focus from a clash between civilizations to a crisis that affects all aspects of human civilization as a whole. In the age of globalization and technological development, Maalouf claims that peoples and civilizations cannot be separated from each other in the way Huntington’s thesis suggests. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to add credence to the author’s claim.

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.

ESSAYS IN FORTHCOMING AL JADID, VOL. 24, NO. 78, 2020

Bandar Abdel Hamid (1947-2020): Editor and Poet Transformed His Humble Damascus Apartment into Inspiring ‘Literary Salon’
By 
Elie Chalala

The “beautiful Bedouin poet” Bandar Abdel Hamid passed away at the age of 73 on February 17, in his Damascus home from a heart attack. He died quietly, discovered 16 hours later to have had a heart attack, without anyone being able to help him. His death sent a painful shock to his many friends in Syria and throughout the Arab world. A leading poet of the 1970s, Bandar’s work contributed to Arab culture and enriched film criticism while encouraging creativity in his peers;  he transformed his humble apartment in Damascus into a stage for all forms of art and dialogues among intellectuals, friends, and strangers.

ESSAYS IN FORTHCOMING AL JADID, VOL. 24, NO. 78, 2020

Silent in First Person: Where is the Confessional Autobiography in Arab Literature?
By 
Al Jadid Staff

Confessions in autobiographies can achieve two things: they reveal all that the writers have concealed about their lives, or they serve to offend those around them in doing so. Some have used confessions to elevate their own characters, depicting their actions as courageous while recalling the wrongs done against them throughout their life. In Arab tradition, writers wish their readers to see them in a positive light, and readers look to autobiographies for ideal figures and role models for future generations, drawing on religious traditions and figures. Rather than touch on his misdeeds, the writer would instead share his accomplishments, highlighting only the positive parts, according to Ehab al-Najdi. The 2015 publication of the Egyptian Najdi’s “Literature of Confessions: Analytical Approaches from a Narrative Perspective” (Dar al-Maaref) examines the complex obstacles and scarcity of confessional writings in the Arab world.

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