Culture matters because it is proof of Palestinian identity and existence. Preserving it and celebrating it is a form of cultural sumud. By Susan Muaddi Darraj In her essay “On the Meaning of Sumoud” for the Palestine Chronicle, Benay Blend defines sumud — which means “steadfastness” in Arabic — as “a mental state of resilience that translates into not accepting the status quo.” [tmwinpost] In Palestine, the “status quo” is the steady attempt to erase Palestinian existence. When a Palestinian school is bulldozed, Palestinians instead hold classes in someone’s home. They replant trees and rebuild homes and entire villages that…Read More... | 35 Comments
Rim Banna, one of Palestine's most recognizable and important singers, died on Saturday after a lengthy battle with cancer. She leaves behind a dream of freedom from the occupation, patriarchy, and oppression. Rim Banna, the singer from Nazareth who enraptured millions died on Sunday after a battle with cancer. She was 51 years old. Arabic social media filled with eulogies written by people from every segment of society. [tmwinpost] One of the most famous Palestinian singers in the world, Banna came to be known through her modern interpretations of traditional Palestinian songs — children songs and popular women’s melodies — which…Read More... | 4 Comments
By the time a verdict is handed down in her case, Dareen Tatour will have lost over two-and-a-half years of her life to prison and house arrest. By Yoav Haifawi Like a cartoon character who runs over a cliff but continues to run in the air, or Achilles who thought he could pass the tortoise easily, but each time he got close, the turtle moved a bit further away, so is the trial of Dareen Tatour, a poet who has been detained since October 2015 — defying gravity, looking like it will never end. After the last witness testified back in…Read More... | 3 Comments
For the first time in its seven-year run, the annual DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival brings live performances to the stage, highlighting the role of women in storytelling. By Christa Blackmon In an age of increased reliance on digital media, and when diaspora identities are being formed through the lenses of cameras, live oral performances remain a vital tool of cultural transmission. Perhaps that is why the DC Palestinian Film and Arts Festival, as it entered its seventh year this past month, added a new addition to its schedule: live performances. [tmwinpost] While the majority of the festival’s agenda has traditionally been made up…Read More... | 6 Comments
He was denied entry to the U.S. for the premiere of his debut film, a short documentary about Palestine’s underground music scene. But director Sami Alalul seems unfazed. Sami Alalul sounds out every syllable of his Queen's English, ending most sentences with an almost timid lilt. It's a manner of speaking that can seem deferential, but listen more closely, and it becomes clear that Alalul's measured speech masks a more complicated truth. For like many with his "third-culture" upbringing, this 33-year-old filmmaker, born to a Palestinian father in the English coastal town of Poole, has spent a lifetime scripting his way, cautiously, between…Read More...
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict gets more than its share of attention. And yet, listening more attentively to the narrative of the dabke, Palestine’s national dance, gives a new angle to resistance and struggle. By Dana Mills In July 2015 Palestinian activists in London took to the streets to hold a Day of Rage to commemorate the bloodiest day of the Protective Edge, Israel’s 2014 war in Gaza one year earlier. In addition to signs and posters, chants and cries, protesters stormed the British Museum and Barclays Bank in London with a dabke flash mob. In 2012, students at Arizona State University…Read More... | 4 Comments
Pro-Israel journalists and politicians in Germany target a Palestinian arts and culture festival, its curators and the venue hosting it. By Inna Michaeli A celebration of Palestinian arts and culture in the city of Berlin has sent a few German journalists and local politicians over the edge. “After the Last Sky,” a first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary and international festival of contemporary Palestinian artists. Over the course of September and October, the festival sought to “transgress the boundaries of Palestinian life and identity,” and to do so through theater, cinema, performance, literature, spoken word, music, dance, visual art, panel discussions, and more. [tmwinpost] In…Read More... | 19 Comments
Each attempt to silence Palestinian artists only makes our voices grow louder. It's time to admit that Miri Regev is the best thing to happen to Palestinian culture since Israel's founding. Period. I generally do not tend to write about the Mizrahi struggle and what kind of effect Regev is having on it. But in my eyes she is undoing the hard work of Mizrahi activists and functioning mostly as Netanyahu's emissary, who uses her to spread hatred and fear in the backyards of Israeli society, where the Mizrahi struggle began. Regev does the job well — she removes the burden of…Read More... | 1 Comment
Long before she walked out on a performance honoring Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish, Israel's Culture Minister Miri Regev was using hateful, divide-and-conquer rhetoric against the country's minority groups. Miri Regev, Israel's Minister of Culture and Sport, caused an uproar at last week's Ophir Awards, the annual red carpet ceremony for the Israeli film industry. First she ostentatiously walked out of the auditorium to protest the performance of a cover version of Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish's most famous poem, "Identity Card." Then she returned, only to give a speech in which she claimed Darwish's poem includes a line about eating the flesh of the Jewish nation. To…Read More... | 4 Comments
Out of the 982 members of the Israeli Academy of Film and Television, there is not a single Palestinian. I leave my gear with the rest of the production team and go downstairs to take a walk around the village. At the village center I find a bit of shade overlooking the local pub. While sitting and rolling a cigarette, I notice a woman walking by with a garbage bag. "A local," I think to myself, and decide to rid myself of the boredom that has come to be mixed with depression. [tmwinpost] "Excuse me," I turn to her as…Read More... | 7 Comments
Call her a traitor, call her a normalizer — Palestinian-Israeli singer Amal Murkus has heard it all. Now as she gets ready to release her brilliant new album, the avowed Marxist and feminist is speaking out against the racism of the Israeli mainstream as well as Palestinian attempts to silence her. When I came home after my interview with Amal Murkus in a Jerusalem cafe, I turned off the engine and remained in my car with my eyes closed for an hour until the sounds of her new album "Fatah al-Ward" ("The Roses Bloomed") came to an end. [tmwinpost] This…Read More...
On his way to the finale of one of the most important shows in the Arab world, Haitham Khalailah had to deal with the Shin Bet, restrictions on the movement of Palestinian citizens and the fraught connection between Palestinians in Israel and the rest of the Middle East. Will he be the second Palestinian in a row to be crowned winner? By Yael Marom and Henriette Chacar Haitham Khalailah, a 24-year-old Palestinian singer from Majd al-Krum, competed Friday night in the finale of Arab Idol - the most popular singing competition in the entire Arab world. Hundreds of millions of viewers…Read More... | 10 Comments
Israeli restrictions on cultural performances in East Jerusalem have pushed Palestinian artists underground. It is no secret that East Jerusalem has suffered from some of the worst crimes of Israeli occupation and that life for its Palestinian residents is an everyday struggle. Colonization, home demolitions, discriminatory legislation, residency revocation, are just a few of the cruel and unjust practices that Israel employs to shift the demographic balance of the city by forcing its Arabs out. Therefore, it came as little shock to me when I asked organizers of the three-day Al-Quds Underground Festival—which came to an end on Saturday—what their…Read More... | 1 Comment
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