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Arabic language

  • Israel's nation-state bill threatens the mother tongue of Mizrahi Jews

    The Israeli government's attempts, via the nation-state bill, to erase the Arabic language from this country not only threatens Palestinians, it also undermines Mizrahi identity. But their attempt is doomed to fail. By Netta Amar-Shiff When my grandmother, Sa'ida, came to Israel, she worked at Kfar Hadasim Youth Village as a house mother, and needed to undergo a quick process of Hebraization so as to communicate with hundreds of new immigrant children. Although they had much in common, there remained a gulf between them, the most prominent of which was their mother tongues. Hebrew served as a bridge for both the children…

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  • The Palestinian who won't give up on the power of nonviolence

    At the end of 2000, as the Second Intifada was beginning to spread throughout the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli Professor Meir Amor sat down to speak with Dr. Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian expert on nonviolent resistance. Fifteen years later, the two met once again to talk about nonviolence, growing religious fundamentalism, gender equality, Palestinian refugees and Jews from Arab countries. This interview will be published in Peace Magazine in January 2015. By Meir Amor * * * Meir Amor: About 15 years ago you and I had a discussion published in Peace Magazine. The editors think it's a good opportunity…

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  • I Don't Know Arabic, but I do. And yet don't

    Watching an Arabic movie every Friday throughout my childhood. Nearly 30 years would pass before I discover that my grandmother and Farid al-Atrash were friends. I have no idea, it goes under my radar. And yet they are there, the words. By Tamar Kaplansky (Translated from Hebrew by Orna Meir-Stacey) I don’t know Arabic. My mother grew up in Alexandria, my father still has a Palestinian identity card. Both my grandmothers spoke Arabic – one with a K’ of Egypt, which is A’ (and this is why ba’lawa is called ba’lawa and nothing else), and one local, Galilean, Arabic. But…

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