I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic
With the research for the new Bradt Guide to Palestine done and dusted, there are a few articles which I came across doing background research that I found especially interesting, or moving, or which highlight rarely-considered aspects of the situation in Palestine and Israel.
They include a rather poignant series of articles about the Herbawi keffiyah factory in Hebron. It’s the last working textile factory making traditional keffiyahs in the whole West Bank; the rest have closed down under the economic pressures of the Occupation and of cheap Chinese imports. Gideon Levy, always a good read as well as being a journalist worthy of immense respect, wrote about the Herbawi factory for Ha’aretz, while Rebecca Fudala did a nice photo-spread for Palestine Monitor. There is also a wonderful series of photos by Kara Newhouse on Flickr.
I also came across a couple of interesting articles on the relationship between Israel’s Palestinian and Jewish citizens, and specifically the extent to which the latter regard the former as a source of exotic tourist opportunities, while continuing to degrade their political, economic and social position. One of these articles was a MERIP report by Peter Lagerquist on the 2008 Akka riots, which includes a very telling line: “Jews come to visit Arab villages and ghettoes; Arabs are not supposed to repay the visits”. The second article on this dynamic is a gentler but in some places still rather biting piece, again from Ha’aretz, on the subject of Jewish visitors to the Palestinian town of Sakhnin (where the 3 men and 3 women killed by Israeli soldiers and police on the first Land Day were martyred) seeking spirituality from visiting Turkish Sufi singers and dervishes. (Incidentally, here is Marcia Lynx Qualey’s lovely tribute to Land Day on Arablit).
Meanwhile this article from This Week in Palestine is an elegant evocation of the good and the bad things about life in Gaza. And finally, here is a ‘A Day In The Life Of Ibrahim Badran’, a Palestinian refugee living in Jordan. Scroll down to the publication date at the bottom of the page.