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Locating Palestine in the Arab Americas Conference

September 13–15, 2024

The Middle East and North Africa Centre at the University of Sussex, the Centro de Estudios Árabes at the University of Chile, and the Khayrallah Center at North Carolina State University organized this workshop on the importance of Palestine in the wider American mahjar (land of migration), inviting contributions from scholars, writers, and activists. The conference will take place at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina on September 13-15, 2024.

Conference Program

Friday, September 13, 2024

3 pm: Check-in begins at Aloft Hotel

6 pm: Welcome reception

Saturday, September 14, 2024

9–9:30 am: Coffee & welcome 

9:30–11:30 am: “Performing Palestinianess”

Fiction writing is a path to understand the ways in which History becomes personal. My first novel, Salt Crystals (Charco Press, 2022), addressed questions about Creole identities in the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina, in Colombia. As part of a larger literary project to develop fictional narratives about diasporas and Creoleness in the region, I offer a review of the Arab Caribbean in a personal key, involving emotional and political matters that generally concern second and third generations of Palestinian immigrants. My second novel, Capitán, focuses in the regions of Barranquilla and San Andrés Island, and the experience of my ancestors and family of aviators, the Christian Palestinian Al-Bandaj family, which arrived from Bethlehem in America between 1914 and 1917. The Creole cultural space of the Caribbean and the Palestinian diaspora affect each other and the traces of this interaction are present in all aspects of life. Fictions allow one to encompass such complexity, and to explore how personal trauma, geopolitics and colonialism are intertwined, in an attempt to recover what has been lost, or withheld, from one generation to the next. New generations have emerged in territories in which certain material and cultural elements condition the degree of awareness of the Palestinian self. A perspective on relations of language, body and territory, I provide insights into creative ways of becoming, performing and representing that which is Palestinian Arab, while already rooted in the contemporary Caribbean. Imagining motives, motivations and emotions based in global movements becomes a strategy to unravel wounds of hopelessness and displacement, as well as a strategy to approach the colonial experiences from the Caribbean. An emotional cartography emerges from the routes of migrations, and often it is only through art and fictions that a way back, and forth, can be attained. 

What does it mean to dance a relationship to one stolen land, Palestine, from another stolen land, Haudenosaunne territory in North America? This paper examines how Palestine and Palestinian liberation inform Palestinian and Arab youth in Canada practicing and performing dabke in their understanding of Indigenous political and social struggles. It engages with part of my two-year critical ethnography of a Palestinian Canadian dabke youth group performing in the context of Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation celebrations, addressing questions of settler subjectivity, embodiment, and citizenship. 

I use critical spatial analysis and theories of cultural production to examine how their somatic experiences interact with cultural representation and self-representation. As a dance, dabke is stubbornly physical and communal and therefore local. I demonstrate how dabke nurtures a “translocal consciousness” (to use Carol Fadda-Conrey’s term), manifested in their subjectivity anchored in Palestine but locally shaped in Canada. Their physical synchronicity, done to bring them closer to Palestine, brings them closer to each other, and offer accounts of connection, loyalties and relationships in the midst of shatat dispersal.

I argue that the youth are constantly reclaiming their subjectivity and repairing their ontological relationships with both Palestine and Canada. As racialized citizens, they desire to complement their attachment to Palestine with their attachment to Canada. They understand their performances at national multicultural celebrations as not about a celebration of an occupation, a political structure they recognize, identify with as dispossessed people themselves, and are opposed to. Rather, it is a fresh experience to publicly celebrate Palestine at all. By centering somatic and spatial experiences in my analysis, I unpack how processes of power move through racialized socio-spatial and embodied flows to normalize settler colonial logics for youth subjectivity. 

Ultimately, this paper aims to generate sustained debate on the paradoxical position of Arabs in North America, caught between being exiles from Palestine themselves (or Arabs informed by the occupation of Palestine), yet also settlers on Indigenous lands.

Yubarta is a feature documentary film where Nayibe, the director, uses the technique of stopmotion animation to tell the story of her great grandfather Muhammed’s migration from Palestine to the Dominican Republic in the early 1920s. The film breaks the fourth wall to show the creative process between Nayibe and Louvenson, the animation artist working with her. Like Muhammed, Louvenson moved to the DR seeking to escape the political turmoil and violence in his own country, Haiti. However, unlike Muhammed, who married a white woman, had white children, and became a “good migrant” assimilated to Dominican culture, Louvenson, his wife and his two children live in constant fear because of the structural and cultural racism against haitians in the DR. On one occasion, although his visa was valid, Louvenson was illegally arrested because he refused to pay a bribe to the Dominican migration police. He does not wish to stay in the DR, but returning to Haiti is not an option because it is not a safe place for his children. Similarly, in 1970, fifty years after arriving in the DR, Muhammed decided to return to Palestine when the Dominican dictatorship killed his son Amin, an activist against the regime. However, Muhammed discovered that Palestine was now an occupied territory and had to return to the DR. His homeland was no longer his home. 

The film will include stopmotion animation, archive material from the director’s family and footage shot in 2024 with Nayibe and Louvenson working together and discussing the details of Muhammed and Louvenson’s migration processes. The project is currently in its developing phase and during the conference we would like to share some scenes from our film and our research on the similarities between the struggles of the Palestinian and Haitian peoples against armed violence and forced migration.

11:30 am–12:30 pm: Lunch

12:30–2:30 pm: “Enscribing Palestine”

Milton Hatoum (1952-) in Brazil and Lina Meruane (1970-) in Chile each borrowed from Edward Said (1935-2003) as well as crossed over into the US where these intellectual and political synergies drew less interest than the provenance of migrant forebears. Hatoum’s father departed French-mandate Lebanon for Brazil, and Meruane’s paternal grandparents journeyed from Ottoman Palestine to Chile, but each writer shared Said’s critique of orientalism and commitment to Palestine. Across Luso-Hispanic and US-Latin American frontiers, Hatoum and Meruane’s dialogues with Said, and with each other, are the focus of this paper. To paraphrase Said, I suggest that the two authors anticipated and speculated how migrant “filiations” can be supplanted by and lead to more global “affiliations,” especially in relation to Palestinian self-determination. This “futura palestina” (future Palestine, in Portuguese and Spanish) emerges in their intellectual genealogies and public interventions. Despite respective debuts nearly twenty-five years apart, Hatoum and Meruane, in dialogue with Said, narrate memories as fragments of not only a past and present but also toward a future. Here I attempt a forward-looking reframing of their respective oeuvres, taking my cue from an “anthropology of the future” (Bryant and Knight 2019). Beginning with the novel, Relato de um certo oriente (1989), Hatoum engaged with Said’s critique of orientalism and essays on exile in Brazil. By the time Hatoum translated Said’s Representations of the Intellectual into Portuguese, Meruane’s writings on Palestine appeared in Chile, eventually coalescing as Volverse Palestina (2013), first published in Mexico though not yet released in the US. In 2018, Hatoum endorsed the Portuguese translation of Meruane’s book with an epigraph from Said. In dialoguing with Said, and each other, Hatoum and Meruane crisscross distinct texts and contexts, pointing to a future Palestine that is about not only origin and return, but also beginning and frontier-living.

Tanto por la prensa como por la crítica literaria, y más notablemente a través de la literatura en prosa y verso, varias generaciones de intelectuales de la diáspora palestina han reflexionado copiosamente sobre su integración a la sociedad chilena. En efecto, un diagnóstico amplio y sostenido por varias ‘olas’ de intelectuales árabes ha criticado el impacto de este proceso en aspectos identitarios propios, como la pérdida del idioma árabe, pero, más notablemente, el distanciamiento relativo de las revindicaciones de la nación Palestina y su lucha anticolonial.

En respuesta, un gran número de escritores árabes de segunda y tercera generación ––o “los hijos y nietos” del mahyar–– ha bregado por repolitizar su identidad en la diáspora y fortalecer su relación cultural con la patria ancestral, a través de la literatura, el ensayo y la poesía. Notablemente, varios de sus trabajos se han centrado en el examen estratégico de la ‘cuestión Palestina’ como un bastión de la arabidad latinoamericana: un discurso literario producido durante el siglo XX, que busca cruzar los circuitos del nacionalismo y anti-imperialismo latinoamericano con los del mundo árabe, mimetizando sus estéticas de resistencia y revolucionarias.
En la presente ponencia, nos proponemos comparar dos escritores chileno-palestinos, Mahfud Massís (1916–1990) y Walter Garib (1933– ). En cuanto al primero, proponemos una lectura de su poesía, centrándonos en “Ojo de Tormenta” (1989) y “Llanto del Exiliado” (1986). Mientras que respecto al segundo, proponemos la lectura de su obra narrativa El viajero de la Alfombra Mágica (1991). En ambos autores, tanto en prosa como en verso, mostraremos con herramientas de los Estudios Culturales Regionales, cómo la cuestión palestina impacta en la conciencia nacional de estos autores, como un vehículo para la crítica tercermundista y también de la identidad de la comunidad palestina en Chile (mostrando, de paso, la pertinencia de considerar la literatura como fuente para examinar la importancia de Palestina para las comunidades árabes en Chile).

Upon his death in 2008, the Palestinian American Ahmad Essa Ibrahim left behind a remarkable handwritten draft of a book on the history of his birthplace, the village of Jimzu. Titled Qaryat Jimzū wa-al-qurá al-mujāwarah wa-madīnat al-Lidd wa-al-Ramlah (The Village of Jimzu, the Neighboring Villages, and the Cities of Lidd and Ramlah), the 600-page draft, currently held at the Arab American National Museum, deftly weaves historical narrative and anthropological observation with Ibrahim’s own memories to create a unique source for the history of this village before its depopulation and subsequent destruction by the Israeli Defense Forces after the nakba in 1948. In this paper, we will recreate the biography of Ahmad Essa Ibrahim from his book, his other personal objects donated to the Arab American National Museum, and interviews with his descendants. We will next contextualize Ibrahim’s book within the broader genre of Palestinian village histories that emerged in the 1980’s, a genre of which Ibrahim was intimately aware despite his exile in the United States. This paper looks at both the unique perspectives and contributions Ibrahim made to this genre as an Arab American, as well as the challenges he faced and overcame in gathering source material for his book owing to his geographical distance from Palestine and the Arab world. The paper concludes with a discussion of the Arab American National Museum’s efforts to preserve Ibrahim’s story.

2:30–3 pm: Break

3–5 pm: “Transnational Activism”

The positionality of Arab Mexicans towards early Zionism and on behalf of Palestine can be traced to contexts before the 1947 Partition of Palestine, more specifically during the transition from Ottoman subjects to inhabitants of the Mandate system. The article studies an early protest in northeastern Mexico led by an association called Jóvenes Palestinos de Torreón, Coahuila (Young Palestinians of Torreón, Coahuila). The protest was against the cession of territory by the British Mandate for the Zionist project in what was known as Southern Syria (Suriya al-Janubiyah). This local protest provides notions of the early reactions and sensibilities triggered within the Mexican Mahjar by a transnational mobilization against early Zionism. The text widens the recent Mexican mahjar’s historiography by exploring how Arab Mexican communities dealt with the effects of the application of the Mandate system and the challenge to assimilate into the new conceptual frameworks of citizenship imposed by the Mandate authorities after the geopolitical division of the so-called Bīlād aš-Šam.

La situacionalidad de los árabes mexicanos frente al sionismo temprano y hacia Palestina puede rastrearse en el contexto previo a la partición del Estado palestino en 1947, específicamente durante la transición de súbditos otomanos a habitantes del sistema de Mandato. El artículo estudia una protesta temprana en el noreste de México organizada por una asociación llamada Jóvenes Palestinos de Torreón, Coahuila. La protesta fue en contra de la cesión de territorio por el Mandato británico para el proyecto sionista en lo que fue conocido como la Siria del sur (Suriya al-Janubiyah). Esta protesta local provee nociones sobre las reacciones tempranas y sensibilidades activadas dentro del mahjar mexicano por la movilización transnacional en contra del sionismo temprano. El texto expande la historiografía reciente sobre el mahjar mexicano al explorar la manera en que diversas comunidades árabe-mexicanas lidiaron con los efectos de la aplicación del sistema de mandato y el reto de asimilarse en el nuevo marco conceptual de ciudadanía impuesto por las autoridades del mandato tras la división geopolítica del llamado Bīlād aš-Šam.

La historiografía colombiana referente al estudio de la migración de sirios, palestinos y libaneses iniciada a finales del siglo XIX se ha caracterizado por la repetición de narrativas comunes; por ambivalencias en las categorías de análisis empleadas; por limitaciones en la comprensión de factores de empuje y atracción de estas dinámicas migratorias; y por la utilización de marcos de referencia coloniales y orientalistas evidentes, por ejemplo, en el uso y abuso del concepto “sirio-libanés” y en la falta de interés de los investigadores de explorar factores de empuje más allá de la aparente discriminación religiosa turca musulmana contra árabes cristianos. Estos entendimientos parciales han resultado en la exclusión de los palestinos y su identidad y conciencia nacional de la mayoría de investigaciones que se enfocan en los “sirios-libaneses”. Asimismo, han excluido al colonialismo de asentamiento empleado por el sionismo como un factor decisivo en la emigración de palestinos desde antes, durante y después de 1948. 

La mayoría de investigaciones en Colombia relacionadas al tema fallan también en ver la emigración de palestinos como un continuum producto del proceso de colonización en curso y que se intensifica constantemente. Por lo anterior, existen importantes oportunidades de investigación para comprender de manera multidimensional, crítica y con énfasis poscolonial la formación inicial de la diáspora palestina en Colombia y sobre todo sus formas de auto-referenciación y manifestación de su conciencia política nacional. Esta investigación se propone realizar una reconstrucción histórica de esta comunidad entre los años de 1945 y 1948 con fuentes primarias como la “Guía Social de la Colonia de Hablar Árabe en Colombia” de 1945 y la “Revista Unión” de 1946, como también analizará las manifestaciones públicas de apoyo y rechazo en Colombia en torno al Plan de Partición de la ONU y la creación del Estado de Israel. 

6 pm: Dinner

Sunday, September 15, 2024 

9–9:30 am: Coffee 

9:30–11:30 am: “Revolutions”

This paper examines Palestinian solidarity within the Cuban Arab diaspora, as epitomized by the Cuban Arab Union (UAC) established in 1979. Focusing on the intersection of revolutionary principles and diasporic identity, it explores how the Palestinian struggle has resonated within Cuba, a convergence point for Arab migrants primarily from the Levant since the late 19th century, unified under many organizations, culminating in the UAC. Through a nuanced examination of posters depicting Palestine by the Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa, and Latin America (OSPAAL), interviews with UAC founders, and analysis of UAC’s publication “The Arab” (El Árabe) produced during Cuba’s “special period,” this study dissects how cultural traditions have evolved through expressions of solidarity with Palestine. Amidst the loss of Soviet support in the 1990s and challenges to the revolutionary spirit of the Palestinian cause during the Peace Process, solidarity emerges as a strategic tool for preservation. By historicizing Cuba’s principled opposition to the 1947 partition of Palestine, this paper elucidates the complex interplay of identity, solidarity, and belonging within the Cuban Arab community, positioning it as a beacon of unwavering commitment to Palestinian liberation amidst shifting socio-political landscapes. Through its meticulous examination of historical moments and diasporic narratives, this paper offers valuable insights into the resilience of Palestinian resistance in the Arab Americas, contributing to a deeper understanding of transnational solidarity movements and their enduring significance in contemporary scholarship.

Israel’s ongoing massacre in Gaza has galvanized the Palestinian diaspora in Brazil. For the last few months, migrants and descendants have been attempting to influence public debate around those events. The Palestinian community of Brazil, nevertheless, has been historically sidelined in the country, where Syrians and Lebanese came to represent the “ideal” Arab migrant. This paper argues that there is a political need for recovering Palestinian history in Brazil. As a case study, it analyzes the so-far unknown life of the revolutionary Said Shukair. Shukair was born in 1910 in Betunia. In 1937, he joined armed resistance against British occupation and became a leader in the Jerusalem region. After the murder of King Abdullah of Jordan in 1951, which led to a wave of repression, Shukair migrated to the countryside of São Paulo. In 1993, he published his memoir Hayat tha’ir (the life of a revolutionary), which is the main source of this paper, along with an oral history interview with one of his descendants in Brazil. Shukair’s memoir reveals details of a revolutionary existence in Palestine. Shukair provides insight into the role of nationalist leaders like Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni, whom he met. Moreover, Shukair discusses revolutionary strategies. Lastly, Shukair makes valuable reflections on the life of Arabic-speaking migrants in mid-century Brazil. Recovering Shukair’s story is a step towards including Palestinians in the broader history of Arab migration to Brazil. Furthermore, it adds to a growing literature on Palestinian migration to the Americas and its role in shaping Palestinian identity.

The Sandinista Revolution of 1979 stands as a landmark in the history of the Latin American revolutionary left, providing a major point of connection and solidarity for anti-imperialist movements around the world, including the Palestinian struggle. Rarely, however, has Nicaragua’s own Palestinian community been considered within this picture of Third World revolutionary activism. This paper uncovers the key roles played by people of Palestinian descent in the Sandinista movement since its inception in the early 1960s. Defying their parents’ reputation for political conservatism, a new generation of Palestinians in Latin America came of age in the wake of the Cuban revolution, many of them joining clandestine revolutionary movements. In Nicaragua, this was the first generation to attend university, exposing them to new currents of social change and activism. By the late 1960s they were forging ties between the Sandinista movement and Palestinian resistance groups in the Middle East, as well as performing lead roles within Nicaragua in the struggle to overthrow the Somoza regime.

Based on oral history interviews, memoirs and documentary sources, the paper will challenge assumptions of Arab apoliticism in Central America, documenting how a new generation of diasporic Palestinians took up arms against a brutally repressive dictatorship with close links to Israel. Intersecting themes of youth, gender, religion and class will be explored to document how Palestinians in Nicaragua redefined their relationship to both their adopted country and Palestine in the 1960s and 70s. The paper will also reflect on how these complex histories of Palestinian-Nicaraguan activism are told and retold in the context of an increasingly repressive Sandinista government today that nevertheless promotes itself as a defender of Palestinian rights on the international stage.

11:30 am–12:30 pm: Lunch

12:30–2:30 pm: “Identifying Palestine”

The Palestinian diaspora is one of the most scattered diasporas in the world’s modern history. Since the beginning of the 19th century, Palestinians have had a presence in every region around the globe. For this reason, it comes as no surprise that Latin America alone hosts thousands of those who were persecuted and expelled from Palestine from 1948 onwards, and even prior. As it is the case in Chile, where the Palestinian diaspora composes one of the biggest diasporas outside of the Middle East, despite the fact that the primary migration processes happened before the Nakba. Despite an extensive body of research surrounding Palestinian diasporas in the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas, gender and queer discussions surrounding these communities have not been substantial. Focusing on the construction of identities and the negotiations that occur within the queer Palestinian diaspora, I explore how queer Chilean Palestinians have negotiated between their queer and their Palestinian identities within their local contexts, exploring in which ways they have articulated their identity, and the role that familial heritage has played in the process. Drawing from intersectional approaches from diaspora and queer studies, I analysed in-depth interviews with queer Chilean Palestinians, and argued that their intersected identities are built in a continuous process of co-authored identification with their familial sites, which becomes the primary setting where the intersection becomes most felt.

This article focuses on the role of language in the construction of Palestinian diasporic identity among new speakers of Arabic in Chile. The “new speaker” phenomenon in Chile describes individuals of Palestinian descent that were raised speaking Spanish and choose to study Arabic as adults. This study builds on existing research about new speakers and explores language study as a means of resistance in the context of the Palestinian cause. Findings are based on semi-structured narrative interviews and observations carried out in Santiago, Chile throughout 2024 in collaboration with the Center of Arab Studies Eugenio Chahuán at the University of Chile.

While there has been significant research on the Palestinian diaspora in Chile, which is considered the largest and most cohesive Palestinian community outside of the Middle East, there is a lack of research focused on the role of Arabic language within the community. Preliminary findings suggest interest on behalf of Palestinian Chileans to reconnect with Palestinian identity via language, and that Arabic language plays a role in defining connection and solidarity with Palestine. Participants include perspectives from family lineages that arrived both pre and post 1948, also known as The Nakba, in order to highlight the differences in these particular experiences such as the discrimination that earlier immigration faced and effects of critical historical events in Palestine. This research sheds light on how language access can connect transnational communities in solidarity, preserve culture in diaspora, shape individual and family identities, and build bridges to the homeland.

A presença árabe no Brasil, incluindo imigrantes e descendentes provenientes do Líbano, da Síria e da Palestina, é contada em cifras de milhões e, invariavelmente, tem sido vista como um processo positivo e de sucesso. Dessa forma, sob a narrativa de uma trajetória épica obliteraram-se importantes questões da inserção desse grupo imigrante no Brasil, sobretudo quando este passou a ser identificado como sírio, libanês, ou mesmo sírio-libanês. Questões identitárias, conflitos, disputas e imposição de uma imagem homogênea desses imigrantes, sufocou outras identidades ou camuflou diferenças históricas, culturais, econômicas, religiosas. Os palestinos, parte desse grupo imigrante, tornaram-se invisíveis diante de denominações regionais ou nacionais marcadamente associadas aos sírios e aos libaneses, e mesmo religiosas quando agrupados como muçulmanos. Ainda assim, como forma de marcar sua presença, se aproximando ou se distanciando do grupo hegemônico, os palestinos no Brasil criaram movimentos associativos em diferentes regiões do país, tanto como forma de preservação cultural como de luta política. Dessa forma, propõe-se um levantamento das instituições palestinas existentes em território nacional brasileiro para compreender como elas articulam seu passado e se reconectam no presente. Dois grupos serão considerados: a. com atuação política especificamente centrado no reconhecimento do estado palestino, como a FEPAL (Federação Árabe Palestina), a IBRASPAL (Instituto Brasil Palestina) e SANAUD Juventude Palestina; e b. com atuação cultural centrado nas questões de preservação de memória e identidade do grupo, como a Sociedade Árabe Palestina do Amazonas, a Sociedade Palestina do Distrito Federal, e a Sociedade Árabe Palestino-brasileira Beneficente do Chuí (Rio Grande do Sul). Metodologicamente, serão analisados seus estatutos e suas áreas de atuação, tendo como marco os acontecimentos de 7 de outubro de 2023, para compreender como afetaram ou não a visibilidade e atuação das instituições e de seus membros no território brasileiro.

2:30–3 pm: Break

3–5 pm: “Organizing for Palestine”

In the late 1970s, a wide array of activists seized upon the language of human rights to influence U.S. foreign policymaking and encourage compliance with U.S. and international laws addressing the distribution of U.S. military and economic aid. In 1977, the Arab American University Graduates (AAUG) leadership, led by Abdeen Jabara and James Zogby founded the Palestine Human Rights campaign (PHRC) with the hope of building “one of the largest and most significant human rights coalitions in the United States.”  The PHRC emerged from a coalition of eleven different social justice organizations, including many non-Arab American groups. Organizers were motivated by the desire to “educate the U.S. public as to the real nature of the Israeli occupation” and hoped that “given existing U.S. law” and “the ‘human rights’ rhetoric of the Carter administration” their activism could change U.S. policymaking. Activists believed that the newly inaugurated Carter administration was sincere in its efforts to remake U.S foreign policy with human rights at its core and sought to rigorously document human rights violations and in order to demand that existing U.S. legislation, especially the Foreign Assistance Age, be applied to U.S. aid to the state of Israel.  They further believed that by operating not as an ethnic constituency, but as a social justice coalition rooted in documenting violations of U.S. and international law they could make inroads with the many congress members interested in human rights in this era, the Carter administration, and perhaps the broader U.S. foreign policy establishment. Grounded in research in the papers of PHRC founder and Arab American activist James Zogby, the papers of AAUG lawyer Abdeen Jabara, and the papers of several members of Congress, this paper illuminates the role of human rights politics on Palestine activism in the late 1970s.   

La revista árabe Al Karmel fue considerada el ala cultural, intelectual y literaria de lo que se denominaba como la “Revolución Palestina”. Dirigida por dos poetas fundamentales para la poesía moderna árabe–el palestino Mahmud Darwish y el sirio-kurdo Salim Barakat–, y publicada por la Unión General de Periodistas y Escritores Palestinos, el lugar de publicación de la revista acompañó a los poetas de un exilio a otro: primero, en 1981, los primeros números de la revista se publicaron en Beirut; tras la salida de la OLP del Líbano al Mediterráneo, Al Karmel comenzó a dar la vuelta al mundo desde Chipre; finalmente, en 1995, tras la fijación del exilio de Darwish en Ramala, Cisjordania, la revista comenzó a imprimirse en esta ciudad bajo la ocupación israelí. Para Al Karmel, la cuestión de la relación entre la literauta y política, la del compromiso intelectual con las causas políticas, fue fundamental. En búsqueda de respuestas, la revista volteó hacia América Latina, donde los escritores del BOOM latinoamericano parecían tener la cuestión resuelta. En mi presentación, expondré y discutiré la presencia de escritores e intelectuales latinoamericanos en la revista Al Karmel. ¿Quiénes fueron los escritores latinoamericanos que Al Karmel tradujo al árabe y entrevistó? ¿Quiénes realizaron esas entrevistas y traducciones al árabe? ¿Cómo, cuándo y dónde la Revolución Palestina estableció contactco con los intelectuales latinoamericanos? Después de este recorrido histórico de la presencia de los intelectuales latinoamericanos en esa revista palestina, examinaré cómo, a través de la traducción literaria, el intercambio de ideas y la creación de redes de intelectuales que aparece en las páginas de Al Karmel, se entrecruzaron y dialogaron las luchas y los conflictos políticos que tuvieron lugar tanto en el mundo árabe como en América Latina durante la década de los 1980.

El acceso reciente a fuentes documentales antes inéditas sobre la inmigración árabe islámica en Argentina permite analizar distintas coyunturas en que las diásporas musulmanas se movilizaron y construyeron sentidos sobre la solidaridad con Palestina.  El espacio musulmán, como arena de discursos, prácticas y posicionamientos, posee una autonomía relativa del espacio árabe, de organizaciones laicas y de militancias que tematizaron sobre la causa Palestina. El archivo Mohammed Báccar, en etapa final de construcción, reúne más de 2000 documentos de la inmigración musulmana en Argentina (desde 1932 hasta finales de la década de 80) y está basado en el acervo de una de las instituciones islámicas pioneras del país, la Asociación Pan-Islámica fundada en 1925 y refundada en 1932 como Asociación Unión Islámica por musulmanes sirios, libaneses y palestinos. Esta presentación analiza acciones y posicionamientos producidos durante la gran revuelta árabe en Palestina (1936-1939) y en los años inmediatamente posteriores a la plasmación de Israel en 1948. Al mismo tiempo que analizamos qué sentidos sobre lo palestino circulaban por las comunidades musulmanas recientemente institucionalizadas en Argentina, pretendemos reflexionar sobre la contribución que las fuentes y archivos preservados al interior de espacios religiosos pueden ofrecer para la comprensión de las interacciones entre el mundo árabe y América Latina. 

5–5:30 pm Concluding Remarks 

Monday, September 16, 2024

10 am: Check-out from Aloft Hotel