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Area and Ethnic Studies > Middle Eastern Studies

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Displaced at Home Cover

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Displaced at Home

Ethnicity and Gender among Palestinians in Israel

Groundbreaking essays by Palestinian women scholars on the lives of Palestinians within the state of Israel. Most media coverage and research on the experience of Palestinians focuses on those living in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, while the sizable minority of Palestinians living within Israel rarely garners significant academic or media attention. Offering a rich and multidimensional portrait of the lived realities of Palestinians within the state of Israel, Palestinians in Israel Revisited gathers a group of Palestinian women scholars who present unflinching critiques of the complexities and challenges inherent in the lives of this understudied but important minority within Israel. The essays here engage topics ranging from internal refugees and historical memory to women’s sexuality and the resistant possibilities of hip hop culture among young Palestinians. Unique in the collection is sustained attention to gender concerns, which have tended to be subordinated to questions of nationalism, statehood, and citizenship. The first collection of its kind in English, Palestinians in Israel Revisited presents on-the-ground examples of the changing political, social and economic conditions of Palestinians in Israel, and examines how global, national, and local concerns intersect and shape their daily lives.

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The Divergence of Judaism and Islam

Interdependence, Modernity, and Political Turmoil

Edited by Michael M. Laskier and Yaacov Lev

A companion volume to The Convergence of Judaism and Islam, this collection of essays explores the Jewish-Muslim relationship from the nineteenth century to the present. While that earlier work focused on the shared cultures and often peaceful relations between the two religions in the medieval and early modern periods, this book reveals how the paths of Jews and Muslims began to diverge two centuries ago.

The essays in this volume examine how each group reacted quite differently to colonial rule, how the Palestine Question and the Arab-Israeli crisis have soured relations, and how the rise of nationalism has contributed to the growing tensions. With contributors from a wide variety of scholarly disciplines, this book offers a broad but in-depth analysis of the Jewish-Muslim relationship in recent times.

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A Documentary History of Modern Iraq

Stacy E. Holden

Previously published histories and primary source collections on the Iraqi experience tend to be topically focused or dedicated to presenting a top-down approach. By contrast, Stacy Holden's A Documentary History of Modern Iraq gives voice to ordinary Iraqis, clarifying the experience of the Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Jews, and women over the past century.

Through varied documents ranging from short stories to treaties, political speeches to memoirs, and newspaper articles to book excerpts, the work synthesizes previously marginalized perspectives of minorities and women with the voices of the political elite to provide an integrated picture of political change from the Ottoman Empire in 1903 to the end of the second Bush administration in 2008. Covering a broad range of topics, this bottom-up approach allows readers to fully immerse themselves in the lives of everyday Iraqis as they navigate regime shifts from the British to the Hashemite monarchy, the political upheaval of the Persian Gulf wars, and beyond. Brief introductions to each excerpt provide context and suggest questions for classroom discussion.

This collection offers raw history, untainted and unfiltered by modern political framework and thought, representing a refreshing new approach to the study of Iraq.

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The Downfall of Abba Hillel Silver and the Foundation of Israel

by Ofer Shiff

In early February 1949 American Jewry’s most popular and powerful leader, Abba Hillel Silver (1893–1963), had summarily resigned from all his official positions within the Zionist movement and had left New York for Cleveland, returning to his post as a Reform rabbi. In the immediate years prior to his resignation, during the second half of the 1940s, Silver was the most outspoken proponent of the founding of a sovereign Jewish state. He was the most instrumental American Jewish leader in the political struggle that led to the foundation of the State of Israel. Paradoxically, this historic victory also heralded Silver’s personal defeat. Soon after Israel’s declaration of independence, he and many of his American Zionist colleagues were relegated to the sidelines of the Zionist movement. Almost overnight the most influential leader—one who was admired and feared by both supporters and opponents—was stripped of his power within both the Zionist and the American Jewish arenas. Shiff’s book discerns the various aspects of the striking turnabout in Silver's political fate, describing both the personal tragic story of a leader who was defeated by his own victory, and the much broader intra-Zionist battle which erupted in full force immediately after the founding of Israel. Drawing extensively on Silver’s personal archival material, Shiff presents an enlightening portrait of a critical episode in Jewish history. This book is most relevant for anyone who attempts to understand the complex homeland- diaspora relations between Israel and American Jewry.

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Dreaming of Baghdad

Haifa Zangana, Foreword by Hamid Dabashi, Afterword by Ferial J. Ghazoul

Haifa Zangana was a member of a left-wing group of Iraqis who organized in the 1970s to oppose the Baath Party and its charismatic leader, Saddam Hussein. Zangana was captured, imprisoned, and tortured in Abu Ghraib. In this memoir that describes her arrest, imprisonment and eventual forced exile, she describes life in an Iraq she can never return to, an Iraq that now no longer exists.

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Education, Empowerment, and Control

The Case of the Arabs in Israel

Education, Empowerment, and Control is about the education of the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel from the establishment of the state of Israel to the present. Using a comparative approach, the study throughout juxtaposes Arab and Hebrew educational systems in terms of administration, resources, curricula contents, and returns. Developments in education are analyzed in conjunction with wide demographic, economic, and sociopolitical changes. Al-Haj explores the expectations of the Palestinian community on the one hand and dominant groups on the other, showing that whereas Palestinians have seen education as a source of empowerment, government groups have seen it as a mechanism of social control. The book also sheds light on the wider issue of education and social change among developing minorities in the postcolonial era. Al-Haj examines modernization, underdevelopment, and control in order to delineate the role education plays among a national minority that is marginalized at the group level and denied access to the national opportunity structure.

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The Education of Women and The Vices of Men

Two Qajar Tracts

translated from the Persian and with an introduction by Hasan Javadi and Willem Floor

At the close of the nineteenth century, modern ideas of democracy and equality were slowly beginning to take hold in Iran. Exposed to European ideas about law, equality, and education, upper- and middle-class men and women increasingly questioned traditional ideas about the role of women and their place in society. In apparent response to this emerging independence of women, an anonymous author penned The Education of Women, a small booklet published in 1889. This guide, aimed at husbands as much as at wives, instructed women on how to behave toward their husbands, counseling them on proper dress, intimacy, and subservience. One woman, Bibi Khanom Astarabadi, took up the author’s challenge and wrote a refutation of the guide’s arguments. An outspoken mother of seven, Astarabadi established the first school for girls in Tehran and often advocated for the rights of women. In The Vices of Men, she details the flaws of men, offering a scathing diatribe on the nature of men’s behavior toward women. Astarabadi mixes the traditional florid style of the time with street Persian, slang words, and bawdy language. This new edition, the first to be translated into English, faithfully preserves the style and irreverent tone of the essays. The two texts, together with an introduction and afterword situating both within the customs, language, and social life of Iran, offer a rare candid dialogue.

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Egypt as a Woman

Nationalism, Gender, and Politics

Beth Baron

This original and historically rich book examines the influence of gender in shaping the Egyptian nation from the nineteenth century through the revolution of 1919 and into the 1940s. In Egypt as a Woman, Beth Baron divides her narrative into two strands: the first analyzes the gendered language and images of the nation, and the second considers the political activities of women nationalists. She shows that, even though women were largely excluded from participation in the state, the visual imagery of nationalism was replete with female figures. Baron juxtaposes the idealization of the family and the feminine in nationalist rhetoric with transformations in elite households and the work of women activists striving for national independence.

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Elections in Israel 1992, The

As the momentum toward peace in the Middle East surges and wanes, the intensity of politics in Israel takes on added relevance. There can be little doubt that the historic Israel-PLO peace accord could not have occurred were it not for the turnabout elections of 1992. This volume, the seventh in a series begun in 1969, carries on the tradition of offering in-depth analyses of the major issues, actors, and parties involved in Israeli politics. Leading social scientists from Israeli and North American universities and research institutes, using different methods and coming from diverse intellectual traditions, address questions such as whether the elections were a referendum on the return of the Territories; what roles the PLO and the United States played in the election results; how technological changes in political communications, packaging of candidates, and opinion polls affected the results; what contributions such groups as women, Arabs, and members of various religions made to the change in government; and whether the political reforms instituted before the elections resulted from changes in the mood of the electorate or brought about changes in Israel’s policy. Contributors to the volume include Majid Al-Haj, Gideon Doron, Aaron Fein, Hillel Frisch, Tamar Hermann, Hanna Herzog, Barry Kay, Jonathan Mendilow, Barry Rubin, Ron Shachar, Gabriel Weimann, Aaron Willis, Gadi Wolfsfeld, and Yael Yishai.

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Embodying Hebrew Culture

Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine

Nina S. Spiegel

From their conquest of Palestine in 1917 during World War I, until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the British controlled the territory by mandate, representing a distinct cultural period in Middle Eastern history. In Embodying Hebrew Culture: Aesthetics, Athletics, and Dance in the Jewish Community of Mandate Palestine, author Nina S. Spiegel argues that the Jewish community of this era created enduring social, political, religious, and cultural forms through public events, such as festivals, performances, and celebrations. She finds that the physical character of this national public culture represents one of the key innovations of Zionism-embedding the importance of the corporeal into national Jewish life-and remains a significant feature of contemporary Israeli culture. Spiegel analyzes four significant events in this period that have either been unexplored or underexplored: the beauty competitions for Queen Esther in conjunction with the Purim carnivals in Tel Aviv from 1926 to 1929, the first Maccabiah Games or "Jewish Olympics" in Tel Aviv in 1932, the National Dance Competition for theatrical dance in Tel Aviv in 1937, and the Dalia Folk Dance Festivals at Kibbutz Dalia in 1944 and 1947. Drawing on a vast assortment of archives throughout Israel, Spiegel uses an array of untapped primary sources, from written documents to visual and oral materials, including films, photographs, posters, and interviews. Methodologically, Spiegel offers an original approach, integrating the fields of Israel studies, modern Jewish history, cultural history, gender studies, performance studies, dance theory and history, and sports studies. In this detailed, multi-disciplinary volume, Spiegel demonstrates the ways that political and social issues can influence a new society and provides a dynamic framework for interpreting present-day Israeli culture. Students and teachers of Israel studies, performance studies, and Jewish cultural history will appreciate Embodying Hebrew Culture.

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