Palestinian-American Profiles

Manal Deeb: Artist
Karmah Elmusa, IMEU

Manal Deeb: Artist

For Palestinian-American visual artist Manal Deeb, memories of her childhood home in Ramallah are never far from her canvas. The Fairfax, Va., resident has lived stateside for decades, but her early life in Palestine saturates her work from every angle, and gives it a beautifully distinct, melancholy quality. Deeb's pieces include a mix of paint, collage, photography, calligraphy, and digital manipulation.

about 1 week ago
Randa Jarrar: Author and Professor
IMEU

Randa Jarrar: Author and Professor

“None of my characters are rooted to a particular place, and that makes all of them marginalized, outsiders, or outcasts,” says Randa Jarrar, an accomplished author, translator, and professor at California State University, Fresno. As a Palestinian American, Jarrar is intimately familiar with the struggles of identity and belonging, and brings that experience to her work. “That’s what makes for good writing,” she says. “When you write from the point of view of someone who is not inside the norm.”

on January 14, 2015
Lameece Issaq: Actor and writer
IMEU

Lameece Issaq: Actor and writer

In 2015, actor and writer Lameece Issaq will celebrate the five-year anniversary of Noor Theatre, the production company she co-founded that is dedicated to developing and supporting the work of Middle Eastern theater artists. Since its inception in 2010, Noor Theatre has been in residence at the renowned off-Broadway New York Theatre Workshop in Manhattan, and as Issaq looks back, she’s thrilled to find that what she’s doing is gaining traction.

on December 31, 2014
Thom Bishops: Actor
IMEU

Thom Bishops: Actor

In the spring of 2014, Palestinian-American actor Thom Bishops shot his 17th film, Time Out of Mind. The movie stars Richard Gere and Jena Malone, and Bishops was cast in the role of a vegan chef who offers kindness (and food) to a homeless man played by Gere. The film is enjoying success on the festival circuit—it showed at Rome and Toronto (where it won the FIPRESCI International Critics’ Prize) in October, among others.

on December 10, 2014
Lila Abu-Lughod: Professor and author
IMEU

Lila Abu-Lughod: Professor and author

Professor Lila Abu-Lughod's most recent work is the seminal book: Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory. Edited with Ahmad H. Sa'di, it focuses on Palestinian memory and the experience of expulsion. It was published by Columbia University Press in April 2007. "Although all my own anthropological fieldwork over the last 30 years has been in Egypt, my chapter in the book is about my father's return to Palestine after 40 years," she says.

on October 10, 2014
Lama Abu-Odeh: Professor and author
IMEU

Lama Abu-Odeh: Professor and author

Lama Abu-Odeh is an accomplished scholar and professor at Georgetown University Law Center as well as at the university's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Before joining the Georgetown faculty in 1999, she taught at Stanford Law School. Abu-Odeh has written extensively on Islamic Law, including "The Politics of (Mis)Recognition: Islamic Law Pedagogy in American Academia," published in the American Journal of Comparative Law.

on December 31, 2013
Saree Makdisi: Professor and Commentator
IMEU

Saree Makdisi: Professor and Commentator

Saree Makdisi, professor of English and Comparative Literature at UCLA, comes from a family of leading academics and intellectuals. His grandfather, Anis, taught Arabic literature at the American University of Beirut while his father, Samir, currently teaches economics there. His mother, Jean Said Makdisi, also used to teach but is now an independent scholar.

on December 31, 2013
Omar Dajani: Professor and Former Negotiator
IMEU

Omar Dajani: Professor and Former Negotiator

Law professor and former Palestinian negotiator and UN advisor Omar Dajani first became interested in the law in college. "I was fascinated by both legal theory and the way in which the law was unresponsive to the needs of the disenfranchised, yet had great potential to be a tool for vindicating their rights," he explains.

on December 31, 2013
Tareq Abboushi: Musician and composer

Tareq Abboushi: Musician and composer

Musician and composer Tareq Abboushi grew up around music but didn't plan on it being his livelihood. "My mother is a piano teacher, so I've been interested in music since I was a kid, but never really thought that it would be a career," he explains. "I just played the piano - it was a hobby more than anything else. When I first went to college, I studied advertising. Later on, it became clear that music was what I wanted to pursue."

on December 10, 2013