Culture

Culture

Palestinians speak a distinct dialect of Arabic, and have their own traditions, cuisine, and folklore. While most Palestinians feel strong connections to the Arab world, their primary political affiliation is with other Palestinians, with whom they share defining experiences of exile, military occupation, and other dimensions of the conflict with the Zionist movement and Israel.

Crafting beautiful music in Palestine
Edmee van Rijn, Al Jazeera

Crafting beautiful music in Palestine

Shehada Shalalda, 24, is the youngest among the very few luthiers in Palestine. He was born in the old centre of Ramallah, next to the shop where he now works. About a decade ago, when Shalalda was 15, al-Kamandjati music school opened its doors just metres from his house. Having never seen musical instruments or heard live music before, he says he was immediately attracted by the beautiful sounds of the violin and the oud, a traditional Arabic instrument.

These Palestinian Rappers Are Tearing Down Sexism in the Best Way Possible
Tom Barnes, Mic

These Palestinian Rappers Are Tearing Down Sexism in the Best Way Possible

"I am the dishes, the ironing, I am everything, I am nothing. But remind me: Who are you?" Translated from Levantine Arabic, these words are the hook of the hard-hitting new feminist anthem "Who You Are" by the famed-Palestinian rap group DAM. Directed by Oscar nominee Scandar Copti, the song's video tackles sexist attitudes in the Middle East.

Drama and uncomfortable questions at Chicago Palestine Film Festival
Maureen Clare Murphy, The Electronic Intifada

Drama and uncomfortable questions at Chicago Palestine Film Festival

Women filmmakers and protagonists are strongly represented at the 14th annual Chicago Palestine Film Festival, which opened last night at the downtown Gene Siskel Film Center and runs through 30 April. The opening feature, Eyes of a Thief by Najwa Najjar (Pomegranates and Myrrh), was Palestine’s entry to this year’s Academy Awards (watch the trailer above).

Preserving memories amid Gaza’s rubble
Rami Almeghari, The Electronic Intifada

Preserving memories amid Gaza’s rubble

Elham al-Astal is striving to create something beautiful out of a very ugly situation. In her latest artwork, she has glued the branches of a tree to a broken window. The window comes from a kindergarten in the Khuzaa area of southeastern Gaza that was completely destroyed by Israel last year.

Chicago’s Palestine Film Festival line up announced
People's World

Chicago’s Palestine Film Festival line up announced

The Chicago Palestine Film Festival, the world's longest running Palestinian film festival, announced its 2015 line-up. This year's festival will be held from April 18-30 at the Gene Siskel Film Center and will feature award-winning films such as Eyes of a Thief by Najwa Najjar. Here is a listing of this year's films.

Sameh Wadi: Chef
Karmah Elmusa, IMEU

Sameh Wadi: Chef

The story of how Palestinian-American chef and restaurateur Sameh Wadi ended up in Minneapolis is standard fare in the chronicles of American immigration — a cousin went first, and so his family followed. Wadi, 31, was born in Kuwait to Palestinian refugees, and after living briefly in Jordan and then Canada, he arrived in the Twin Cities at the age of 13 and hasn’t left.

Graphic novels about Palestine reveal the exceptional everyday demands of exile
Middle East Monitor

Graphic novels about Palestine reveal the exceptional everyday demands of exile

Baddawi (2015) is a coming-of-age graphic novel by Chicago-based artist Leila Abdelrazaq about a boy raised in a refugee camp in northern Lebanon; it's a poignant tale based on her father's early life. The eponymous Baddawi is the refugee camp where Ahmad was born after his parents' expulsion from Palestine in 1948.

Play about slain pro-Palestine activist returns to NY stage
Yahoo! News/AFP

Play about slain pro-Palestine activist returns to NY stage

A play about American activist Rachel Corrie, who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza, is winning quiet acceptance in New York, where uproar postponed its debut a decade ago. Her parents and the play's director say the dimming controversy reflects a shift in American attitudes towards Israel and the Palestinian conflict.

Kanye’s West Bank blind spot: Is Yeezy missing an opportunity to speak truth to power?
Matthew Pulver, Salon

Kanye’s West Bank blind spot: Is Yeezy missing an opportunity to speak truth to power?

A future Palestinian rapper, perhaps one the age of Kanye’s daughter now, might eventually pen lyrics reminiscent of the deepest of Ye’s racially oriented rhymes, perhaps lyrics that call to mind West’s bitter account of mid-century racist abuse of his much beloved late mother on “New Slaves” or “Never Let Me Down.”