In Halal Pork and Other Stories, Cihan Kaan projects an avant garde, post 9/11 world, from the perspective of a young Muslim New Yorker. It's a place where Coney Island meets Mars; where hijabi girls are punk rock dervishes; where identity salesmen count pigeons at insane asylums as a cream cheese conspiracy brews in gitmo; where rich boys pay to be Muslim for a day; where the transgendered are holy; and where the bacon is halal. Kaan offers up five urban Sufi tales in the swirling graffiti of Brooklyn.
Ghosts of Afghanistan, The Haunted Battleground, by Jonathan Steele
There are dozens of books on the Afghan wars. Most of them are all about firefights and heroics. This is among the first to take the events of the war Bush and Blair started and put them in the context of the Soviet war and even the British imperial wars that preceded them, and draw the lessons out, making a sharp summary of what should happen next. No war is ever won against the Afghans. The only option is to give up, but the U.S. military continues to labor under the notion that we can win. Politicians may eventually resume control, but Obama has yet to overrule his generals.
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The Plight of the Palestinians, edited by William A. Cook
The Plight of the Palestinians: a Long History of Destruction is a collection of voices from around the world, that establishes in both theoretical and graphic terms the slow, methodical genocide taking place in Palestine beginning in the 1940s, as revealed in the Introduction. From Dr. Francis A. Boyle's detailed legal case against the state of Israel, to Uri Avnery's "Slow Motion Ethnic Cleansing," to Richard Falk's "Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust," to Ilan Pappe's "Genocide in Gaza," these voices decry in startling, vivid, and forceful language the calculated atrocities taking place, the inhumane conditions inflicted on the people, and the silence that exists despite the crimes, nothing short of state-sponsored genocide against the Palestinians.
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Israeli Cinema, East/West and the Politics of Representation, by Ella Habiba Shohat
This is a new edition of Israeli Cinema with a substantial new postscript that reflects on the book's initial reception and points to exciting new trends in the cinematic representation of Israel and Palestine. Ella Shohat, who serves on the advisory board of the Levantine Cultural Center and has an extensive history of progressive contributions as an author and public speaker, explores the cinema as a productive site of national culture, dating back to the early Zionist films about turn-of-the-century Palestine. She offers a deconstructionist reading of Zionism, viewing the cinema as itself participating in the "invention" of the nation. Unthinking the Eurocentric imaginary of "East versus West," Shohat highlights the paradoxes of an anomalous national/colonial project through a number of salient issues, including the Sabra figure as a negation of the "Diaspora Jew," the iconography of the land of Israel as a denial of Palestine, and the narrative role of "the good Arab." The new postscript examines the emergence of a richly multiperspectival cinematic space that transcends earlier dichotomies through a palimpsestic and cross-border approach to Israel/Palestine. Shohat also writes of the Mizrahi "cinema of displacement."
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Threat, Palestinian Political Prisons in Israel, edited by Abeer Baker and Anat Matar
Following the October exchange of Israeli prisoner Gilad Shalit for 1,000 Palestinian prisions in a deal arranged with Hamas, this is a good time to look into Threat. Palestinian prisoners charged with security-related offences are immediately taken as a threat to Israel's security. They are seen as potential, if not actual, suicide bombers. This stereotype ignores the political nature of the Palestinian prisoners' actions and their desire for liberty. By highlighting the various images of Palestinian prisoners in the Israel-Palestine conflict, Abeer Baker and Anat Matar chart their changing fortunes. Essays written by prisoners, ex-prisoners, Human rights defenders, lawyers and academic researchers analyze the political nature of imprisonment and Israeli attitudes towards Palestinian prisoners. These contributions deal with the prisoners' status within Palestinian society, the conditions of their imprisonment and various legal procedures used by the Israeli military courts in order to criminalise and de-politicise them. Also addressed are Israel's breaches of international treaties in its treatment of the Palestinian prisoners, practices of torture and solitary confinement, exchange deals and prospects for release.
This is a unique book within Middle East studies that will inspire those working in human rights, international law and the peace process.
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Assassins of the Turquoise Palace by Roya Hakakian
Equal parts detective thriller and courtroom drama, Assassins of the Turquoise Palace is the true story of the brutal murder of four Iranian opposition leaders, the subsequent investigation, and the trial that is Europe's most groundbreaking legal case since Nuremberg. Roya Hakakian is author of the memoir Journey From the Land of No, about her experience being exiled from Iran. Writes the New York Times, "Assassins of the Turquoise Palace throws light on the rivalries and fears within Iran's cast exile community... carefully researched and vividly written...In addition to being a lively account of an extraordinary trial, [it] can be read as an unsettling reminder of the dangers of excessive zeal."
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