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.

ESSAYS & FEATURES IN FORTHCOMING AL JADID, VOL. 23, NO. 77, 2019

Despite Decades-Old Controversies, Iraqi Poet Badr Shaker al-Sayyab Still Relevant!
By 
Al Jadid Staff

The Arab cultural scene never tires of Iraqi poet Badr Shakir al-Sayyab’s legacy, refusing to let it rest even 55 years after his death. The recent publications of Jasim al-Muttair’s “The Swinging Moods of Badr Shakir al-Sayyab,” as well as several columns on the poet by Iraqi writer Yassin al-Dulaymi and Lebanese columnist Mohammad al-Houjeiri, have again brought the poet’s life into the public eye. Sayyab did not shy away from politics in his work. “He was the kind of person who thought that a literary person and an educated person and a poet had a duty to get involved in the politics of his country and his nation and to point his finger and to be on the side of the poor and the struggling sectors of society. Governments were not, still are not, accepting of people who are not accepting of their line,” said his son, Ghailan al-Sayyab, in an interview with The National.

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