shadow

Cities of Struggle and Resistance: The Image of the Palestinian City in Modern Arabic Poetry

Saddik M.Gohar, UAE University, UAE

Download PDF  Version

Abstract

This paper aesthetically articulates the representation of the Palestinian city in modern Arabic poetry in order to argue that while Arab -and non-Arab poets-incorporate  variety of attitudes toward the city ,  the presentation of the Palestinian city reveals a radical difference from the rest of Arabic and non-Arabic poetry  due to the peculiar history of struggle, resistance and victimization characterizing life in the Palestinian metropolis.  To the Palestinian poets, in particular, the city is part of a homeland they have lost or a refugee camp that has been resisting the invaders for decades.  Contrary to western cities  inhabited by alien residents such as Eliot’s Prufrock, or Arab cities populated by strangers, outsiders, whores, outcasts and political prisoners  as in the literary  cities of Badr Shaker Al-Sayyab  and Ahmed Abdul-Muti  Hejazi , the Palestinian city is inhabited by heroes and martyrs.  These heroes who appear in contemporary Palestinian poetry and take different shapes personify the struggle and resistance of a nation that has frequently refused to surrender at times of crisis.  Representing the spirit of the Palestinian people confronting  a world replete with  treachery and hypocrisy,  the Palestinian city and its nameless heroes , in contemporary Arabic  poetry, is an embodiment of  an eternal and unlimited Palestinian dream , the dream of return, rebirth and liberation.  In this context, the paper affirms that unlike Arab cities which are associated with decadence, corruption, exploitation and moral bankruptcy, the Palestinian city,  due to the Palestinian history of exile, resistance, victimization and pain, is viewed in Arabic/Palestinian poetry as a location of heroism,  struggle, defiance and martyrdom.

Finding the voice of the Peasant: Agriculture, Neocolonialism and Mulk Raj Anand’s Punjab trilogy

Jonathan Highfield, Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island, USA

 Abstract

Mulk Raj Anand’s Punjab trilogy–The Village (1939), Across the Black Waters (1940), and The Sword and the Sickle (1942)–speaks directly to the destruction of traditional agricultural systems under colonial rule and the absorption of the agricultural goods and human labor of India into a global economic system. The Punjab trilogy traces the life of a character searching for another India, an India free of oppression, misery, and classism. Lalu Singh looks at the situation in the Punjab from an ever-widening orbit, only to recognize that global movements devalue the very people they purport to help. In the end he rejects theory for action, returning to the peasant society he fled as a youth. His decision has resonance in the twenty-first century as formerly colonized regions face the neocolonial onslaught of biopiracy and genetic trait control technologies.

Translate »