Thursday, September 03 2015

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The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984

The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984 Author: Riad Sattouf
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Published: October 2015
Paperback: 160 pages
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1627793445

Review by Nahrain Al-Mousawi

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Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora

Editors: Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi
Paperback:  400 pages
Publisher:  Theatre Communications Group Inc., US (2015)
ISBN-13:  978-1559364799


Review by Nahrain Al-Mousawi

Control over Palestinian dramatic expression plays a significant part in shaping the new anthology of plays published in Inside/Outside, edited by Naomi Wallace and Ismail Khalidi. From the opening by the editors to the introduction by Nathalie Handal, we are reminded that Palestinian expression, whether over identity, state rights or cultural production has often been rendered taboo before it even sees the light of day. Thus, a type of censorship of the arts is always in motion wherein "Palestinian dramatists do not so much write against the grain, though many do, but write against the odds. And the odds are stacked against them: their work is culturally delegitimised, derailed and delimited by the Israeli-Palestinian ‘conflict’. "

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The Other Anti-Semitism

Author: Emil Saleem Shehadeh
Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers (2015)
Paperback: 368 pages
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1784552039

Review by Emmanuela Eposti

As the birthplace of Christianity, the Middle East has historically been home to a significant proportion of Christians, the vast majority native Arabs who held on to their Christianity in the face of the Islamic conquest of the region. Throughout the latter part of the 20th century, however, and especially today, the number of Christians in the Middle East has been dwindling at an alarming rate – pushed out by sectarian persecution and violence. The situation has become so dire, in fact, that many commentators are pointing to the potential elimination of Christianity from the land of its inception.

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Becoming Arab in London: Performativity and the Undoing of Identity

Author: Ramy M.K. Aly
Publisher: Pluto Press (2015)
Hardcover: 272 pages
ISBN: 978-07453-3358-8


Review by Emmanuela Eposti

"What is it that really makes summer in the city?... It is Arabs: Arabs by the thousand, walking in the park, drinking coffee in the Edgware Road, emptying the shelves of the Marble Arch Marks and Spencer..."

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